Events at the Museum Complex

Museum Complex
Thursday, May 5th - 10:00-4:30 pm
Museum Complex

On Thursday visitors will have a chance to tour the museum complex and view some of the improvements and new exhibits. Check out our new Historical Society Digital Archives Center located in the Kansas Barbed Wire Museum and learn how your photos and histories can be preserved for generations to come.

Friday Night Casino Night

Casino Night

Friday, May 3rd - 6:30 pm
La Crosse Fire Department

Our 8th annual Barbed Wire Museum Casino Night event will give participants an opportunity to experience simulated casino games in a safe and fun environment.

Enjoy great food with free entertainment. Use your free “Barbed Bucks” to play the games and have fun while helping the museum. Cost of the meal is $10.00 including free entertainment (no charge to play the casino games.) At the end of the evening redeem your barbed bucks for a variety of items and prize baskets during the Prize Auction. Thanks to the generous support of Rush County Fire District 4, La Crosse, for allowing us to host the event in their station. Age restrictions apply. This is not a gambling event.

Admission: $10.00 for the meal
No Admission Fees to play
Donations welcome

Thank You to our Corporate Supporters

Fire Dist 4
Fire District No. 4 - La Crosse



The Winners Banquet


Join us for our spectacular Winners Banquet, a special dinner in a special setting. Enjoy your meal by candlelight and enjoy live music and some fun entertainment. This year's banquet will again be held in the Walnut Valley Senior Center in Rush Center. Go 4 miles south to the K96 intersection, then one block west, and two blocks south to Washington Street.

Following the banquet will be a short program, announcement of the splicing winners, Wireshow Awards Ceremony, and more.

$20.00 per person
Reservations are required

A limited number of tickets are available. Tickets may be reserved by registering on-line or by calling 785-222-2808.

World Champion Splicing Contest™

Splicing Contest

This will be the 58th year for the World Champion Barbed Wire Splicing Contest™. The competition will be held on Saturday from 10:00 am until 11:00 am and is open to anyone.

Prizes will be awarded in three catagories: Men's, Ladies', and Youth division. This year, we will have some great prizes for the winners in each category.

This splicing contest has been a part of the festival since the beginning. In 1967, Rush County Agricultural Extension Agent E. L. VanMeter developed rules for the competition with assistance from Kansas State University Extension Service, Manhattan, sponsors of 4H programs in Kansas.

Splicing Contest rules and details available here.


Celebrating 150 Years

This year, we are celebrating two special 150-year anniversaries - Rush County's Sesquicentennial and the sesquicentennial of Joseph Glidden's “Winner” Barbed Wire.

Celebrating 150

On December 5, 1874, Kansas Governor Thomas Osborn signed the proclamation establishing Rush County, Kansas. In 2024, Rush County is celebrating this anniversary with a year-long celebration, “The 150-Year Rush”. Events are being held each month in communities across the county.

Barbed Wire played an important roll in the development of our county. With Rush County being in the heart of Post Rock Country, barbed wire supported by Post Rock limestone fenceposts dotted the landscape and played an integral part in the establishment of homesteads and the settlement of our county.

For more information and a full schedule of events of “The 150-Year Rush”, visit us at  

Celebrating Gliddens 150th

On November 24, 1874, the United States Patent Office awarded Joseph Glidden of DeKalb, Illinois, U. S. Patent No. 157,124 for “An Improvement in Wire Fences”. His invention revolutionized fencing, and launched an industry that created a lasting environmental, economic, educational, social, and political impact on our country. Had it not been for Glidden's invention, our museum and annual festival would never have existed. To celebrate, we are dedicating part of our show to honor Glidden and his invention.

This fall, we are planning to participate in a celebration at the Glidden Homestead Museum in DeKalb, Illinois on September 28 & 29, 2024.