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Wet or dry? Parade offers both
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Great Bend Community Coordinator Christina Hayes, left, and Irma Gonzalez, visitor service representative for the Great Bend Convention and Visitors Bureau, show off squirt sticks that will be given away at the Wet/Dry Parade during Party in the Park on Aug. 12. - photo by Veronica Coons/Great Bend Tribune

What you need to know

What: Party in the Park Wet/Dry Parade
When: 10 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 12
Where: 17th Street Terrance, on the south side of Veterans Memorial Park. Staging area is east of McKinley St. The parade will travel west on 17th St. Terrance and will be “dry” to the railroad tracks. West of the tracks, the water fight in on.
Wet: West of the railroad tracks. Bring water cannons, etc. (no water balloons). Water tanks will be available for refills and sponsors have 80 soaker sticks to hand out. Parade entries may spray the crowd.
Dry: Stay east of the railroad tracks if you want to watch/be in a parade without getting wet.
Parking: Don’t park on 17th St. Terrace in the morning. Parking is available in and around the park, and it’s a short walk to the viewing area.
Entries: There is no charge to enter the parade; entry forms available at the City Office, 1209 Williams St. For questions contact Christina Hayes, 620-793-4111 or

The Kiwanis Wet/Dry Parade will provide a fun way to cool off Saturday, Aug. 12, at Great Bend’s Party in the Park.
Be warned: While there will be places where spectators and parade entries can avoid being soaked, the biggest water fight ever to hit Veterans Memorial Park will start at 10 a.m.
“It’s just a lot of fun,” said Barb Esfeld, president of the Great Bend Noon Kiwanis. “Kids will love it, and what adult doesn’t love a water fight?”
Floats and other entries will travel west on 17th St. Terrace from McKinley St. and it will be a normal, “dry” parade at first, Esfeld said. If you don’t want to risk getting all wet, that is the best place to watch the parade. And if you’re in the parade, there’s a dry escape route at the end of that first leg.
“Then the real fun starts,” Esfeld said. As the parade proceeds across the railroad tracks, a public water fight will engage people on both sides of the street. They can fire at will at each other and at the parade entries. The parade entries will have their own water cannons and squirt toys.
“Wear your swim suits and bring a soaker,” Esfeld advised.
Great Bend Community Coordinator Christina Hayes said Kiwanis and the City have purchased 80 “squirt sticks” to hand out to participants, and Orscheln’s has donated stock tanks that will be filled with water for refills. People can bring their own water blasters, and everyone is encouraged to make a splash in a safe manner.
“No water balloons are allowed, and no squirting in the face,” Hayes said. “And there’s no water at all allowed to be squirted in the dry area.”
She added that the city is still taking entries.

All wet?
Esfeld attended her first wet/dry parade last year at Florence, Colorado. She didn’t know what to expect.
“I thought, ‘Is it wet if it rains and dry if it doesn’t?’ Then I saw it done and said, ‘We need to bring this to Party in the Park.’ It is a BLAST! The floats can squirt you and you can squirt the floats.”
The concept is simple, but Hayes agreed people who have never been in a wet/dry parade find it a bit confusing. The organizers in Florence told her that after the first year people caught on and the event has become more popular each year.
People may also be confused because Great Bend’s parades are typically staged on Main Street. Not this one; it will be on the south side of Veterans Memorial Park on 17th St. Terrance.
Later in the day, the Kiwanis will hold their annual kayak and canoe races on Veterans Memorial Lake. Participants can bring their own canoes and kayaks.