Before dinner was served to nearly 400 people Friday at the June Jaunt barbecue, everyone posed for a group photo in celebration of Great Bend’s 150th anniversary. Community Coordinator Christina Hayes said the historic photo will go on the cover of a commemorative book coming out later this year.
June Jaunt is an annual summer fling that takes place along K-96, starting in western Kansas at Tribune and hitting Leoti, Scott City, Dighton and Great Bend. The June Jaunt website, k96junejaunt.com, lists things to do in every community from June 3-5.
The Great Bend Public Library’s front lawn was the scene for some of the early entertainment. There were free snow cones from Mike & Ice, lawn games, and steel drum music by Brad Shores.
Over at the courthouse square, there was a car show on Lakin Ave. and a crowd gathered in Jack Kilby Square for the dinner. Welcoming remarks were made by Mayor Cody Schmidt and City Administrator Kendal Francis.
“We’re so excited to be celebrating 150 years of everything Great Bend,” Francis said. He mentioned all of the work that went into this event, and that work continued. After the meal, workers packed up dozens of tables and hundreds of chairs from the dinner, making room for Saturday’s events in the courthouse square.
Adults who ate quickly could then catch an indoor movie at the library, while others waited until dusk for a free outdoor movie, “Bolt.” There was free popcorn and lemonade as well as a meet-and-greet with officers from the GBPD.
By Saturday the square was filled with bounce houses and jumbo games, a small stage for acts such as Matthew the Magician and Dr. Dumpe’s Comedy Danger Show, and vendor booths. The headlining acts would be featured in the band shell. The main stage saw several musical acts, including Slim Pickins and HomeBrew.
June Jaunt events were also going on off-site, with baseball and drag races.
Officially, June Jaunt continues through Sunday when there will be free fishing at Veterans Memorial Lake and Stone Lake; a Hap Dumont baseball tournament and “Alien Takeover at the Zoo.”