Barton County Historic Society is celebrating the 60th anniversary of organized drag racing in the Golden Belt with a new exhibit and a car show during its open house this Saturday.
The Second Annual Rolling Sculpture Car Show will be held from noon to 4 p.m. at the Barton County Historic Society Village and Museum, located just south of Great Bend’s Arkansas River bridge on U.S. 281. Car clubs and individuals are invited to register for this event, said Beverly Komarek, executive director of the historic society. Admission will be free for everyone.
“We’re going to have some really nice door prizes,” Komarek said. Anyone who brings a car to show will get a ticket for the drawing at 3:30 p.m. “All of us who are not showing a car can park in back,” she added. Either way, there is plenty of room for guests, who can also tour the village’s historic structures, including the 1950s Lustron Home.
Children who visit the village Saturday will receive a toy car and can ride the Little Train, weather permitting. Lunch will be available for purchase.
Inside the museum, guests can watch DVDs of the first National Hot Rod Association national drag racing event, which was held in Great Bend in 1955. Area “gearheads” have loaned memorabilia and photographs. “These are artifacts that a lot of people have never seen,” Komarek said.
Visitors can also learn about the Sunflower Rod & Custom Association’s efforts to be the first drag strip in the United States to be recognized on the National Register of Historic Places.
“The Second Annual Rolling Sculpture Car Show continues to highlight the community’s automotive passions and their importance in the Golden Belt,” Komarek said. “Our partnership with the SRCA offers a unique opportunity for residents and visitors to experience a rare local achievement that has gained national recognition.”
The SRCA crews are working with other car groups such as Vintage Wheels as part of Saturday’s car show. Those groups have also rescheduled the Kansas Speedweek Cruise Night for Friday, May 31 as part of the Second Annual Great Bend June Jaunt.
The museum will also be open during June Jaunt, and the drag racing exhibit will be up until November.