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Council agrees to help sponsor Cinco de Mayo
Plans for downtown summer activities OKed
new deh gb city council 4-5-16 cinco de mayo pic
Organizers hope to make this years Cinco de Mayo bigger and better than in years past. - photo by Tribune file photo

 It was a meeting that almost didn’t happen.

The Great Bend City Council had a short agenda Monday night and city officials were planning on a short meeting. However, when it came time to start, there was no quorum.

Five members of the eight member council were required to conduct business and present were council members Joel Jackson, Vicki Berryman, Allene Owen and Mike Zinn. City officials knew Councilman Wayne Henneke would be gone, but also absent were Erika Julian, Matt Hiss and Dana Dawson.

Calls, text messages and emails were exchanged with the missing council members. Finally after about a 15-minute delay, Dawson was reached and he arrived five minutes later.

The only thing the abbreviated council could do was reschedule the meeting, and they were on the verge of doing just that when they contacted Dawson. This would have been necessary since the city can’t pay any of its bills until they are approved by the council.

Once there were five members present, they made quick work of business.

Cinco de Mayo

Organizers hope to make the Great Bend Cinco de Mayo bigger and better, but to make that happen it may take a little public support. To that end, the Great Bend City Council Monday night authorized $1,000 to help with for additional local activities and promotions for this year’s event.

The 2016 Cinco De Mayo Festival is scheduled for 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, May 7, at Jack Kilby Square.

“The Cinco De Mayo festival is ready for another year of fun,” Community Coordinator Christina Hayes said. But, “because of the challenges in past year we have had a hard time getting sponsorships and funding to help put on this event.”

Cinco De Mayo Coordinator Jose Hernandez is in charge of planning the 2016 event and met with Hayes to discuss ways  to make the Great Bend event bigger for this year. A poster has been created and Hernandez is interested in inviting and linking the public with this event and incorporating this event into the community and integrating the cultures. 

In order to pay for the performance and overall expenses of this event, Hernandez requested the city sponsorship of $1,000 for the first year. The committee is hoping to have a better grasp on next year’s event after a success and enhancement this year, Hayes said. “That the sponsorship won’t always be necessary, but this year it would help tremendously to keep the efforts alive and grow the event for the community.

“Having a little extra city promotion and support would really help make it better.”  

Organizers also requested and was granted assistance from Park Department with setup, layout and trash pick up for the festival.  

Summer Street Stroll

It won’t be long before summer is here, so the Great Bend City Council Monday night took action to make possible downtown activities.

The council granted permission to host the Summer Street Stroll Farmers Market each Thursday evening in Jack Kilby Square from June 3 to Sept. 8, as well as to block parking spots on the South East end of the Square starting at noon on these days. 

And, it authorized authorize people to be in Jack Kilby Square between 10 p.m. to midnight Fridays May 13, June 3, July 22, and Thursday Aug. 4 for the free outdoor movies in the park. 

“As most of you know, the Summer Street Stroll Farmers Market is back and it’s continuing to get bigger and better,” Community Coordinator Christina Hayes said. “Aside from providing the public with fresh fruits, veggies, arts and crafts, we are providing the public with an opportunity to stroll our beautiful downtown and make memories.” 

Great Bend is part of the statewide initiative of the Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program which gives access to senior citizens with income restrictions money each month to purchase fresh fruits and produce from our market vendors who were licensed. For four years Great Bend has finally been on the state list for sanctioned farmers markets only because of the Thursday Night Summer Street Stroll and obeying the State of Kansas strict set of rules. 

This is the only sanction farmers market in Great Bend, Hayes said.

“Thanks to the Barton County Health Departments partnership with that, our Summer Street Stroll is on the list with the State of Kansas as a successful farmers market,” Hayes said. 

The City of Great Bend is providing free outdoor movie nights again this summer, she said. This year they have chosen four dates for the movies. These include: 

• Friday. May 13: “American Graffiti” (in conjunction with Horsepower on the Plains Cruise Night)

• Friday. June 3: “The Little Rascals” (June Jaunt)

• Friday, July 22: “Footloose” (part of Summer Sidewalk Sale which will take place Friday evening as well as Saturday)

• Thursday, Aug. 4: “Jumanji”