The deadline for registration for this year's Kansas Sampler Festival is coming up on Jan. 31 for anyone who wants to be included in the official Program Guide for the Festival, which this year will be held at Light Park in Liberal.
Organizations or businesses who want to participate in the Festival can still register after Jan. 31, but their information won't be printed in the program, which is distributed to about 50,000 people in Kansas, Oklahoma and Colorado.
About 5,000 people attended the 2012 Kansas Sampler Festival, which was also held in Liberal. In 2014 and 2015, the festival will move to Wamego. It is always held the first full weekend in May.
Registration for the Festival can be done online. Go to the Kansas Sampler website and follow the links. If you need help, you can contact Marci Penner or WenDee LaPlant at the Sampler Center office at 620-585-2374.
The Kansas Sampler Festival is like a living brochure of Kansas. In 2010, more than150 communities provided a sample of what there is to see, do, hear, taste, buy, and learn in Kansas!
The Kansas Sampler Festival was designed to bring communities and attractions from all over the state together to make it easy for the public to discover day trip possibilities – providing a sample of what there is to see and do in Kansas.
Whether you are looking for hiking trails, historic sites, natural landmarks, unique restaurants, off-the-beaten track eateries, architectural gems, hole-in-wall performing centers, artists-at-work, specialty shops, or have-to-be-there Kansas events, the Sampler Festival will help you find it.
The Kansas Sampler Festival began in 1990 when Mil and Marci Penner held a book signing party for their first Kansas guidebook, the Kansas Weekend Guide. They invited the places and businesses they wrote about in the book to come to their farm near Inman for the event.
It was a cold November day, but more than 1,000 people came to the farm and the idea for an annual event was born. From 1991 to 1997, the Sampler Festival was held on the Penner farm. In 1993, the Kansas Sampler Foundation was formed and the Festival became a project of the Foundation.
Festival promoters decided in 1998 that more people would be able to attend if the Festival moved around the state. A bidding process was established to choose cities to host the event. Pratt, Ottawa, Independence, Newton, Garden City, Concordia and Leavenworth have held previous Sampler Festivals.
Each Festival draws more than 150 Kansas communities who have booths to tell what there is to see and do in their towns. Dozens of entrepreneurs sell their Kansas-made products, wineries and microbreweries provide taste testing, food booths offer a variety of Kansas favorites, historical performers tell stories from the past and entertainers perform, sell CDs and book performances around the state.