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June Jaunt one of many activities just around the corner
Rod Roy
Rod Roy’s 1948 Buick was the Best of Show for the second year in a row at the Paws & Claws Car Show that took place May 11 at Brit Spaugh Park. Sponsors from Golden Belt Humane Society and Adopt-A-Pet thanked the Great Bend City Council on Monday for the City’s role in another successful event.

June Jaunt is just days away and will again feature music, entertainment and more, Community Coordinator Christina Hayes told the Great Bend City Council on Monday. Her report also mentioned the upcoming KSHSAA State Baseball Tournament for Class 2-1A, and she invited representatives from the Golden Belt Humane Society/Adopt-A-Pet to talk about the success of a recent fundraiser, the 2024 Paws and Claws Car Show.

On top of all that, Monday’s meeting noted the success of the new Great Bend Splash Pad and the opening of the Wetlands Waterpark at Great Bend this Saturday. 

Both the Splash Pad and the waterpark had to be cleaned up Monday after Sunday’s storm, Assistant City Administrator Logan Burns said. “We had a lot of dirt blow into it.” The Splash Pad was closed Monday and the pool was drained completely to keep debris and mud from going through the filters. “It might be a little cold on Saturday but it is taken care of.”

Memorial Day flowers 

Burns also mentioned the rules for placing flowers at the Great Bend Cemetery for Memorial Day. People started placing them last Saturday, May 18. “Please pick up your flowers by Sunday, June 2,” he said. “Cemetery staff will be coming through on June 3 to pick all of those flowers up.”

June Jaunt

June Jaunt starts Friday, May 31, and continues through Sunday, June 2. May 31 is also the ribbon cutting for the newly remodeled Barton County Courthouse; the Parade Through Time; Fridays on Forest; the start of the Great Bend Public Library’s Summer Reading Program; the June Jaunt Car Show and Open Cruise Night; and the free outdoor movie, “Migration.”

Saturday, June 1, has activities in Jack Kilby Square and Explore Great Bend events at participating stores. Music and other entertainment takes place all day, with performances by Marvelous Matthew, Flow Foundry, The Circus Man, Flox Fire and several bands. Great Bend Community Theatre will put on a one-act play in the band shell, written by John O’Connor. Sponsors are working on setting up a Great Bend Business/Family Olympics Competition. And there will be a beer garden.

Sunday, June 2 is a bit quieter but there are some final activities. It is a free fishing day in Kansas, with no license needed, and there will be a HAP  Dumont baseball tournament. The zoo will be open.

After June Jaunt, the City Band concerts start on June 6.

Paws and Claws Car Show

Cathy Vonfeldt and Jean Clair gave the council members swag bags that were handed out to participants in the car show. Vonfeldt said the City has supported this event for the past three years since it moved from Walnut Bowl to Brit Spaugh Park. There were 88 entries this year.

“The comments were nothing but fantastic; it’s a great show. The venue is great; the park is awesome,” she said.

The purpose of Paws and Claws is to raise funds for the humane society. “We do several fundraisers throughout the year,” she said. Adopt-A-Pet is at Bomgaars, 5320 10th St., usually on the first Saturday of each month, with animals for adoption and food for sale; Clair makes and sells soups; and there are bake sales and garage sales and cash raffles. They will have a booth at June Jaunt.

Clair said she has been with Adopt-A-Pet for about 10 years. “The money raised goes for the direct care of animals at the shelter. We do surgeries, we do spays and neuters. State regulations require a pet to be spayed or neutered before they go out the door. We do vaccinations, we do amputations, we pay for all of that stuff. Last year, Adopt-A-Pet made right at $30,000 for our shelter.” Buying needed equipment for the humane society is also caring for the animals, she continued. “We’ve bought washers and dryers, we bought freezers, we bought all kinds of stuff for the shelter.”

KSHSAA Tournament

The Kansas State High School Activities Association State Baseball Tournament for Class 2-1A will be this Thursday and Friday, May 23-24, at the Sports Complex, Hayes said.

“When we have visitors in town, it’s so important to send people to the Explore Great Bend page or Facebook page or our website.” At the last state tournament hosted in Great Bend, some visitors didn’t realize where they could go shop or eat. “So, just a quick reminder of how we can welcome these ball teams. Make sure that we’re sending them to the right resources so they can find out where they can shop, stay, play. We are excited to host them. You know, when a community comes to Great Bend, the whole town comes – we have them all here and our businesses truly do benefit.”