Kansas Sampler

Big Kansas Road Trip coming to B...

The public is invited to explore Barber, Comanche and Kiowa counties on May 3-6...

Much learned at the We Kan! Conf...

One-hundred-forty-five people from 79 communities in Kansas attended the 2018 ...

We Kan! Conference to Take Place...

The Kansas Sampler Foundation announced that the biannual We Kan! Conference wil...

Kansas Explorer Club

Kansas Explorer Club

Members of the Kansas Explorer Club receive 5-6 print newsletters a year full of things to see and do that are off the beaten path.

We Kan!

We Kan!

The Big Rural Brainstorm will be held March 7 in Newton in 2016.

Rural Culture Elements

Rural Culture Elements

The 8 rural culture elements are: architecture, art, commerce, cuisine, customs, geography, history and people! They help you see a place with new eyes.

8 Wonders

8 Wonders

Have you seen the 8 Wonders of Kansas Guidebook? Let it guide you to all 216 Wonders!



Marci and WenDee, of the Kansas Sampler Foundation, are going to every (626) incorporated city in Kansas to research for the second edition of the Kansas Guidebook for Explorers.

Big Kansas Road Trip

Big Kansas Road Trip

The showcase counties are Barber, Comanche and Kiowa. The event will be held over four days, May 3-6, 2018.

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Friday, May 4 Events

BARBER COUNTY - link to map
9am-5pm: The Gyp Hills Nature Museum, 301 E. Central, (Hwy 281), in the former school building. In this specially designed museum you will observe nature from rain forests to dry deserts. From present day to fossils over 300 million years old. Examples of small animal bones from an extinct mammal from Kansas. Native artifacts to present day award winning handmade knives. Birds, fish, carved butterflies, crystals, minerals, and a large active model train display compliment our distinctive and diverse displays. Public restrooms available.

Historic Round Barn, 10866 SW Hackberry, from Main, 6 1/4 miles west on Hackberry. Location will be marked by a sign. Barn owner, Lee Sternberger, welcomes visitors and will be around to answer questions.
Throughout BRKT by appointment. Visit a restored 100+ year old home now used as the Schupbach Haus Bed & Breakfast, 405 S 7th Street, Kiowa. Call ahead, 620.825.4110. 
Throughout BRKT - Community wide garage sales. A list can be found at the Land Rush Statue, Main & 4th.

Medicine Lodge  
9am-5pm: Stockade Museum and Carry Nation House open, 209 W. Hwy 160.
1 pm:  Live local musicians at the Stockade Museum and Carry Nation House, 209 W. Hwy 160.

10am-3pm:  Barber County Heritage Center Gallery open, 1056 SE Isabel Road.

10:30am-Noon: Historical Stained Glass Tour, Medicine Lodge United Methodist Church, 108 E. Second. The windows quite literally depict Medicine Lodge, its land, people, and historical background. Creation, Buffalos, Spanish explorers, fur traders, frontiersmen, wagon trains, cattlemen, railroads, the five tribes who participated in the signing of the Peace Treaty, wheat, and more illustrating the overall blessings of Providence of this area.

Rural Barber County

All day during BKRT- Z Bar Ranch Bison Viewing. Please stay in your vehicles to view bison. 850 cows, 50 bulls and calves.  Your drive begins at Hardtner which is 24 miles south and east of Medicine Lodge. Driving directions from Medicine Lodge to Hardtner. From Hardtner, go 19 miles west on Hackberry, then 4 3/4 miles north on Aetna. From here go on Cottage Creek Road until you see the bison along a four mile stretch.

Throughout BKRT: "Experience the Gyp Hills" Auto Excursion is a picturesque route (in addition to the Hwy 160 Scenic Byway) that can be driven by those who don't mind a few dirt roads. Get a more detailed and personal experience of the beautiful Gypsum Hills! Look for more informational handouts in several locations in Medicine Lodge as well as our Facebook page "Experience the Gyp Hills"

Throughout BKRT, by appointment: Gyp Hills Guest Ranch, access to explore the Gypsum Hills on foot, wagon or horseback. Offering a "hike the hill” experience as well as horseback riding and wagon rides through the hills. Make reservations at 620-886-3303 or 620-727-7149, or email gyphillsguestranch@sctelcom.net.

COMANCHE COUNTY - link to map


Throughout BKRT: You’re Fired Ceramics & Canvas Digital Art Crawl 2018. Follow us on Instagram @yourefiredceramicsandcanvas or on Facebook (You're Fired Ceramics & Canvas) and then watch for the clues.  We'll post a list of public art sites to visit, then you snap pics of those places and post them to our social media pages.  Get creative!  Use the hashtag #YFCArtCrawl18 on Instagram or post to our Facebook page (You’re Fired Ceramics & Canvas) and you'll be entered to win an inaugural t-shirt from NovelT's and the BKRT YFC Art Crawl, plus other prizes!

Throughout BKRT: Bar P Botanical Gardens open, 300-306 E. Cleveland.

10:30am, 1:30, 3:30, 5:30pm: The Frontier Experience - A short movie filmed in Comanche County in 1975 starring many of our local community members. The Chief Theatre, 122 E. Main St.
4pm:  The Stump with Marci Penner, Coldwater Heritage Park, New York and Main.

7pm:  Live music featuring Patrick Herd and Lane Haas at the Chief Theatre, 122 E. Main St.

8am-5pm: Twisted Sisters annual 15% off Sale, 104 W. Walnut. Guests are     welcome to paint on our back wall, leaving their mark on Protection, KS.  Paints and stencils provided!
9am-5pm:  Grannies Barn Quilts201 N Washington. Quilt lovers will want to stop by and take a look at the barn quilts for sale. Hosted by Lisa Thompson. 

10am:  Bring Your Own Lawn Chair (BYOLC) and let's talk about rural schools, 310 S. Jefferson.  It's exciting and challenging to be connected to a small, rural school.  Here are a few stats: 325 students, 900 square miles, 4-day week, 8 man football, graduating classes that range from 16 to 40 students.  At this BYOLC, we'll talk a little bit about our history and our future. We'll also open the building for a partial tour of the elementary/middle school - a still-in-use 93 year old school house that's listed on the National Historic Registry. Funds are always tight in a public school - even more so in a rural district.  Want to help?  Bring your Box Tops for Education and empty printer cartridges. Our district collects these and turns them in for extra funds.  Collection boxes will be at the BYOLC. 

11am:  Why is it named Protection? — and other true tales about the town. Bring a lawn chair and gather around the Polio Monument at Broadway and Walnut, on the sidewalk just north of Don’s Place. Dave Webb, Kansas author and historian from Protection, will share stories about his hometown’s unusual name and other history bits.

2pm:  Succulent Class at Vintage Soil, 700 E. Main St. Come and shop all this seasons vibrant beautiful home grown plants and also shop cool vintage finds. May 3-6 come join Vintage Soil succulent classes where you will learn about these popular interesting plants care while being able to plant your own succulent mini garden in a unique vintage find you can purchase or bring along to plant in. (cost of class is $15 plus cost of product including succulents, watering tool and if need a cool planter) 

5-9pm:  Dale Family Farms, Friday Night on the Farm! 526 Avenue K. One ticket entitles the holder to the following: A tour of Dale Family Farms - a working farm that raises cattle, hogs, chickens, goats, turkeys and kids. Dinner.  Menu will include - Dale Family Farms pulled pork, Supreme Beans, Corn Bread, Salad with greens from the farm, Chocolate Cake. Live Music with Mike Benish, an award winning song writer from Spearville, KS.  He'll play original songs and covers from 6-9 pm.  And bring your own instrument for a jam session!   Reservations: Adult Early bird $20, After April 20th, $25. Children (5-12) early bird $15.  After April 20th, $20, Children under 5, free. 
Reserve your spot at http://bit.do/DFFBKRT.

Throughout BKRT:  Self-guided tour of Wilmore during the BKRT.  Pick up a guide at the Community Center, 105 S. Taft that will correspond with numbered signs placed throughout town. Folks will learn the story behind the Stan Herd mural, how Mule Creek got its name, information about the various buildings around town as far as their different uses over the years, schools and churches.  

9am-9pm: Wilmore Carousel, 205 Main. If the carousel isn't already running when you arrive, just honk the horn and owners, Ernie and Christy Griffin, will come out of their restored Sears and Roebuck house next door and open it to give you a free ride!

1-4pm:  Wilmore Community Center open, 105 S. Taft. Stop by and see photos of old Wilmore, and hear stories about floods, a tornado, bank robberies and a kidnapping by Bonnie and Clyde.  

2-4pm:  Wilmore Volunteer Fire Department Fire Safety Talk, Taft and Railroad.  Learn about what being a volunteer fire fighter is like, hear about the 2016 & 2017 wildfires in the area & see the gear up close! And, Battle of the Barrel! Teams of all ages compete to push a barrel on a steel cable using the fire hose.

KIOWA COUNTY - link to map

9am-3pm: Educational Seminar for tourism professionals, 5.4.7 Arts Center, 204 W. Wisconsin

1-4pm: Book Signing with author Trudy Weaver, new book "Storms on the Prairie,” about the Weaver family of Kiowa County. Kiowa County Historical Museum, 320 S. Main.
1-4pm:  Kiowa County Senior Center Open House, 431 S. Main. Visitors are invited to see the center, relax and take a break. Stations will be set-up showing some of the day-to-day activities including pool, Wii bowling, table-top shuffle board, misc games. Refreshments will be served. Public restroom available.
3pm:  Kiowa County Courthouse Tour, 211 E. Florida.

3-5pm:  Sip N Suppose with Mayor Dixson, 221 S. Grove. (corner of Wisconsin and Grove - the house faces south) Join Greensburg Mayor Bob Dixson on his front porch for some sippin' and supposin'! Visit with him about what makes his community tick, what it's like to be Mayor, or just talk about the weather! Some sippin' supplies provided, but BYOB if you have a drink of choice.

3-5pm:  Live Podcast Show at the Kiowa County Media Center320 S. Main. The Media Center will be producing a live BKRT/Kansas Tourism video podcast show and is welcoming guests that are in town for BKRT to discuss what they are discovering and to hear about the Kansas exploring they have done in the past! Come be a part of the show! (located inside the Kiowa County Commons building)

4-6pm:  Open House reception for artist Shelia Hrasky at 5.4.7 Arts Center, 204 W. Wisconsin

5-9pm:  Happy Camper Cabins Grand Opening, hot dog and s’more roast, 504 N. Bay St.

8am-9pm:  New Ross-Ellis Center for Arts & Ministry open for touring, Barclay College Campus open for driving or walking tours, 607 N. Kingman.

1-5pm:  Haviland Public Library Used Book Sale, 112 N. Main.

9am-4pm:  Treasures in the Park Craft Show, Haviland City Park, Walnut and Kingman.

9am-4pm:  American Legion Post 157 Kiddie Train & flag disposal bins for flags that need proper disposal. At Haviland State Bank, 209 N. Main.

Throughout the BKRT - Check out the acoustics in the Fromme-Birney Round Barn by singing Home on the Range in the center of the hayloft. View exhibits of 1912 agriculture and round barns in the U.S. Get barn preservation ideas form the Kansas Barn Alliance booth. Get to the barn early at sunrise or by sunset for the best photo opportunities.
6:30am:  Sunrise at the Round Barn, 2351 O Street.

10am-Noon:  M.T. Liggett artwork tours by artist Erika Nelson, 201-207 N. Elm Street, meet in front of the studio.

2-4pm:  M.T. Liggett artwork tours by artist Erika Nelson 201-207 N. Elm Street, meet in front of the studio.

5pm:  Round Barn Tour, 2351 O Street. Tour led by Tamina Fromme - great-granddaughter of both the owner and builder of the round barn.

8:30pm:  Sunset at the Round Barn, 2351 O Street.