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Weekend cruises, races to success
Recent events draw crowds, help businesses
new deh city update 5-19-16 pic web
Great Bend resident, Mouse Newkirk, lights them up at the Horsepower on the Plains Grudge matches Saturday night. - photo by FRAN KING ENGELCKE Special to the Tribune

 This past weekend’s cruise night and Horsepower on the Plains was a roaring success, Great Bend Community Coordinator Christina Hayes told the City Council Monday night.

On Friday night, there were 80 cars that took part in the cruise night around the Barton County Courthouse Square and 50 movie goers who came out to watch “American Graffiti” in the park. Perhaps the age of the film and the cold weather may have kept some people away.

The next day was a hit, too, Hayes said about Saturday. There were 111 cars participating in races at the Sunflower Rod and Custom Association drag strip west of Great Bend that drew 1,153 spectators.

“It was a great event,” Hayes said. “It was great for the community.”

 “A big Kudos to the SRCA Dragstrip and Nick Roberts and Jared Birzer,” City Administrator Howard Partington said. “Horsepower on the Plains was a wonderful event that helped fill hotels and boosted local economy for the weekend.”

Local motel operators referred people to Hoisington since their facilities were full. These events were taking place on the same weekend as area graduations.

The information was part of Partington’s departmental update. Other highlights included:

Public Works

• Worked on drainage problem at the west end of Broadway. 

• Repairing the entrance to 10th and MacArthur on the South side of 10th.

• Sanitarian: 178 year to date complaints, 33 new complaints (13 by citizens, 20 by staff), 22 complaints completed by citizens, 26 abatement notices sent, three abatements performed.


• Chief Couch attended the Kansas Association of Chiefs of Police Conference in Dodge City, where he attended multiple training sessions on Active Shooters and other Critical Events. On one night of the conference, Officer Jefferson Davis came into town to receive the Chief’s Association’s “Silver Award.”

• The Police Department has awarded all 30 of the Gambino’s Gift Cards for our Trading Card program. In order to get one of these gift cards, children had to collect the entire set of Great Bend Police Trading Cards. They are still giving out goodie bags and a certificate of completion for children who collect the entire set.  

Fire/EMS/Inspection/Code Enforcement

• Tested for the open firefighter/emergency medical technician position.

• The three Battalion Chiefs attended a one-day seminar on Principles of Modern Fire Attack.

• Demolition of the run-down property at 26 Hickory completed.

Public Lands

• A partial dosing of alum is being introduced to Veterans Memorial Lake as an ongoing effort to combat blue-green algae.

• Staff is working on getting the field ready for the first game of the Great Bend Boom of the Pecos League to be played at Al Burns Baseball Field at Veterans Memorial Park. The game starts at 6:30 p.m. today.



• Community Night for the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference Baseball and Softball Tournament had 93 tickets returned to the gate for the day. Teams and visitors were impressed again with the service and facility we have at the Great Bend Sports Complex, Partington said. “Great Job to everyone involved from the city and Recreation Commission for making that happen.” 

• The Downtown Great Bend Art & Wine Walk was a Great success, Partington said. “The weather was beautiful, the stores were happy, the artists were happy, the people were happy. What a great event.”

The city raised just under $1,000 on the silent auction. The money will go to help the Retail Team Group’s enhancement of Great Bend through future projects. 

• “Cinco de Mayo was a lot of fun,” he said. “The festival had a good crowd and vendors involved seemed happy.”

Partington said coordinator Jose Hernendez and the committee thanked the council and the city for supporting the event and helping promote it.