Archive for Thursday, March 17, 2011

2011 Kansas Sampler Festival seeking volunteers

March 17, 2011

Organizers of the Kansas Sampler Festival say they are determined to equal or surpass last year’s success at the festival’s second year in Leavenworth and can do so with volunteer help.

Bob Topping, Kansas Sampler Festival Committee president, and Keyta Kelly, festival director, on Monday updated the Tonganoxie City Council on the festival and its preparations.

Kelly told the council the festival committee’s goal was to match or exceed the 8,500 gate attendance and 325 vendors at last year’s Kansas Sampler Festival —the first year of its two-year run in Leavenworth’s Ray Miller Park. The festival this year will be the weekend of May 7 and 8.

Preparations are going well, Kelly said. Marketing will be geared up this year and will include billboards, radio spots and newspaper campaigns, she said.

But the festival’s success is dependent on volunteers. Kelly said 250 were needed to help set up before the event, perform various functions during the festival and tear down and clean the park after the festival ends.

The recruiting effort was boosted from commitments from many who volunteered last year, but more were still needed, Kelly said. Volunteers who work at least four hours receive a free festival pass and are invited to prefestival gathering with refreshments in Leavenworth, she said.

Festival organizers are also asking residents to donate golf carts and ATVs or RTVs for use at the festival. Kelly said four-passenger golf carts were particularly needed.

Also needed were straw bales and picnic tables, Kelly said. Organizers could arrange for the pick up and return of picnic tables, she said.

Those wanting to volunteer or donate items could call her at (913) 417-7575 or send an e-mail to keyta@sunflower.com, or call Patty Hagg at (913) 845-2620 ext. 1100 or send her an e-mail at council@tongie.org, Kelly said.

The goal of the festival is to teach Kansans about what there is to do, see, buy, taste and learn in their own state, Kelly said.

“Our goal is to encourage Kansans to take day or weekend trips within the state and learn that old adage that there’s nothing to see or do in Kansas is not true,” she said.

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