Onward Ottawa board announces program to use Legacy Square for free

Greg Mast
The Ottawa Herald

The vision of the Onward Ottawa board was to make Legacy Square a place for a variety of events.

The $4.2 million project was finished in the fall of 2019 right before the pandemic hit, which slowed the use of the the new venue.

Legacy Square has been used to host a variety of events, including Farmers Markets last summer and this past Monday.

The Onward Ottawa board is trying to jump start the use of Legacy Square, located on Walnut between First and Second Streets in downtown Ottawa, with a new program.

David Lee and Pam Harris, Onward Ottawa Co-Chairs, said the board announced the first 10 non-profits to have a sustainable annual event, can use the event space free for two years.

“We hope this challenge/offer will inspire new annual community events which will be places for community to gather and also encourage others to visit Ottawa,” the co-chairs said in a press release. “The pandemic greatly reduced the planned events at Legacy Square, but events have been held for a variety of functions from speakers to Flea, Junk & Trunk, family movies on the green, meeting location for local bike riding groups, and a fundraiser for NCCC.  Upcoming events include more movies, bike events, farmers market, and more.”

Legacy Square is in a unique location at the crossroads of the Prairie Spirit Trail and the Flint Hills Trail.

The venue was a product of many people partnering together. Legacy Square was a major private/public partnership that raised $4.2 million  to construct the outdoor event center through donations, grants, private foundations, and public partnerships with the State of Kansas, Franklin County, and the City of Ottawa. 

A new campaign is underway to continue to add amenities and to pay off the approximate $450,000 of remaining expenses from developing the project.

To apply to be a host of an event and get the use of part or all of Legacy Square, a non-profit can go to the Ottawa Area Chamber of Commerce webpage at http://ottawakansas.org/legacy-square/ or contact the Ottawa Chamber (785.242.1000 or chamber@ottawakansas.org) for an application.  In the application, the non-profit will describe the event, date/time, expected attendance, objective and goals for the event, how many volunteers they plan to have, promotion plans and methods, and identify how much of Legacy Square they would plan to use.

For more information contact John Coen at 785.242.1000 or email: john@otttawakansas.org.