There will be a lot to do this weekend in what Great Bend officials are dubbing the Mega Motor Weekend. However, local law enforcement is cautioning this also means there will be an influx of traffic to the area.
Activities this weekend include: The Great Bend Airfest celebrating the 75th Anniversary of the historic World War II Army Airbase Friday through Sunday at the Great Bend Municipal Airport; the sixth-annual Hahn Brothers Motocross Shootout Friday and Saturday at the Expo Complex; and the National Hot Rod Association Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series, through Sunday (an event that could bring 800 dragsters to the historic Sunflower Rod and Custom Association Dragstrip).
“On behalf of all local law enforcement, we wish to welcome visitors, participants and vendors to the Great Bend Air Fest, drag races and motor-cross events. We wish you a most enjoyable and exciting weekend,” Barton County Sheriff Brian Bellendir said. But, “we are expecting heavy traffic in the county this weekend.”
The sheriff said organizers project between 10,000 and 15,000 people converging into Barton County.
“It is our mission to assist the motoring public in safely and efficiently arriving at their destination,” he said. During certain periods of time, local law enforcement will be controlling traffic in and around the Great Bend Municipal Airport and Expo Complex.
“Be aware that at critical time periods, traffic may be allowed to only move in one direction in congested areas,” he said. “You may not be able to take the shortest route to your destination.”
This is done to prevent accidents and allow a continuous flow of traffic, he said. “If you arrive at one of these locations, please follow the directions of the officers.” Also, there will be areas where cones and barricades have been placed. “Please do not drive around barricades,” Bellendir said.
The Great Bend Police Department’s Lt. Jason Settle echoed Bellendir’s sentiments, noting things will be hectic. “We hope everyone has a good weekend and enjoy the shows.”
He said the GBPD will have officers at the events for security and to assist those in need.
Officers will assist with traffic control around the parks, he said. In addition, officers will be stationed at 10th Street and Patton Road covering traffic flow out of town to the expo area.