Coming up in just a few short weeks, the city of Wamego will welcome the 25th Kansas Sampler Festival to its city park.
This year, 277 exhibitors from 150 communities will help the public learn about the architecture, art, commerce, cuisine, customs, geography, history, and people of Kansas when the gates open at 10 a.m. on May 3 for the annual festival. The festival will close at 5 p.m. on the 3rd and re-open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, May 4. Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for children ages 7-12.
The primary focus of the event is to help the public plan day trips around the state. Every part of the state is represented from the Flint Hills to Colby and Elkhart to Atchison.
Kansas musicians and historic performers showcase themselves for hire; food vendors either promote a restaurant or serve a food product made in Kansas or an ethnic recipe. A wine and beer tent will feature four Kansas wineries, a distillery and two microbreweries.
In addition, exhibitors in the Kansas Products tent and the new From the Land of Kansas tent will sell everything from butter, honey, metal, glass and fine art, pottery, salsa, jellies, quilted bags, books, leather goods, fudge, and handcrafted furniture.
New to the festival this year will be the Kansas Photographers tent featuring 12 top photographers who will showcase their work and give educational programs throughout the week-end.
Other new additions include the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks, and Tourism's Mobile Aquarium, a replica of the Home on the Range Cabin, Ghost Tours of Kansas and a new game made in Kansas called Wicketball.
Some favorites returning are the Paradise Ranch Packgoats and Mammoth donkeys along with the Abeldt Family Sheep Farm of Hope featuring their popular sheep shearing demonstrations, are just a few of the new and returning exhibitors.
The Kansas Explorers Club tent will instruct people on the basics of exploring the state and will be the place to buy the 8 Wonders of Kansas Guidebook. The public can also learn about the current Explorer Research Voyage to research for the new Kansas Guidebook for Explorers. Marci Penner will ask Kansas questions on The Stump where visitors will vie for donated prizes.
The festival is a project of the Inman-based Kansas Sampler Foundation but the main organizing is done by a local Wamego team lead by festival director, Julie Roller, Development Associate, Pottawatomie County Economic Development.
WenDee LaPlant, Foundation assistant director said, "The park will be bursting with everything Kansas. Barns, churches, art, scenic drives, specialty shops, attractions, events, are all promoted here. It's a guarantee that no one will leave this park without being amazed at all that Kansas has to offer."