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City ready to pack the park
Council sets stage for annual Party in the Park
new deh city council party in the park pic web
Shown is the wet/dry parade from last years Party in the Park. The Great Bend City Council Monday night approved key components of the annual city-sponsored celebration held at Veterans Memorial Park. - photo by Tribune file photo

Here is a quick look at what the Great Bend City Council did Monday night:

• Approved an ordinance changing the council’s regular meeting time from 7:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. On June 19, the council a approved a motion changing the start times, but the matter required an ordinance to make the switch permanent.

The only objection came from Councilman Brock McPherson who noted several governing body members, including himself and Mayor Joe Andrasek, were late Monday night. He moved to make the time 7 p.m., but that died for a lack of a second.

The 6:30 start time then passed 7-1, with McPherson being the only dissenting vote.

• Held a 45-minute executive session to discuss the three finalists for the city administrator’s position. No action was taken.

• Approved several items paving the way for the annual Party in the Park on Aug. 11 at Veterans Memorial Park.

• Heard an economic development report from Great Bend Chamber of Commerce President Jan Peters. 

• Heard a report on city activities from Interim City Administrator George Kolb. 

• Approved an abatement at 220 Heizer St., accumulation of refuse, owned by Kathleen Watkins.

 Paving the way for Great Bend’s Party in the Park on Aug. 11, the Great Bend City Council Monday night approved key components of the annual city-sponsored celebration held at Veterans Memorial Park.

“The Party in the Park is planned and we are almost ready to pack the park,” Community Coordinator Christina Hayes said. She made the annual requests for the required special permissions.

There will be: the Obstacle Mud Run (returning after a hiatus); Oozefest Mud Volleyball Tournament; Kiwanis canoe races; a kite display; car show; Optimist kids zone games and activities; cake eating contest; food vendors; free swing dance lesson; a concert featuring Alex Moyers, Ricky Fugitt, and Shane Smith and the Saints; and fireworks.

This marks the sixth year for the city-sponsored celebration. It is a chance for city officials to say thank you to the community. It is also a way to bring family activities back to Vets.

“The City of Great Bend staff is looking forward to joining together to help with this event,” Hayes said. “We appreciate council’s support and willingness to make such a great event happen for the community.”

The council approved: 

• The closure and blocking off of McKinley Street and 17th Street Terrace starting at 9:50 a.m. to allow for Great Bend Wet/Dry Parade. This will run east down 17th Street Terrace. The first half will be dry, but at the end, those watching who want to can exchange water volleys with participants.

“It’s basically a big water fight,” Hayes said.

• The closure of 17th Street Terrace west of McKinley Street to White Sands Drive from after the parade to midnight to utilize for extra parking and allow one-way traffic to be directed to the west and have the street completely closed to all traffic except the car show from McKinley Street to the low road coming from the park. 

Traffic will only be allowed to go one way through Vets Park at the north entrance of the park and the exit on 17th Street Terrace. 

• The discharge of fireworks in Vets on that day by contracted officials only for the fireworks display starting around 10 p.m. The display will be set up on the south peninsula of the lake by the big shelter house. That area will be closed off starting at 7 p.m. for safety and insurance purposes. 

• Allowing non-street-legal cars that are affiliated with any car club to be able to preregister and travel no more than 12 blocks to get to the Party in the Park Car Show.

These cars will be parked for the duration of the car show and will be home before dark, especially if they don’t have working taillights or signals. Most of the cars will be trailered and delivered down to the park, but there are a few that it’s just easier to drive down to the show. 

• Allowing 3.2 cereal malt beverages to be in the park for the day. The concerts will be over around 11:45 p.m.; however, city personnel will still have some time to clear out the crowd and also allow staff time for cleaning up and taking down past midnight. 

Spectators can bring in coolers with 3.2 beer, no bottles or glass. There will be security with the Great Bend Police Department and the American Legion Riders to check IDs of those that bring in the coolers.

• To allow people to be in the park past midnight for cleanup.

Handicap transportation on golf carts will be available. The Great Bend Police Department will help with traffic flow, parking and parade procedures.