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June Jaunt Kicks Off with Media Challenge
Saturday events include fashion, history
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Great Bend Tribune graphic artist Hugo Gonzalez attempts to kick a sticky ball onto a dartboard target Thursday afternoon in Jack Kilby Square as part of the annual June Jaunt Media Challenge. The Tribune lost to Eagle Radio in double overtime in the “Kick Darts” competition. The game is one of several jumbo games that will be set up downtown along with all the other activities for June Jaunt this weekend. - photo by DALE HOGG Great Bend Tribune

June Jaunt got off to an early start Thursday when the Great Bend Tribune and Eagle Radio met for the annual Media Challenge.

Great Bend Community Coordinator Christina Hayes chose a contest that both teams agreed to; after the Tribune rejected “Slip ‘n Slide Kickball,” the teams prepared to play Kick Darts. The Tribune lost to Eagle Radio in double overtime. Kick Darts and other jumbo games will be set up in the courthouse square this weekend for community enjoyment.  

Friday’s June Jaunt events include a free outdoor movie “Incredibles II” in the courthouse square, as well as the Great Bend Public Library’s Blast Off to its Summer Reading Program. The library will have a Kansas Cosmosphere program and activities from noon to 5 p.m., followed by a program by dog sled racer Karen Land and her dog Noggin at 5:30 p.m.

The Great Bend Bat Cats will play their first home game of the season at 7 p.m. at Al Burns Memorial Field, located north of Veterans Park at West 17th St. Terrace. Admission is free and there will be fireworks after dusk. 

History and fashion

A number of events take place downtown Saturday. (See the Community Events calendar on page 3.) These include a history tour of downtown Great Bend led by Karen Neuforth, research coordinator of the Barton County Historical Society.

The tour will start at 10 a.m. Saturday, next to the band shell in the courthouse square. According to Tina Mingenback, executive director of the Barton County Historical Society Museum and Village, this free walking tour will take participants to some businesses on Main Street, including Chelsea Mitchell Photography at 1401 Main (formerly the Barton County Arts Center) and upstairs above Renue Salon & Spa, 1419 Main. 

They will also tour the former Masonic Temple, now home to Perks Coffee Shop at 1216 Lakin Ave. The walk will also take people through the courthouse square and its artwork, The “Rifleman” statue honoring Civil War soldiers and “The Gift,” a sculpture that pays tribute to Great Bend native son Jack Kilby, inventor of the microchip.

“We will have a table set up for people who want to update their membership or become a member or make a donation for the tour,” Mingenback said.

The historical society staff will also emcee the fashion show that starts at noon Saturday at the band shell. Stores such as Bling, The Buckle and Renue will provide the fashions.

Fly-in at MACK Field 

The Model Association of Central Kansas (MACK) members will be at the Roger Brining Model Airport located at 114 SW 20 Ave., south of the intersection of Patton Road and Railroad Ave., from 1 p.m. until dusk on Saturday, weather permitting. This program is for all ages, but children must be accompanied by at least one adult. The event will be postponed until 1 p.m. Sunday if the wind is 30 mph or greater or if it’s raining.

MACK is an organization providing a safe, family-oriented environment to promote education and wholesome recreation through modeling activities. Members will be flying and talking about model airplanes throughout the day. For more information about this event, contact MACK member Cory at 282-4878. This event is co-sponsored by the Great Bend Recreation Commission.

Sunday wrap-up

Although the June Jaunt’s scheduled activities in Great Bend conclude on Saturday, June Jaunt is all about what communities along K-96 — from Great Bend to Tribune — have to offer. A schedule for each participating community can be found online at

In Great Bend, Sunday’s events are perfect for the family, Hayes said.

“On the Chief’s Badge Hunt you can get the clues on the Explore Great Bend Facebook page and go look around,” Hayes said.

The June Jaunt calendar lists a fishing derby, but Hayes said it’s actually more of a fishing day. The Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism announced that anglers can fish without a fishing license at public waters on Saturday and Sunday, June 1 and 2, thanks to “Free Fishing Days.”

“Since we have so much water, you might as well go see what you can catch,” Hayes said. “And Sunday is also a day that we encourage families to go have a picnic in the park. They should also go check out the Great Bend Brit Spaugh Zoo and Wetlands Waterpark.”

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Great Bend Tribune staff cheer for the team during the Kick Darts game Thursday. - photo by Susan Thacker