To celebrate 150 years of statehood, Kansas cities are invited to participate in the Sunflower Parade in Wichita on October 8. More details are available on the state’s website:
The Sunflower State’s Biggest Birthday Bash Ever!
WHAT: The Kansas 150 Festival is a daylong birthday celebration featuring the
Kansas Sunflower Parade; a fair with historic reenactors, Kansas attractions and vendors of food, arts and cultural products; concluding with a “Home on the Range” concert that tells the history of Kansas in song, poetry and video. The Kansas 150 Festival is being organized by civic leaders, and is endorsed by Governor Sam Brownback, the Kansas Association of Counties and the League of Kansas Municipalities.
WHO: Everyone in Kansas is invited to join the thousands of people expected to participate in the state’s biggest birthday bash ever, celebrating 150 years of life in Kansas. Towns, cities, high schools, universities, civic organizations, companies and reenactors are invited to put floats and marching units in the Kansas Sunflower Parade to show off their unique part of Kansas’ history and heritage. Marching bands from across Kansas – from high schools, colleges, universities and the military — are invited to help make the parade a rousing, rollicking good time. Kansas vendors and reenactors are encouraged to show off their wares at the fair.
WHEN: Saturday, October 8, 2011. The parade begins at 11 a.m., followed by the fair at noon and the “Home on the Range” concert at 2:30 p.m. Governor Brownback and Wichita Mayor Carl Brewer will lead the festivities and more than 60 musical performers will be featured at the concert being staged by the Kansas Chapter of the Western Music Association.
WHERE: Downtown Wichita. The Kansas Sunflower Parade will march through downtown Wichita and flow into the fair at Kennedy Plaza at Century II Performing Arts Center, where the “Home on the Range” concert will be held in Convention Hall.
COST: Participation in the parade is free, but registration is required. Tickets for the “Home on the Range” concert are $5. There is a $25 registration set-up fee for booths at the fair, but that price includes two tickets to the concert.>
BACKGROUND: Wichita Mayor Brewer, president of the League of Kansas Municipalities, is serving as chair of the Kansas 150 Festival and is organizing the celebration with Gov. Brownback, Overland Park Mayor Carl Gerlach, immediate past president of the League, and Dodge City Councilman Jim Sherer, the League’s president-elect, along with other business and civic leaders from across Kansas.
HOW YOU CAN HELP: Corporate sponsorships, parade and festival participants are encouraged to participate. To learn how you can become involved and to register to participate, please call Go Wichita Convention and Visitors Bureau, at 316-660-6395.
According to the Emporia Gazette, many communities are already signed up:
Organized by a committee led by Wichita Mayor Carl Brewer and former Wichita Eagle publisher Skip Hidlay, the festival is designed to celebrate Kansas’s 150th birthday. Governor Brownback has endorsed the festival as the official statewide celebration.
More than one hundred entries from across the state have already signed up for the 12-block parade route on Douglas Avenue between Wichita’s East High School and Century II Performing Arts Center. Entries range from marching bands and politicians to tourism attractions and Midian Shriners. Floats, “wearable icons,” farm equipment, marching bands, historical re-enactors, bicycles, and horses are all welcome.
Communities are encouraged to promote their traditional tourism or explorer attractions. Some communities that have already signed up to participate in the parade are Smith Center, Radium, Glasco, Lucas, Sedan, Liberal, Atchison, Grant County, Goodland, Colby, Hutchinson, Dodge City, and Phillipsburg. Some attractions that will be featured are the Home on the Range cabin, Smith County; Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop and Farm, Olathe; the five national park service sites; Pioneer Bluffs, Chase County; Mid America Air Museum, Liberal and the Amelia Earhart Birthplace Museum, Atchison.
Visit ks150.kansas.gov for more information.