Monday, May 4, 2009

2009 Kansas Sampler Festival a Rousing Success

This year marked the 20th year for the staging of the Kansas Sampler Festival. For those not in the know, the "Sampler" is the place to be in terms of how to find out what there is to see and do in the Sunflower State. Sponsored by the Kansas Sampler Foundation, this is currently the only festival of its kind in the world, where towns of less than 30 in population man booths & exhibits next to those of 300,000.

Bill Williams, Laura McClure, & Carolyn Williams of Osborne County Tourism (OCT) can be seen putting the finishing touches on the Festival's Osborne County booth.

Concordia has been an excellent host the past two years for the Sampler. Over 5,000 very curious people attended this year's Sampler on May 2-3. From kolaches and buffalo fat soap for sale to historical reenactors and native Kansans of all kinds everywhere, there was indeed something for the entire family.

OCT had its usual large all-volunteer contingent to let people know what there is to see and do here. This year's volunteers included Bob & Adeline Eickhoff and Betty & Orville Pruter, all of Natoma; Bob & Carolyn Williams, Alton; and Mildred Morgan, Laura McClure, and yours truly, all of Osborne. In all we gave out hundreds of brochures and talked for several hours each day with people both familiar and brandnew when it came to knowing about our region of the state. It was hard on the feet, knees, and vocal chords (it took a few days for everyone to recover afterwards) but well worth the effort. Everyone should be applauded for their work ethic and commitment to promoting tourism in the county.

This was the 2009 version of the Osborne County booth. This year's theme featured the 8 Wonders of Osborne County for people to come see and enjoy. As usual, the main attraction in the booth was The Rock, seen at lower left. Scientifically called a Septarian Concretion, the Rock is an annual hit with both kids and adults alike.

This was my 10th Sampler, and I can tell you that they get better and better every year. Leavenworth County in NE Kansas will be the Festival's host for the next two years, so make your plans now to be in Leavenworth the first weekend of May 2010!