Saturday, May 9, 2009

2009 Kansas Sampler Festival

On the weekend of May 2 and May 3, I had the opportunity to visit Concordia, KS for the 20th annual Kansas Sampler Festival.

I visited the Kansas Explorer's Club tent to buy some clothing, including a fleece vest and a couple of t-shirts. This year's slogan is "Relentless for Rural". On Sunday morning, the annual Kansas Explorers Club meeting was held. We learned of upcoming events and met the people from Leavenworth County who will be hosting the 2010 and 2011 festival.

Of course, I spent time roaming thru all the booths getting literature for towns and counties that I have yet to visit. This is the main purpose of the festival, to make it convenient to showcase what there is to see and do in Kansas. According to the Kansas Sampler Foundation, "135 Kansas communities were represented in 217 exhibits of Kansas day trips, products, art, books, music, historical performances, and free-standing exhibits. Over 5,000 attended."

The food at the festival is representative of Kansas. I sampled a chicken salad croissant from the Huckleberry Tea House from Concordia, pulled pork from Pachta Pork from Belleville, a bierock from Becky's Bierocks in St Francis, and a hot dog on a stick from Bossie's Best Organic Hot Dogs from Home.

Also, I got the opportunity to take a tour of the Nazareth house of the Sisters of St Joseph adjacent to the city park. The building is over 100 years old. We saw some of the historic rooms and chapel and also got to sample some of the sisters' hobbies, including some great artwork.

I enjoyed watching and listening to performances by both the historical performers, and musical performers. The historical performers entertain and teach of Kansas history and people. This year, I took time to enjoy musical performances by Ann Zimmerman and the Alfred Packer Memorial String Band.

Finally, on Saturday May 2, I went east to Clyde for a "Whole Hog Luau" sponsered by the VFW. The menu included pulled pork, beans, slaw, potato salad, fruit, and a special performance by Elvis. Clyde is a bustling community that is truly fun to visit.

Try attending the Kansas Sampler Festival! I promise, no matter how much you know about Kansas, you will learn many new things and come away with many day trip ideas.

For more information about the festival, see the following page from the Kansas Sampler Foundation:

To see my photo gallery of the 2009 Festival see:

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