Welcome to the City of Marion!
Enjoy the scenic beauty, rich heritage, and abundant recreational opportunities of Marion, Kansas, “the town between two lakes.” With historic stone buildings, modern school facilities and business opportunities abounding, Marion is a great place to live, raise a family, build a business, work, play and retire.
Marion is a community of 2,000 residents conveniently located in the “Golden Triangle” of Central Kansas. Nestled on the western slope of the Flint Hills, Marion is within 30 to 60 miles of many mid-sized cities. Pioneers were impressed with the beauty of the area, richness of the soil and abundance of water. Those same qualities draw many to Marion today. Marion is also the county seat of Marion County and the self-proclaimed "Rhino Capital of Kansas". Click Here to get the history of Why Marion chose the Rhino.
If you've observed Chingawassa Days since the event was born in 1997, you may have noticed that the event's logo, along with ads and posters promoting the weekend, often include a rhinoceros. Early versions showed the silhouette of a classic rhino. As time has passed, the rhino has been transformed into a more cartoon like figure, usually standing on two legs. He also gained a name. "Pete the Rhino" has been seen: boarding a rail car; standing with outstretched in a disco pose with one upraised arm; in a rock-n-roll pose with his guitar; and in full gallop promoting the rhino run. So why a rhino named Pete?
One of the members of the original Chingawassa Days committee was Pete Peterson. He was on enthusiastic member of the group who was well liked by everyone. Unfortunately, Pete had a serious illness, and although he was able to participate in the planning of the first celebration, he was severely limited in his ability to participate when the events actually took place. Nevertheless, his dedication was an inspiration to the rest of the committee. Pete had an interest in rhinos. He had a number of statues, figurines, and pictures of the them. When Pete passed way, the Chingawassa Days steering committee informally adopted the rhino as a logo in his memory. The committee commissioned a chainsaw artist to carve a rhino statue which is kept in the Marion chamber of commerce office most of the year, but is brought out the weekend of Chingawassa and displayed in the park. The silhouette of a rhinoceros was used on certificates of appreciation and thank you cards By 2000, the rhino, which had by then come to be known as "Pete", was incorporated into the actual Chingawassa Days logo for that year. Prior to that time, the logo had always featured a rail car because of the old railroad connecting Marion to Chingawassa Springs. In 2000, Pete the Rhino, was seen boarding a Chingawassa Springs railcar. Pete has continued to be a part of the logo ever since. In recent years, "Pete the Chingawassa Rhino" has become the centerpiece of the logo.
While the original intention of using the rhino as a symbol of the Chingawassa Days event was intended to honor Peter Peterson, the committee has now come to realize that it is also a very recognizable and unique symbol with which to promote Marion's premiere entertainment event. What other community in Kansas has a rhino for it's mascot? So look for Peter the Rhino to continue to grow in popularity and to spring up on clothing, signs, publications and anywhere Chingawassa Days is being promoted.
Marion County Park and Lake is less than five minutes east of Marion. This beautiful 300 acre park includes a 153-acre lake, heated fishing dock, new shower house facility, gathering hall and camping facilities.
Ten minutes west of town is Marion Reservoir, a federal facility that serves as the water supply for the city. With over 6,200 acres of fishing, hunting, boating, camping and recreational opportunities, it’s one of the larger bodies of water in the area. Whether you are an avid sportsman, bird watcher, or nature and wildlife lover, you will enjoy the peaceful scenery and gorgeous sunsets.
Rich with heritage, Marion’s historic stone buildings and churches, our beautiful native limestone courthouse, and historic Santa Fe Depot (now our City Library) give you a glimpse of the past. Historic home tours are available. Experience Marion’s quality of life and safe environment, as you explore and shop in this quaint community.
Marion’s Central Park serves as the community’s hub. From “Chingawassa Days” to “Art in the Park” and “Old Settler’s Day”, to every day activities, Central Park is inviting to all. This six-acre park is home to a newly restored natural springs and waterfall.