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Bear Essentials
June Jaunt gets underway

There’s so much going on Friday and Saturday, thanks to the events scheduled for June Jaunt. Worth noting is the grand opening of the expanded grizzly bear exhibit at Great Bend’s Brit Spaugh Zoo on Saturday.
A social media post from zoo staff notes: “We are so excited that three years of work to make the expanded exhibit happen is finally coming to an end! Join us on June 2nd for the festivities!”
The zoo is open from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily, and admission is free.
The first 150 kids through the door on Saturday will receive a free stuffed bear.
The Zoo Society will provide free snow cones, frozen drinks and cotton candy, and popcorn that has been donated by the Great Bend Coop Association. The Church of Christ will hand out bottles of water, while supplies last.
“Keepers will have some of our furry and scaled friends out all day,” the staff adds.
The zoo isn’t the only place to have fun this weekend. The Barton County Courthouse is 100 years old, and on Friday county personnel will offer tours every 15 minutes, starting at noon. There will be refreshments and some musical entertainment at 4 p.m.
Downtown businesses have some fun promotions lined up, and on Friday evening people will have some choices to make:
• Attend the Great Bend Public Library’s Community Luau and celebrate the kickoff of the Summer Library Program. The fun starts outside and later there’s a free movie indoors.
• Drag Main during the June Jaunt Cruise Night, and then head to the Great Bend Municipal Airport for a car show, airport open house and Run the Runway event, with a free movie at dusk.
On Saturday, when you’re not at the zoo, there’s a full day of activities and entertainment in the courthouse square, plus more business promos downtown. The fun continues until midnight, with live music by The TONES (hits from the ’80s, ’90s and now) starting at 9 p.m.
Elsewhere in Great Bend, the Model Association of Central Kansas members will be at MACK Field, flying and discussing model airplanes from 1 p.m. to dusk on Saturday. That’s located south of the intersection of Patton Road and Railroad Ave.
Downtown business promotions will continue through Sunday, and there will be a Hap Dumont Baseball tournament all day Sunday at the Great Bend Sports Complex.
That’s a short version of what’s going on this weekend. Do not miss it all.