For the fifth straight year, Hutchinson based music group/scooter gang, The Scukesters will be touring cities of all size in Kansas. This year the start of the tour coincides with Hawaiian Statehood Day, Friday Aug. 21st. An appropriate date because this music group’s instrument of choice is the Hawaiian instrument, the ukulele.
Formed in 2011 by Bob Colladay and Matt Parks, they began by just surprising each town along their chosen route with a short ukulele concert. By the next year they were arranging venues and specific times along the way, raising money for a different cause each year.
“On the first tour in 2011, people kept trying to tip us and give us money for playing. We kept saying we weren’t out for money, just fun. So the next year we decided that we would raise money for the otter exhibit at the Hutchinson Zoo. We typically raise over $500 for whatever cause we ride for.” said Colladay.
This year, the non-profit group is “Kansas Free for Arts” out of Emporia. It is a non-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the arts and arts education by means of producing community oriented hands-on arts experiences at no cost to the public as well as providing scholarships for art and music students in the state of Kansas.
This year for the fifth annual tour, The Scukesters are doing a two-day tour with 23 concerts in 22 cities in two days. They will travel through Reno, Stafford, Pawnee, Barton, Ellsworth and Rice counties before returning to Hutchinson on Saturday Aug. 22nd.
The route and show times are meticulously figured and refigured so that residents can count on the group arriving when they say they will. This is important because the concerts are short, usually 20-30 minutes depending on how far behind they are. Scooter and motorcycle riders are invited to ride with the Scukesters for any part or all of the route scooters must be able to safely ride at over 45 miles per hour.
“The most we’ve ever been behind is 20 minutes, due to mechanical troubles.” Parks said. “It gets pretty hectic, we don’t have much time to visit after the show, we are putting on gear, strapping the ukes down and headed to the next town and show.” he added.
The music is mostly light-hearted songs with some Hawaiian themes and folk style songs. A very fun time and family friendly. The music is the number one reason they do this, with scooter riding and Kansas tourism a close second and third.
Colladay finished by saying, “We love to come through these towns that some people may not even know about and shine the spotlight on them even if it’s just for 30 minutes.”
Follow The Scukesters on Facebook at: www.KSscootUkes.com
Friday August 21
7:30 a.m. Hutchinson Brewed Awakening
10 a.m. Hudson Wheatland Cafe
11:20 a.m Radium City Park
12:10 p.m. Larned Court House
2:20 p.m. Rozel City Park
3:45 p.m. Pawnee Rock P Lee’s Antiques & Memories
4:50 p.m. Great Bend Defy Expectations Clothing
5:45 p.m. Hoisington Tap Room
6:35 p.m. Susank JD’s Diner
8:00 p.m. Beaver City Park
8:45 p.m. Odin The Odin Store - Not a show
Saturday August 22
8 a.m. Holyrood C&V Convenient Store
9:15 a.m. Lorraine Centennial Park
10 a.m. Geneseo G-Stop
11 a.m. Bushton T-bird Center
12:20 p.m. Claflin Squeegy’s Bar and Grill
1:20 p.m. Ellinwood Annie Mae’s
2:20 p.m. Chase Kats Korner
3:40 p.m. Raymond City Park
4:30 p.m. Alden Reece’s Cafe
6 p.m. Sterling TNT Dairyland
7 p.m. Nickerson Flick’s
8:30 p.m. Hutchinson Rusty Needle