As today draws to a close, the fourth-annual June Jaunt will be wrapping up as well.
This 176-mile long event, held the first weekend of June, stretches from Ellinwood to Tribune, featuring arts, antiques, crafts, cuisine, music and so much more. Non-stop, the trip would take about three hours and 40 minutes, but organizers hope folks will take a lot longer, and see what they have to offer in arts, history and commerce.
“I think June Jaunt is a great success,” said Great Bend Community Coordinator Christina Hayes, one of the biggest champions for the festival. “It’s the perfect example of communities coming together to provide citizens some fun things to do in central western Kansas but also it provides the opportunity to highlight and invite others into our communities for the fun.”
The theme this year was heritage, and that came shining through in the myriad of activities that took place over the three days.
Why do this?
Instead of competing with the other events going on in the communities, organizers promoted the weekend together and bolstered turn-out for everyone, Hayes said.
This is the idea behind the June Jaunt. As more time passed, economic developers, chambers of commerce and tourism personnel felt challenged to create a reason for people to venture to west central Kansas.
To bring the K-96 June Jaunt to a reality, organizers needed support. Each county was charged with acquiring financial backing to participate. Once the vision of the regional tourism event caught the sights of local residents, it caught on fire.
In addition, Hayes said people were shopping. Stores reported having seen different shoppers and others reported double the normal sales on Saturday.
June Jaunt fills parks with games, concerts, vendors, arts, crafts, and other things to do and see. It fills stores, restaurants and coffee shops. It showcases what we have to offer and has lived up to its lofty expectations.
This all takes a lot of work, mostly by volunteers who pile up countless hours. To them, we say thanks.
Also, thank yous need to go out to Hayes and other city officials involved. It takes vision, leadership and planning to make things like this happen.
In addition, to those who took time to participate, thank you as well.
This is proof we can work together and is proof that we have much to offer out here on Route 96.