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Ellinwood June Jaunt taking shape
new vlc june juant logo for Ellinwood story

At Tuesday’s Ellinwood City Council meeting, Chamber of Commerce Director Jacque Isern reported on plans in the works for the Fifth Annual June Jaunt scheduled for Saturday, June 4.

With the city anticipating being part-way through a major road project along Santa Fe, exact locations of the events planned are still to be determined. For this reason, Isern requested, and received, the use of any and all city owned property, and promised to keep the council informed as the logistics of the one day, multi-city event unfold.

June Jaunt happens along Hwy 96 form Ellinwood to Tribune. The first June Jaunt was in 2012, and has had a different theme and activities each year. The purpose is to encourage tourism of each of the small towns along the route. Last year, the theme was barn quilts. This year, the theme is “All American weekend Central Western Kansas.”

The Ellinwood car show returns, but already the grassy area west of the American Legion Post building has been ruled out for events. Still, the goal is to remain downtown or as close to downtown as possible so visitor traffic will still be directed through Main Street. Possible locations included behind Home Lumber, the high school parking lot, or around Wolf Park.

Isern is also working closely with the Ellinwood Recreation Commission to organize a sponsored co-ed softball tournament. The event has the potential to be a fundraiser, Isern said.

Members of the Great Bend chapter of the Experimental Aircraft Association are working on a collaboration with the Wichita-based Kansas Pilots Association to bring a fly-in to Ellinwood that weekend also. Rob Dove and Kenneth Lebbin spoke briefly about their vision. Between six and 25 aircraft are expected.

Dove said the Wichita group is also working on organizing a drive-in to accompany the fly-in, with visitors coming to visit the underground tunnels and other sites around the city.

Lebbin also took the opportunity to hint at a potential new attraction he’s been pursuing with support from the Ellinwood American Legion Post to acquire for display. After visiting a site in Arizona where retired military aircraft is stored, he began researching how one could be brought to Ellinwood as a static display. More details would follow, he said.  Council member Gaila Nielson volunteered that if city support was needed to secure the display, the council would provide it.  

Isern said Chris McCord, owner of The Historic Wolf Hotel, is also working on a June Jaunt event, possibly a murder mystery or something having to do with paranormal activity. More information will be available soon.

Other June Jaunt activities will include a city-wide garage sale, and possibly vendors at Wolf Park.