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Preparations peak for Party in the Park
new vlc party n the park poster

The third annual Great Bend Party in the Park is Saturday, Aug. 8 at Veterans’ Memorial Park, and promises to be another fun-filled day, with events for young and old.  Coolers will be allowed in the park all day, with only 3.2 beer and malt beverages only and a no glass restriction.  Families and friends are encouraged to make a day of it, bring blankets and lawn chairs, plan a picnic or visit vendors that will have a variety of foods for purchase, including pulled pork, hamburgers, hotdogs, funnel cakes and more.  
Are you “tuff” enough?
Get down-and-dirty early with the Tuff Enuff obstacle run at 9 a.m., sponsored by Club 1 Fitness of Great Bend.  Individuals, teams and families can challenge themselves in a fun 1.5 mile run full of obstacles.  They include a slip and super slide, stepping stones, hurdles, inflatables, spider webs, pools of goo, soapy mess, balance beam, crawl under, bleacher climb, and mud pit.   Check-in starts at 8:30 a.m., at the big shelter house by the railroad tracks. Registration continues, up until the day of the race, at a cost of $45 for a team of four, or $20 for individuals.  T-shirts will also be available for purchase.  Contact Christina Hays at 620-792-4111 or Chris Berger at 620-792-1366 for more information.  
Speaking of mud, the Oozefest Mud Volleyball tournament follows at 9:30 a.m.  There is still time for teams to register through the Great Bend Recreation Center, but Friday is the last possible date.   
The family dog will be welcome at the dog park mid morning.  There will be no admission this year to enter the park.  Vendors of pet-related items will be on hand, and a handler from Hutchinson will provide obedience, agility and working demonstrations, starting at 10:30 a.m.   

Business Olympics face-off
In the afternoon, winning teams from Barton County businesses will compete for the first time in the first-ever Barton County Business Olympics Face-off at 1 p.m. at the tennis courts by the railroad tracks.   Last year’s winners compete with this year’s winners from Ellinwood, Great Bend and Claflin.  This was the first year Hoisington businesses took part in the Business Olympics, so the first and second place winners have been invited to attend the faceoff.  All eight teams will compete against one another to see who’s tops in the county and take home the traveling trophy for a year.   Mum’s the word on what games will make up the competition, but Community Coordinator Christina Hayes has promised it will be as amusing for the spectators as it is fun for the participants.
“The goal is to keep players confused,” said Community Coordinator Intern Sydney Rugan.  “We announce the game and the rules right before competition so the teams have to really think on their feet.”
Teams include Ellinwood’s Dole Insurance and Ellinwood Hospital, Claflin’s Musgrove Petroleum and Pete & Petie Krier Farms, Hoisington’s Dairy Queen and The Tap Room, and Great Bend’s Champion Service and Fuller Brush.  

Reality show on location
Street Rodding American Style, the popular reality television show for automobile enthusiasts will be at Party in the Park Saturday afternoon for the free car show.  David Wolfe, Cy McCormack, Patricia Brown and Shelly Wolfe, commentators on the show, will take part in various events at the Party in the Park throughout the day, Hayes said.  They will select three cars at the show to highlight and interview their owners.  
Registration and parking begins at 1 p.m., with no early bird parking.  Forty awards will be given, including a special Pontiac award.  This will be a great chance to take a kid to a car show, and is sponsored by the Sunflower Rod and Custom Association, Mid-America Mopars, the Santa Fe Trail Auto Club and Vintage Wheels of Great Bend.  Special thanks go to Jackson Motorsports, Great Bend Redi-Mix, Suchy Construction, and Chlumsky’s Liquor for their part in making in bringing the car show to the park.  Cars will be on display from 2:30 to 8:30 p.m.   

Afternoon action
Beat the midafternoon blahs with a hefty dose of...sugar.  At 3 p.m., the Oreo eating contest will provide some messy, gut-busting fun for participants and spectators alike.  Face painting and coloring contests start then also.
At 4 p.m., the Great Bend Optimist club will open the Kids Inflatable Fun Zone.  Entry is by donation.  Club members will also be vending snow cones.  The inflatables will be near the playground.  Also, Lauren Speer will be available to create face-painting masterpieces for kids and adults.  The city will also sponsor a coloring booth where kids are welcome to create their own masterpieces which will be on display at area businesses over the next few weeks, Hayes said.  
Music under the stars
At 5:30 p.m., the gates open for the evening’s music concert, featuring local band Homebrew, opening for Beatles tribute band Liverpool from Kansas City.  From 10 t 10:30 p.m., Liverpool will break for a fireworks show courtesy of the City of Great Bend, with pyrotechnics provided by Mitch Minges of Wald & Co.   
The concerts will take place at Veterans’ Park baseball diamond, and wristbands will be required for admission.  They can be purchased in advance for $5, but after 5:30 p.m., the price is $10 at the gate.