Although Nicodemus is a small town, during their Homecoming (July 29-Aug 1) weekend, the city fills up with descendants and friends who come to celebrate its rich heritage and the emancipation of slavery. The Nicodemus National Historic Site, the last remaining all-Black town west of the Mississippi River, is one of the most significant locations in African-American history. 

The Nicodemus Homecoming Committee has a ton of exciting family fun events planned for the weekend.

July 29th: 6-9 p.m. – Registration, Early Arrivals Meet & Greet 

July 30th: All Day – Fun & Games

1-4 p.m. – Ellis Trail Bus Tour 

6-12 p.m. – Music in the Park 

July 31st: 8 a.m. – 5K Run/Walk 

8-10 a.m. – Pancake Feed 

11 a.m. – Parade – Guest Speakers Donna McClish 

12-3 p.m. – Kids Corner 

1 p.m. – A.M.E Methodist Church Museum Dedication

3 p.m. – Performance by A.R.I.S.E. – Click here to check out their website

4 p.m. – Fashion and Talent Show            

5 p.m. – Vintage Baseball Game 

6-12 p.m. – Music in the Park 

August 1st: 11 a.m. – Church Service 

There will be a free Covid-19 vaccine clinic on-site Saturday, July 31. Pfizer or Johnson and Johnson vaccines will be available to people ages 12 or older. Free testing and free health screenings will be available for participants of all ages. The clinic includes will include a $50 gift card giveaway to the first 40 people participating

The emancipation anniversary commemorates the migration of around 300 freed slaves from Kentucky, Tennessee, and Mississippi to a new land on the Great Plains in 1877. Each family was eligible to claim 160 acres to establish a living under the Homestead Act of 1862.

Hundreds of immigrants came by rail at the closest terminal in Ellis and walked 35 miles, a two-day trek, to what they would call home over the years. Nicodemus had a bustling population of almost 600 people at its heyday, with sprawling businesses such as banks and hotels.

“Here was a time period when African-Americans pulled themselves up by their bootstraps and became very viable citizens in their own towns,” Angela Bates told KSN News. Bates is the executive director of Nicodemus Historical Society and descendant. 

The descendants of Nicodemus take great pride in their town’s rich history and distinctive tale. Those still in the community are trying to keep the town’s history alive and help revive the town by supporting projects that attract tourists and encouraging them to make Nicodemus their home.

For more information or to donate, visit: 

Donations can also be mailed to: 

Nicodemus Homecoming Committee

 P.O. Box 3 Hill City, KS 67642

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