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Little Balkans Festival Association, Records

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Little Balkans Days Logo

Little Balkans Days Logo

The Little Balkans Festival Association, formerly Pittsburg Area Festival Association (PAFA), was organized and dates its official founding in September 1984. It is a non-profit corporation composed of Pittsburg area residents. Officers were elected that same year and the association took shape by establishing membership fees, soliciting voluntary contributions from civic and community members, and appointing initial festival committees. The Association was organized to educate the general public as to the origin and development of the term "Little Balkans," widely used in political and cultural discussions of the role of Southeast Kansas in the state. In its existence, the primary purpose of the Association is to plan and conduct a regional exposition in Pittsburg, Kansas, formally known as The Little Balkans Festival. The Festival has been held annually on Labor Day Weekend since 1985. It pays homage to the different ethnic nationalities that migrated into southeast Kansas between 1890 and 1930, primarily from southeastern Europe. Through the exposition, the Association also intended to revive the King Coal Festivals held annually from 1934 through 1940 that emphasized the region's ethnic diversity, coal mining history, and community pride, spirit, and unity.

Collection #15

Little Balkans Festival Association
Records (1984-2001)

2 linear feet


Records and collected materials of the Little Balkans Festival Association, formerly Pittsburg Area Festival Association, Pittsburg, Kansas. The records consist of by-laws, articles of incorporation, minutes, agendas, financial records, correspondence, committee and event records, committee membership, calendar of events, programs and tickets, news releases, newspaper inserts, posters, souvenirs, photographs, and other materials related to the Little Balkans Days Festival.


The first accession of the Little Balkans Festival Association, Pittsburg, Kansas Records was donated to the Leonard H. Axe Library by Penny Armstrong, ca. 1991. Additional materials were received from Gene DeGruson, ca 1995.


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The Little Balkans Festival Association, Records consist primarily of administrative records of the organization from its founding in 1984 up to 2001. The bulk of the records date from 1984 through 1989. The records are arranged into sixteen series identified as:

The Minutes, Budget and Finance, and Correspondence series are the most comprehensive and provide the best overview of the Association's activities.

For purposes of arrangement and to accommodate future additions to the collection, each series is designated by a letter of the alphabet, A through P, and folders in each series are numbered consecutively from one to the end. Each series is arranged in chronological order unless otherwise noted. Staples or paper clips that affixed many of the materials in this collection have been removed.

The By-Laws series (Series A) consists of one draft copy, undated; one revised copy with address change, undated; and one copy of a final draft, undated.

The Articles of Incorporation and Tax Exempt Status series (Series B) consists of one copy of an Articles of Incorporation application; one copy of the Articles of Incorporation, dated 1984; and one Certificate of Amendment to the Articles of Incorporation, dated 6 September 1985.

The Tax Exempt Status folder contains the Application for Recognition of Exemption, dated 15 July 1985, and includes attachments of historical information.

The Minutes (Series C) contains detailed minutes of officers' meetings including the Board of Directors, Executive Committee, and Major Committees from 1985 up to 1989. Also included are minutes of the 1984 festival organizational meetings that discuss developmental issues including, the selection process for the festival name, the donation of office space from which the Association would operate, and the monetary contributions or "seed money" from board members of the project.

The Minutes series is especially useful for information about the festival's evolution and progress, leadership, and projects. Occasionally the series includes financial information (See also Series E), membership lists (See also Series H), and committee events and records (See also Series G), as attachments to the minutes.

The Agendas series (Series D) contains lists of issues discussed at meetings including the 1984 organizational meeting, Board of Directors, 1985-1987, and the Executive Committee, 1985-1987. For detailed summaries of meetings refer to the Minutes series (Series C).

The Budget and Finance series (Series E) is comprised of the Treasurer's reports, budget reports, contracts and agreements, invoices, and committee and event budgets. The records in this series date from 1985-1989, but contain many gaps. The Invoices folder, for instance, contains 1985 statements only. The contract and agreement folders contain signed agreements and leases between vendors, clubs, and event sites and the Little Balkans Festival Association. This folder is not complete and contains only a few of the signed contracts made by Association.

The Correspondence series (Series F) is comprised of letters that date from 1984 to 1989. This series contains letters of congratulations, letters of complaints, letters of resignations from board and committee members, thank you letters, and festival invitation letters to civic and community leaders.

Penny Armstrong, president of the Association from 1985 to 1989, wrote or received the majority of the correspondence. Several letters have financial, committee, sponsor, and event materials attached.

The Correspondence series is useful for information about the many concerns of the board officers, major committee officers, and the general public regarding the various functions of the Festival.

The Committee and Event series (Series G) documents the activities of the Festival committees and event organizers from 1985 to 1989. The events and committees in this series are arranged alphabetically by title. Included in this series are records created by the various members and event organizers in the form of correspondence, reports, registration and entry forms, and others.

Two of the most complete files are the Finance Committee folders (f.8 to f.12) and The Miss Little Balkans Scholarship Pageant folders (f.20 to f.21). The Finance Committee records are comprised of informative materials that date from 1985 to 1989. They contain lists of contributors, account balances, and budget issues. The Miss Little Balkans Scholarship Pageant records cover the years of 1985 and 1986. Pageant committee concerns, pageant contestants' biographies, and program itineraries comprise this series.

The Committee Membership series (Series H) contains annual listings of the Little Balkans Festival Association officers and standing major and executive committee appointments. The series dates from 1984 to1989.

The Calendar of Events series (Series I) contains annual programs and schedules of Festival events. The series dates from 1985 to 1996. There are gaps in this series. The series is missing Calendar of Events fliers from 1993 and 1994.

The Programs and Tickets series (Series J) contains original programs and a few autographed tickets from Festival shows. This series dates from 1985 to 2001 but is very incomplete. Some events and shows mentioned in the Calendar of Events (see Series I) are missing programs/tickets in this series. There is an obvious gap between 1991-2001.

The News Releases series (Series K) is comprised of press releases dating from 1984 to 1988. This series is incomplete and contains only a few copies of news releases. For instance, 1988 contains only one release featuring winners of the Horseshoe Pitch competition. No records from 1987 are included. The Committee and Event Records series (see Series G) has more informative material regarding this topic and will prove to be more helpful.

The Newspaper Inserts series (Series L) contains annual inserts or special supplements to Pittsburg's newspaper, The Morning Sun since 1985. The inserts contain informative articles about the Little Balkans Days history, festival events, the participants, photographs, advertisements and sponsors relating to the Festival, and a Calendar of Events centerfold (see Series I). Prior to 2001, each newspaper insert also included a page with names of the past and current officers including the Board of Directors, Executive Committee, and Major Committees (see Series H). Inserts from 1988, 1990, and from 1992 to 2000 are missing.

The Posters series (Series M) contains publicity materials for the Little Balkans Days Festival, festival shows and concerts, and community events. Included in this series are place mats, fliers, and posters. This series is incomplete.

The Souvenirs series (Series N) contains collected items and artifacts from the Festival dating from 1985 to 1988. Included in this series are Joe's Place Speakeasy garters and card, bumper stickers, plastic license plate, fans, souvenir buttons, photograph folders, adult and children size T-shirts, cap and visor, and a regional cookbook. The arrangement approximates chronological order, however, there are several items that are undated.

The Photographs series (Series O) contains original photographs relating to the Little Balkans Festival Association and the Little Balkans Days Festival. Only one, undated photograph of the Road race is currently in the series. Published photos are found in series L.

The Miscellaneous series (Series P) consists primarily of 'odds and ends' materials relating to the Festival. The arrangement approximates chronological order, however, several items are undated. Included in this series are ballots to select a name for the Festival, Festival recommendations and analyses, Mayor's Proclamation from 1986, art work, certificates of appreciation, and clippings.


The By-Laws Series (Series A)

f.1 By-Laws, Drafts, and Amendments, 1984-1985

Articles of Incorporation and Tax Exempt Status Series (Series B)

f.1 Articles of Incorporation Application Form, n.d.
f.2 Articles of Incorporation, 1984
f.3 Certificate of Amendment, Articles of Incorporation, 1985
f.4 Application for Recognition of Exemption, 1985

Minutes Series (Series C)

f.1 Festival Organization meeting, 1985
f.2 Joint Meeting of Executive and Finance Committee/Executive Committee Meetings, 1985
f.3 Major Committee, 1985
f.4 Board of Directors, 1985
f.5 Executive Committee, 1985
f.6 Board of Directors, 1986
f.7 Major Committee, 1986
f.8 Executive Committee, 1987
f.9 Major Committee, 1987
f.10 Board of Directors, 1987
f.11 Executive Committee, 1988
f.12 Board of Directors, 1988
f.13 Executive Board, 1989

Agendas Series (Series D)

f.1 Organizational Meeting, 1984
f.2 Board of Directors, 1985
f.3 Board of Directors, 1986
f.4 Board of Directors, 1987
f.4 Executive Committee, 1985-1987

Budget and Finance Series (Series E)

f.1 Contract and Agreement, 1985
f.2 Budget, 1985
f.3 Anticipated Receipts from Sponsorship, 1985
f.4 Invoices, 1985-1986
f.5 Operations Summary, 1986
f.6 Budget, 1986
f.7 Preliminary Profit and Loss, 1986
f.8 Contracts and Agreements, 1986
f.9 Proposed Event Budget, 1987
f.10 Budget, 1987
f.11 Contracts and Agreements, 1988
f.12 Proposed Event Budget, 1988
f.13 Budget, 1988
f.14 Contracts and Agreements, 1989
f.15 Proposed Event Budget, 1989
f.16 Budget, 1989
f.17 Bills Payable, 1989

Correspondence Series (Series F)

f.1 January-December, 1984
f.2 January-June, 1985
f.3 July-November, 1985
f.4 January-June, 1986
f.5 July-December, 1986
f.6 January-June, 1987
f.7 July-December, 1987
f.8 April-December, 1988
f.9 January-June, 1989
f.10 July-October, 1989
f.11 Undated Correspondence

Committee and Event Records Series (Series G)

f.1 Art
f.2 Bingo
f.3 Car Show
f.4 Chili Cook-Off
f.4b Dinner Bucket Taste-Off
f.5 Doo Dah Parade
f.6 Fashion Show
f.7 Film Festival
f.8 Finance, 1985
f.9 Finance, 1986
f.10 Finance, 1987
f.11 Finance, 1988
f.12 Finance, 1989
f.13 Finance, undated.
f.14 First Aid/Communication and Sanitation
f.15 History
f.16 KidFest
f.17 Logo
f.18 Media Council
f.19 Misplaced Items Contest
f.20 Miss Little Balkans Scholarship Pageant, 1985
f.21 Miss Little Balkans Scholarship Pageant, 1986
f.22 Nominating
f.23 Photography
f.24 Program/Promotion
f.25 Publicity
f.25b Sing-A-Long
f.26 Social Events
f.27 Souvenirs and Concessions
f.28 Special Events
f.29 Sports
f.30 Street Dance
f.32 The Little Balkans Players
f.32 Transportation

Committee Membership Series (Series H)

f.1 King Coal Board of Directors, 1984-1985
f.2 Major/PRIDE Committees, 1985
f.3 Executive Board, 1986
f.4 Board of Directors, 1986
f.5 Committees/Committee Chairmen, 1986
f.6 Committees For Events, 1986
f.7 Board of Directors, 1987
f.8 Committee Chairmen, 1987
f.9 Service Committee Chairmen, 1987
f.9b Suggestion/Committee Form, 1987
f.10 Board of Directors, 1988
f.11 Committee Chairmen, 1988
f.12 Board of Directors, 1989
f.13 Committee Chairmen, 1989
f.14 Membership Applications, undated.

Calendar/Schedule of Events Series (Series I)

f.1 Program of Events, 1985
f.2 Calendar of Events, drafts and actual, 1985
f.3 Program of Events, 1986
f.4 Calendar of Events, 1986
f.5 Calendar of Events, 1987
f.6 Calendar of Events, 1988
f.7 Calendar of Events, 1989
f.8 Calendar of Events, 1990
f.9 Calendar of Events, 1991
f.10 Calendar of Events, 1992
f.11 Calendar of Events, 1996

Programs and Tickets Series (Series J)

f.1 The Kendalls concert ,1985
f.2 The Miss Little Balkans Scholarship Pageant, 1985
f.3 Talent In The Park, 1985
f.4 King Coal Ball, 1985
f.5 Joe's Place - Speakeasy Follies, 1985
f.5b Chamber After Hours, 1985
f.6 Joe's Place - Speakeasy Follies, 1989
f.7 Balkans Eagle Southeast Kansas Railroad, 1989
f.8 Pittsburg's Little Balkans 'Ol Fashion Camptown Worship, 1989
f.9 Little Balkans Quilt Show, 1991
f.10 Little Balkans Quilt Show, 2001

News Releases Series (Series K)

f.1 News release, undated.
f.2 1984-1985
f.3 1986
f.4 1988

Newspaper Inserts Series (Series L)

f.1 1985
f.2 1986
f.3 1987
f.4 1989
f.5 1991
f.6 2001

Posters Series (Series M)

f.1 KidFest, 1985
f.2 Little Balkans Days place mats, 1986
f.3 "Welcome To Our Past," 1986
f.4 B.J. Thomas Concert, 1987
f.5 "Discover Your Heritage," 1987
f.6 "A Celebration of Spirit," 1989
f.7 "Come and Get these Memories," 1991
f.8 "Golden Memories, Simpler Times," 1991

Souvenirs Series (Series N)

f.1 Joe's Place - Speakeasy Follies, garter and card, undated.
f.2 Bumper stickers, undated.
f.3 License plate, undated.
f.4 Fans, undated.
f.5 Buttons, 1985
f.6 Photo folders, 1985
f.7 Bumper stickers, 1985
f.8 Buttons, 1986
f.9 Fans, 1986
f.10 T-shirts, 1986
f.11 T-shirts, adult sizes, 1987
f.12 T-shirts, children sizes, 1987
f.13 Cap and visor, undated.
f.14 Regional cookbook, 1988

Photographs (Series O)

f.1 Road Race, undated.

Miscellaneous Series (Series P)

f.1 Festival Name Ballots
f.2 Festival Recommendations and Analyses
f.3 Mayor's Proclamation, 1986
f.4 Art work
f.5 Certificate of Appreciation
f.6 Clippings


Armstrong, Penny
Festivals - Kansas
Kansas, Pittsburg
Little Balkans Festival Association
Miss Little Balkans Scholarship Pageant
Pittsburg Area Festival Association

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Last Modified: Jul 09, 2007 - 13:55

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