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Toledo, Ohio Early 1900's

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Wamba Carnival


Toledo Ohio had much celebration through out the years, but the most popular happen during the early 1900’s. It was called the King Wamba Carnival, the Mardi Gras of the north. During the King Wamba Carnival in Toledo, Ohio August 24-28 1909, historical events of the Seventh Century that took place at Toledo, Spain the ancient Spanish capital will be exemplified. The modern Toledo on the great lakes (what it was called in the early 1900) derived its name from Toledo, Spain, which establishes the relationship between the two cities.


The Entrance to the Plaza at the Wamba Carnival in Toledo, Ohio was at Jackson Street and Spielbusch Avenue.


King Wamba and Queen Sancha makes their way down the Red carpet.


The King and Queen getting off the Royal Barge.

The story of King Wamba


    After the death of the last King of the old Spanish dynasty, so the tradition runs, the pretenders to the Throne could not agree upon a sovereign, and were compelled to send to Rome to have the Pope decide for them. The Pope told the envoys that he who was to be King of Spain would be found plowing his fields with a gray and white ox and his name would be Wamba.

     The country was searched and Wamba found. The envoys sent messengers on before to tell the Council of the Kingdom that the new King would return to Toledo with them. The council went out to meet the King, who was accompanied by his wife Sancha and their children; the people followed and the joy-bells were set ringing. As the Royal Party entered the city, all the people looked out of their balconies crying “Toledo and Spain for Wamba. “And also for Queen Sancha


The Wamba parade going down Madison Ave. to 13th St. The King and Queen are seated on the throne under the canopy.


The royal couple arrives.


The Royal barge going up the Maumee River.


The corination of King Wamba and Queen Sancha in a ceramoney in Toledo, Ohio during the Wamba Carnival.


    Thus they conducted the good King to the Palace and put on him a Royal robe; Queen Sancha was arrayed in a robe of green velvet. Then they went forth to the Cathedral to be crowned. The ground was strewn with flowers and the air was filled with benedletions.

    Wamba’s reign is spoken of the history as “ the era of Wisdom and Justice,” and the reign of Wamba in the new Toledo will be one of gaiety, hilarity and joy, excelling, if possible, the Mardi Gras of New Orleans and other like events that have added fame and splendor to many of our thriving cities.


King Wamba was lumber company president Robert Hixon and socialite Ethel Chesbrough was Queen Sancha. The Chesbrough’s were wealthy lumber dealers from East Toledo. The Toledo paper said she was one of the most beautiful women in Toledo.