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Despite COVID-19, a lot is happening
Resurfacing slides
A Great Bend city employee spruces up the Wetlands Waterpark Friday afternoon after Baynum Painting of Newport, Ky., had finished resurfacing the slides. Plans are to open the pool on June 15. - photo by BY DALE HOGG Great Bend Tribune

The Great Bend Convention and Visitors Bureau Board met last Friday. Ironically, the topic of the meeting held virtual due to the COVID-19 pandemic was getting outside and the myriad summer activities designed to draw people together.

“The board members discussed how important it is to really promote what outdoor activities we can do here in Great Bend,” CVB and Community Coordinator Christina Hayes said. She was speaking to the City Council Monday night and handed out flyers highlighting what is planned so council members could “take them home and share with all your friends all the fun things that they can do.”

The information also including shopping and dining establishments.

“We do want to promote what we have and what we can do for the locals. There are lots of things to get out and go explore still,” she said.

As for what’s coming up, she said plenty of occasions remain in the calendar, despite the virus. “I think there are a lot of people who are ready to start having some events.”

Of course, there is a caveat. Her office produced the flyer knowing it is subject to change due to the whims of COVID-19. 

Nonetheless, the publication has met with positive feedback, she said.

“They’re saying ‘oh wow, things are going to start happening.’”

One of the big events of the spring and summer, June Jaunt, has already been canceled. But, items on the docket include:

• The jumbo Monopoly in June. Participating stores will have their big Monopoly boards and give stickers to customers who can win gift cards.

• The joint City of Great Bend-Barton County Summer Street Stroll will kick off Thursday, June 4. It will run Thursdays through Oct. 15, and is the only sanctioned farmers market in Great Bend, Hayes said.

As for other farmers markets, Hayes said the city doesn’t want any markets to open until after June 1 due to COVID-19 safety concerns.

• “We are planning on doing Ladies Night Out,” Hayes said. This annual event is set for June 18. 

• The Sunflower Rod and Custom Association races are still kind of up in the air as far as early June, she said. But by late June, races will be taking place. Race Week, one of the key events at the historic track, is on for the last weekend in June. 

“That would be really good,” she said. “It would possibly bring in some transient guest tax for us as well.” 

• The Barton County Fair Association announced its going to hold the fair July 8-12. In the upcoming weeks, they will outline format changes to allow exhibitors and the community to stay.

• The citywide garage sale is scheduled for July 18.

• Party in the Park, which is always the second Saturday in August, is set for Aug. 8.

• The City and the Great Bend Recreation Commission are still planning on having some of the sport tournaments which come to town from June through August.

“We’re pretty excited about that,” Hayes said. “So, those are just some of the fun events that we’re that we’re proud of, and hopefully we can get back to normal again.”

Party in the Park
Kids enjoy the water during Great Bend’s 2019 Party in the Park Wet-Dry Parade last August. This year’s event is one of several activities still on the books for this spring and summer. - photo by Great Bend Tribune file photo