On Friday morning, October 23, 2009, after almost six weeks of voting, the Kansas Sampler Foundation announced the eight winners of the 8 Wonders of Kansas Customs.
The 12,396 votes submitted came from across Kansas, from every state in the Union, and from many foreign countries. Each voter had to select eight from the 24 finalists and could only vote three times.
The Customs contest is the 5th in a series of 8 such contests. Earlier contests determined the Overall 8 Wonders of Kansas (The "Great 8") and the Top 8 each in Architecture, Art, Commerce, and Cuisine. Geography is the next contest with public nominations being accepted during the month of November. History and People contests will wrap-up the one-time series.
A project of the Inman-based Kansas Sampler Foundation, it is designed to educate the world about what there is to see and do in Kansas, encourage travel, and help Kansans see their state with new eyes.
Therefore, without further ado, we present the Eight Customs of Kansas - in alphabetical order, of course:
(1) Bringing musicians together: For a decade there’s been a lively jam session at the Emma Chase Cafe in Cottonwood Falls almost every Friday night at 7:30 p.m.
(2) Chanting a school fight song: The University of Kansas’s Rock Chalk Jayhawk cheer is one of the best in the nation. Learn about the chant in the student union in Lawrence.
(3) Clicking your heels three times and saying “There’s no place like home”: Oz attractions in Wamego and Liberal tell the beloved story of The Wizard of Oz.
(4) Commemorating Veterans Day: An Emporia man helped change Armistice Day into Veterans Day and made Emporia the Founding City of Veterans Day.
(5) Displaying an ethnic handicraft: Traditional and pop-art Dala Horses can be seen throughout Lindsborg.
(6) Ordering a soda fountain treat: Go while you can to one of the 38 operating soda fountains left in Kansas.
(7) Riding a carousel: Ride-and learn about-the famous C.W. Parker carousels in Abilene and Leavenworth.
(8) Using natural material for fencing: Learn the story of these hardy native limestone fence posts at the Post Rock Museum in LaCrosse and see them throughout the Smoky Hills and North-Central Kansas.
Kansas Sampler Foundation director Marci Penner released this statement on the 8 Wonders of Kansas Customs: “This was the closest race we’ve had to date and though it was the hardest to explain, it won my heart. If you go to 8wonders.org and click on pictures of all the 24 finalists, you can read some of the most fascinating and endearing stories and facts about our cultural traditions.”