HUTCHINSON CVB RETURNS FROM SUCCESSFUL KANSAS CELEBRATION
May 11, 2012
Despite 96 degree weather on Saturday and cold temperatures and
wind on Sunday, more than five thousand people attended the 23rd annual Kansas
Sampler Festival in Liberal on May 5-6.
One hundred thirty communities from around the state, including Hutchinson were represented in the nearly 200 different
exhibits that were spread throughout Liberal's Light Park.
Representing the Hutchinson Convention/Visitors Bureau were
Valerie Harper and Judith O’Hara.
Festival-goers made stick horses in the Pottawatomie County tent,
watched sheep shearing in the Dickinson County tent, petted kangaroos at
Nickerson's Hedrick's Exotic Animal Farm booth, and rode a Mammoth Donkey from
Paradise Ranch Adventures from Council Grove.
Balloons imprinted with "Fly away to Northeast Kansas"
made a colorful entrance and were used to decorate a tent filled with
exhibitors from Northeast Kansas. Travel
exhibits showcasing unique rocks were found in a regional tent with the theme,
"North Central Rocks." Live entertainment was a constant in the
Northwest Kansas tent along with Kansas
games, popcorn, and information.
People tasted peppernuts from Newton
and beef from Scott
City. They bought
children's books from Tim Raglin of Independence
and metal artwork from Hugoton's Roger Lynch. Kansas questions were delivered from a Stump
by Marci Penner. Lindsborg's Swedish dancers, Native American Spirit Dancer
Dennis Rogers, and songs about Kansas
graced the stages. In first person rhetoric, historic performers shared Kansas history. Bierocks
from St. Francis, pancakes from Liberal, buffalo burgers from Wamego, and
homemade ice cream from Harper were some of the festival fare.
Muscotah promoted their baseball museum in a water tower tank and Manhattan promoted their new Flint Hills
Hutchinson's Kansas Underground
Iola's Fred Funston Home, and Kansas Scenic Byways were just a few of the
hundreds of day trips ideas that were shared.
A project of the Inman-based Kansas Sampler Foundation, the
festival purpose is to provide the public a sample of what there is to see, do,
hear, taste, and buy in Kansas.
Foundation director Marci Penner said, "The purpose of
educating another part of the state about Kansas was accomplished in festive fashion.
Liberal was an incredible host and we all look forward to returning next
people in Southwest Kansas were very interested in hearing about Hutchinson and Reno
County, so we are excited
to return to Liberal for the festival next year", said LeAnn Cox, CVB Director.
Local festival organizer Sally Fuller commented, "Our goal
was to provide a great backdrop for this Kansas
celebration. I am so proud of my city and the many volunteers that made that
The festival, the only one of its kind in the nation, will be held
in Liberal again in 2013 on May 4-5. It moves around the state every two years.