Great Bend and other western Kansas communities will kick off summer this weekend with June Jaunt festivities, beginning Friday night and running through Sunday afternoon.
Much of this year’s festivities in Great Bend will take place downtown at Jack Kilby Square; however several other organizations in Great Bend will host events throughout the weekend in connection with June Jaunt.
“It’s a fun festival that has a little something for everyone,” said Great Bend Community Coordinator Christina Hayes.
“This event features arts, antiques, crafts, cuisine, music, entertainment and so much more.”
Hayes said the event has become a staple festival as a summer kickoff in Great Bend and 2022 marks the 11th year of the annual event.
The fire and police chief’s badge hunt will return this year. Explore Great Bend will post clues as to the locations of the badges at 8 a.m., noon and 6 p.m. all three days of the event. Participants will have a chance to win a $50 gift card to any Great Bend store.
Jumbo yard games will also return to Jack Kilby Square this year. There are 12 games, including this year’s new addition, jumbo horseshoes.
Along with the games will be an inflatable zone for kids.
The annual classic car show and open cruise will take place Friday night, hosted by Shfiters of Central Kansas, and beginning on the south end of Jack Kilby Square, entering on the east of Lakin Avenue.
The beer garden, outdoor food and vendor fair at Jack Kilby Square, and free fishing at Veterans Lake and Stone Lake will also make their returns this year.
Other Friday night events
The community will also celebrate Great Bend’s 150th anniversary with a ticketed dinner Friday night at 6:30 p.m. at Jack Kilby Square. Tickets for the dinner are $3 and must be purchased in advance, either at the Great Bend Events Center or City Hall.
The city will also host an outdoor showing of the movie “Bolt” at the Clayton Moses Bandshell in Jack Kilby Square, beginning at dusk. GBPD officers will be on hand for a meet-and-greet during the evening event.
Live music and entertainment
This year’s live entertainment docket will feature both new and returning performers at Jack Kilby Square throughout the day Saturday.
The lineup will rotate between musical acts on stage in the band shell and variety performers on a smaller stage in the center of Jack Kilby Square. This year’s musical acts will cover a variety of styles and genres with performances throughout the day and night Saturday.
Musical performers include Encounter Worship, Water Heater, Meraki, Dark Revival, Slim Pickins, and Homebrew.
Among this year’s other returning live performers will be returning performer Matthew the Magician, who Hayes said has been a part of every June Jaunt celebration. The Business/Family Olympics competition, Dr. Dumpe’s Comedy Danger Show, Flow Foundry Aerial Performers and Phlox Fire performers will also be part of this year’s entertainment lineup.
• At the Great Bend Sports Complex, the Great Bend Recreation Commission will host a Hap Dumont Youth Baseball tournament for age groups ranging from 7 through 14 and under. The tournament will run Saturday and Sunday.
• The National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) will host Great Bend National drag races at the Sunflower Rod and Custom Association (SRCA) Drag Strip west of Great Bend Friday night and Saturday.
• The Great Bend Public Library will kick off its Summer Reading Program with a luau on the front lawn beginning at 2 p.m. Friday and concluding with an adults night out movie indoors at 7:30 p.m. The luau events will include teen tiki bar and games, with a performance by steel drum artist Brad Shores at 5 p.m.
• Model Association of Central Kansas will host a come-and-go model airplane flying event beginning at 1 p.m. Saturday through dusk at the Roger Brining Model Airport, located at 114 SW 20 Ave.
• The Great Bend Bat Cats will face off against the Wichita Dirtbags at Al Burns Field west of Veterans Park at 6 p.m. Saturday.
• Sunday beginning at 10 a.m., Brit Spaugh Zoo will hold an “Alien Takeover.” Visitors are encouraged to hunt for aliens and turn them in for prizes. The event runs through 3 p.m.
For more information and a full schedule, visit www.greatbendks.net, or contact the CVB at 620-793-4111. Information is also available at the Great Bend City Office at 1209 Williams St.
Other communities participating in June Jaunt this year include Tribune, Leoti, Scott City and Dighton.