Archive for Thursday, May 10, 2007

Familiar joins new at Lansing DAZE ‘07

May 10, 2007

Sure there was a lot of "new" at this year's Lansing DAZE: A new date, a new venue, for example.

But a staple of the annual festival again delighted crowds throughout Saturday.

Jumping motorcycles onto platforms and feats of balance were just a few stunts members of the Mid-America Trials team demonstrated for the Lansing DAZE festival crowd on Saturday.

Three members of the 40-member strong Mid-America Trials team performed throughout the day. The stunts the riders performed on Saturday are not typical of trial riding.

"This type of riding is relegated to demonstrations we do," said Bonner Springs resident Jason Carpenter, who rode Saturday with his brothers, Scott of Bonner Springs and Marc of Blue Springs, Mo.

Carpenter said he and his brothers participated in observed motorcycle trials. The course is predetermined and is broken up into sections. The goal is to get the lowest score possible. Points are assigned for mistakes.

For example, a rider would get a point if his foot touched the ground to regain his balance, he said.

"Trials is about 50 percent ability and 50 percent mentality," he said.

Carpenter said trials riding was a good family sport - he and his brothers began riding because of their father - and that riders of all ages could participate in it.

"It's a laid-back sport," he said.

Shanae Randolph, Lansing's director of economic development/Convention and Visitors Bureau, said scores turned out for the annual festival, which was moved up this year to the first weekend in May from its traditional dates on the second weekend in July. Most of the activities were conducted in Towne Center, rather than on the grounds of City Hall and the parking lot of The Overlook restaurant.

"If you looked up the hill at the inflatables, it was packed," Randolph said. "I think we had a great turnout. There was a lot going on in the community - the elementary school carnival, the Tiny K fundraiser - so a lot of people were out bouncing around."

Lansing DAZE combined efforts with the city's Blues, Brew and Bar-B-Q Cook-off, which drew 30 barbecuers.

The traditional Lansing DAZE finale, a fireworks show choreographed by Lansing resident Jamie Miller, was another big hit.

"Jamie designed another wonderful show, and the parking lots were full of people watching. We were pleased," she said.

- Kim Lynch is a University of Kansas journalism student. Her work will appear this semester in The Current.

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