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Third Annual June Jaunt starts Thursday
new vlc june jaunt artwork

Sand volleyball tournament to benefit Big Brothers Big Sisters

Sunday, the action will be at Veterans Park.  Diane Shoemaker with Big Brothers Big Sisters hopes more teams will sign up for the June Jaunt Sand Volleyball Tournament, part of the community-wide party in the park planned for that day.
Teams will start playing at 11 a.m. and continue until the final team is victorious.  Registration is $15 per person and the co-ed teams consist of 4-6 players. (Males not outnumbering females on the court.) For more information , contact Diane at Big Brothers Big Sisters, (620) 603-3888.
The top three teams will receive T-shirts, as well as the satisfaction that comes with bragging rights.  
Other June Jaunt activities happening at the park Sunday afternoon from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. include a community hot-dog feed and bouncy houses, both sponsored by the United Way and Waters True Value Hardware.  Good-will donations will be much appreciated, and all money raised will go to help Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library programs in Ellinwood and Larned and the new Born Learning Trails for children in Great Bend and Claflin. There will be something for everyone to enjoy Sunday, June 8 at Veterans Park.

June Jaunt weekend kicks-off Thursday in Great Bend,  and all weekend long, communities along Hwy 96 from Ellinwood to the Colorado border encourage travelers to “Get (their) fix on K-96” as they have for the past two years.  A day-long slate of Live music and other entertainment, Kids Zone inflatables, vendors and a community beer garden from 3-11 p.m. hosted by The Odin Store are planned for Saturday, at Jack Kilby Square, and a community party in the park is planned for Sunday at Veterans Memorial Park.  Around town, businesses will get in on the fun too.    While there will be something for everyone all weekend long, some activities require pre-registration.  A detailed day-by-day schedule is available at the City of Great Bend offices at 1209 Williams.  

Cruise night
This week, auto enthusiasts will be polishing chrome to mirror-shines in preparation for Thursday night’s kick-off of June Jaunt.  But first, garden-fresh foodies will welcome the return of the Thursday night Summer Street Stroll farmers market  at Jack Kilby Square from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., leading up to the Kansas Speedweek Cruise Night and Car Show.  Participants will begin gathering around the square at 6 p.m. for a cruise that will begin at 7:15 p.m. and last into the evening.  Last year, the cruise featured a mix of vintage cars and custom and hot rods.  At 8 p.m., the Great Bend City Band will begin playing at the bandshell on the square.  

Sale-ing the highway
This year, the June Jaunt communities will have community wide garage sales along K-96, a model that has worked very well for other parts of Kansas, Hayes said.  City-wide garage sales, yard sales, and sidewalk sales will be taking place in Tribune, Leoti, Scott City, Dighton, Ness City, and Rush Center.
In Great Bend, Sunflower Diversified will sponsor a mass yard sale at Jack Kilby Square on Saturday, June 7, beginning at 8 a.m. and continuing until 5 p.m. or until sell out. Spaces are still available, and must be reserved for $10.  The spaces are 20 by 20 feet, with a six-foot table supplied.
“It’s a great opportunity to clean out the basement, attic, or garage and make some extra cash while helping a good cause,” said Connie Oetken with Sunflower Diversified, the event organizer.  She can be contacted for more information at (620) 792-1325.  Registration forms are available at Sunflower Diversified, 1521 K-96, at the intersection of K-96 and Broadway.  

Hot jaunt
The Great Bend Fire Department firefighters are holding their 12th annual Run for MDA Saturday morning, with check-in at 7 a.m. and the 10K and 5K runs starting at 8 a.m., followed by a 1.8-mile fun walk at 8:15.  While early registration is over, late registrations are still be taken, up to the day of the race.  T-shirts will be available to late-entries until they run out.  All proceeds go to MDA Ark Valley Chapter.  Awards will be given to the first-place overall man and woman, and to the top three in each age group in 10-year increments.  For questions, email or or call 620-793-4140.

Team tour
A dodgeball double elimination tournament begins Saturday morning at 10 a.m. at the city auditorium.  Teams of up to eight can still register until Thursday, June 5, at the Great Bend Recreation Commission at 1214 Stone Street.  Teams will check in at 9:30, and will be playing by Dodgeball Rules, and will self-report scores.  Brackets and team rosters are available on the GBRC website, .
Pre-registration is also needed for the second annual June Jaunt Business Olympics.  Four member teams from Great Bend businesses will compete in several sporting competitions at Jack Kilby Square Saturday starting at 1:30 p.m.  Check in will be at 1 p.m.  Games will include the three-legged race, egg race, tricycle race, and more.  Registration forms are available at the city offices at 1209 Williams, and for more information, contact Community Coordinator Christina Hayes at (620) 793-4111.  The winning team will go on to compete in a county-wide competition to be held later in the season.  
Sand volleyball players won’t be disappointed either.  (See accompanying box.)  And for less organized play, the bouncy houses and giant yard games will be back at Jack Kilby Square also.  

Flower frolic
Six gardens are on this year’s Gardens Galore garden tour sponsored by the Great Bend Beautification Committee.  The gates swing open at 1 p.m. Sunday, June 8, and remain open until 4 p.m. for ticket-holders dying to see and ask what makes these well-tended landscapes grow.  Tickets can be purchased in advance at the Great Bend Chamber of Commerce office at 1125 Williams, or at any of the featured gardens the day of the tour.