Archive for Thursday, May 12, 2011

Hooked on Kansas

May 12, 2011

What a weekend! There was so much going on in Leavenworth County there is no way we could take it all in. I wrote about it last week and now it’s over and we have fond memories. Lansing’s fabulous fireworks, music on Friday night and Saturday’s famous Kiwanis Pancake Breakfast, Quilt Show, Craft Show, more music and BBQ cookoff tasting contest. Everyone had a great time.

Right up the street was the Sampler Festival. We had great weather and lots of folks from all over the state of Kansas came to show off their cities and counties. The best thing of all was the people. I was there both days in the Art Tent and hundreds of people came by to shop and look and visit. I would always ask where they were from and invariably got into a conversation. I was not able to do any “tent hopping,” but Ada had a great time visiting the other tents and coming back with arms full of brochures and information. She discovered towns in Kansas that we had never heard of and insisted we make plans for weekends or day trips to visit some of these places.

Every little town has something to offer. The problem is most of us do not stop to think about it, and this is what the Sampler Festival is all about. The people that started all this 22 years ago were here for the festivities told us about it. The first one was on their farm in Inman and was a one-tent affair. It stayed there annually for 8 years and continued to grow. It went on the road and was decided each location would be for two years. Pratt hosted it in 1998 and 1999, Ottawa in 2000 and 2001, Independence 2002 and 2003, Newton 2004 and 2005, Garden City in 2006 and 2007, Concordia in 2008 and 2009 and Leavenworth in 2010 and 2011.

Next year the host town is Liberal located in southwest Kansas. I was surprised to learn that Liberal is the official home of Dorothy Gale of the Wizard of Oz, so next May follow the yellow brick road to Liberal, a town of over 21,000 people. The Kansas Sampler is always the first full weekend in May.


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