It would be difficult to find a Kansas community that isn't having some sort of festival this weekend. Close to home, there's June Jaunt all along K-96 from the Colorado border to Ellinwood, and Santa Fe Trail Days in Pawnee County.
Employees from the Larned Correctional Mental Health Facility carried the "Flame of Hope" from Larned to Great Bend on Wednesday in anticipation of the Special Olympics Summer Games. After reaching the edge of town, the LCMHF crew caught a ride to Brit Spaugh Park, where they joined members of The Storm Special Olympics team and Barton County law enforcement for a parade down Main Street to the courthouse.
Good magicians don't reveal their secrets, but scientists are happy to share. Monday afternoon, "Mad Scientist" Erik Pratt entertained dozens of children to kick off the summer reading program at the Great Bend Public Library.
Nearly 100,000 quilts have been individually presented to veterans since the national Quilts of Valor program started in 2003, and central Kansas quilters have provided many of them. Friday evening, local quilters surprised five veterans at Great Bend's American Legion Post 180 with quilts.
A Kansas Bishop's call for priests brought six young men from Ireland in the 1950s. On Sunday, one of those men, the Rev. Dermot Tighe, will celebrate the 60th anniversary of his priestly ordination during the prayer service at Prince of Peace, St. Patrick Church in Great Bend.
The Nextech Zoo Fest at Great Bend's Brit Spaugh Zoo is set for 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, June 7. That will be the first time the general public can purchase tickets for the fall fundraiser, a program by animal expert Jack Hanna, Zoo Director Scott Gregory said.
What will Kansas do, with thousands of potential voters in limbo? Kansas and Arizona passed laws requiring people to show proof of citizenship if they want to register to vote. But anyone who registers using the federal "motor voter" form just has to say he or she is a citizen. In January, Barton County had 315 "suspense voters," and 200 of those registrations were pending because proof of citizenship had not been submitted.
The Barton County Historical Museum and Village is honoring men and women in the armed forces this summer with free admission, and by displaying historic military uniforms and modern heirloom Quilts of Valor created especially for combat veterans.
Grady Bolding of Great Bend is in the running for a trip to Mars. The 27-year-old man says he wouldn't miss the opportunity to be part of a colony on the Red Planet, even though it would mean never returning to Earth.