Themed Announced for 2020 Arkalalah Festival

Despite a year of uncertainty, planning continues for Arkansas City’s largest event, Arkalalah. Jace Kennedy, the 2020 Arkalalah Festival Executive Committee Chairman, recently released the theme for this year’s event: “American Made – 150 Years of Arkansas City.”

“One of the hardest things to do as Chairman is picking the theme for the year. With everything that has changed since mid-March, it became clear to me what I wanted the theme to be – American Made – because not only is it about what has built this country, it is what has built each one of us individually. We are all American Made and we are all stronger for it,” Kennedy said.

The theme reflects two major milestones, the 150th anniversary of the founding of Arkansas City, and the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II. 

“Country, Community and Camaraderie are all things I hold true to my heart. I love America, and the Flag that represents this country. We absolutely would not have the life we all have without those brave Servicemen,” Kennedy said.

The American Made logo was designed by local artist and teacher, Mark Dykes. Dykes captured the pride and history that Kennedy wanted to convey in a patriotic themed logo, which includes a map of the United States and stars in the traditional red, white, and blue colors.

“I truly appreciate the blood sweat, tears, and hard work that encompasses the whole American spirit. This great country allows us all the freedom to do everything from practice whatever religion we want to being able to start your own business and thrive,” Kennedy said.

Scheduled for October 28-31, the 2020 celebration will be the 89th annual festival. As a lifelong resident of Arkansas City, Kennedy has fond memories of past celebrations.

“I couldn’t be more excited. From the time I was a kid sitting on the bed of my Mom & Dad’s truck watching the Saturday Big Day Parade (collecting all the candy I could), to the time when my own kids were in school and we were building floats for Sacred Heart, for all those years – Arkalalah has always been a special time for myself celebrating the things that make Arkalalah special – Food, Fun and most importantly Family,” Kennedy said.


Founded in 1928, the Arkalalah festival was created to lift the spirits of the local community. The name “Arkalalah” was created by Mrs. J.W. Moore with “Ark” representing the town of Arkansas City, and “Alalah” being a Native American word for good time. Today, the Arkalalah festival is a year-round project led by dozens of dedicated volunteers. The multi-day celebration includes three parades, coronation of a Queen-alalah, dozens of food vendors, and numerous events and activities which draw tens of thousands of people each year. To learn more, visit their website at