Archive for Wednesday, February 25, 2009

5 Questions: Sampler’s new home

Kelly directs state festival from downtown

Keyta Kelly is the director of the 2010 and 2011 Kansas Sampler Festival. She recently set up the main festival office downtown.

Keyta Kelly is the director of the 2010 and 2011 Kansas Sampler Festival. She recently set up the main festival office downtown.

February 25, 2009

The Kansas Sampler Festival will be coming to Leavenworth County in 2010 and 2011. Tonganoxie’s Keyta Kelly, who does contract work for the county, also is director of the Leavenworth County festival. Kelly recently set up the festival headquarters inside the Kelly Law Office in downtown Tonganoxie.

What exactly is the Kansas Sampler Festival?

The Kansas Sampler Festival was designed to bring communities and attractions from all over the state together to make it easy for the public to discover day trip possibilities. In other words, the primary purpose of the festival is to provide the public a sample of what there is to see, do, hear, taste, buy and learn in Kansas. It educates the public about the diversity of our state's culture and enhances the economy of our Kansas communities and the festival participants. The reason for rotating the festival is to give exhibitors statewide exposure, to give the public in every part of the state a chance to experience the festival, and to give each host city a chance to showcase themselves to a statewide audience. Whether you are looking for hiking trails, historic sites, natural landmarks, unique restaurants, off-the-beaten track eateries, Kansas wineries, architectural gems, hole-in-wall performing centers, artists-at-work, specialty shops, or have-to-be-there Kansas events, you'll find them at the Kansas Sampler Festival.

Why did you want to bring it to Leavenworth County?

The Kansas Sampler Festival is a tremendous economic opportunity for Leavenworth County. Last year the Kansas Sampler Festival was held in Concordia. It attracted approximately 7,000 visitors over a 2-day weekend - more than the actual population of Concordia! Can you imagine how many people will attend the festival when it is held in Leavenworth County? We are predicting that the Festival will bring 15,000 to 20,000 people to Leavenworth to spend their money at our local gas stations, restaurants and stores. The exhibitors and vendors will fill our hotels for the weekend. We anticipate that those who come to Leavenworth County to participate in the Festival will discover what we have to offer and will return at sometime in the future to experience the county at a more leisurely pace. Once again adding to our local economy.

What can people expect the first year at the Kansas Sampler Festival in Leavenworth County?

People can expect to spend a day being entertained and educated. In 2010, the Kansas Sampler Festival will take place Saturday May 1 and Sunday, May 2. The festival will be held at the Ray Miller Park on Fourth Street in Leavenworth. There will be more than 300 exhibitors from across the state of Kansas. Kansas communities will tell what they have to see and do; dozens and dozens of entrepreneurs will be selling their Kansas-made products; Kansas entertainers of all genres will perform throughout the festival, sell their CD's and schedule future bookings; historical performers will provide a sampling of the many characters from Kansas' past; Kansas wineries and microbreweries will provide samples of their products; Kansas questions will asked at The Stump and prizes will be given; and food booths will tell the Kansas story through their menus.

What kind of reactions have you been getting from local communities or residents about having the festival in this county?

The reactions have been very positive. Those that have attended the Kansas Sampler Festival in the past and are familiar with it are very excited about having it in their community. Those that have not heard of the Kansas Sampler Festival are generally very curious and excited about learning about it.

What is the best way for someone to find out more about the sampler festival in the county?

Call me! I'm always happy to talk about it. The phone number for the Kansas Sampler Festival 2010 is (913) 417.7575.

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