Kansas Sampler

Rural Doers Invited to Big Rural...

Community doers, leaders, volunteers, citizens, and business owners are all invi...

2018 We Kan! awards announced...

The Kansas Sampler Foundation announced the recipients of the 26th annual We Kan...

Showcase counties for 2019 Big K...

More than 50 people gathered at the Kansas Explorers Club meeting in Greensburg ...

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 Cheyenne, Sherman and Wallace. The event will be held over four days, May 2-5, 2019.

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Saturday, May 5

BARBER COUNTY - link to map
10am:  Barber County Fair Spring Livestock Show, 500 S. Chickasaw. Swine, sheep, goat show. Don’t miss out seeing the hard work of local FFA and 4-H members and get a first-hand look at the animal agriculture that is prevalent in this area. Concessions available.
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.

9am-5pm: 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.
4pm-"whenever the food runs out": American Legion Hamburger and Brauts Feedcorner of South Main and Delaware
3-5pm: Wine tasting at the Carry Nation Winery & Tasting Room, 400 block Main, former school building. Mike Hiltner is your host. 620.825.6176.

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.

8am-4:30pm: Bob's Printing and Old Time Clock Shop625 Main Street. Bob Cox still uses a 1917 linotype in his printing business that he'll be glad to show visitors how it works. You'll also be amazed at his large clock collection. NOTE: If Bob isn't there when you stop by, look for a sign. He'll be helping at the bake sale at the Chief Theatre!
9am-5pm: Look for local volunteers at the Land Rush statue in downtown Kiowa where you'll learn about the history of the statue and community.  There will be a Cherokee Strip Land Run Booth with maps of Kiowa, certificates depicting the run with an official stamp and small jars of dirt from the starting land run area and lots of other unique items. 

8:30am: Model Horse Show at the Senior Citizen Center, 732 Main. 
9:30am: Historical Society Bake Sale at the Chief Theatre, 520 Main.
11am: Pioneer Days Parade which includes cowboys driving steers down Main Street.

Following the parade watch a Pioneer skit performance at 7th and Main.
Other Pioneer Day activities:
  • Tour the Kiowa Historical Society Museum, 107 N. 7th.
  • Learn how to make a rope from Kiowa's own rope man, Buddy Williams, from the Custom Rope Factory, 7th and Main.
  • Make a Run for Land and receive a Land Certificate at the Land Rush statue, 4th and Main.
  • Soccer league tournament at South Barber High School, 1220 N. 8th. 
1pm: Team roping at the Miller Arena, southeast corner of Kiowa.

Medicine Lodge  
9am-5pm:  Stockade Museum and Carry Nation House open, 209 W. Hwy 160.
11am-8pm: Sample Wyldewood Cellars wines made in Kansas at White's Spirits & Wines, 225 S. Iliff. 
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, buffalo, 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.
1:30-4pm: Carry Nation serving cookies in her house to share about the history of the Women’s Christian Temperance Union.

4pm: Local BYOLC presented by local historian, John Nixon. Carry Nation will share with you her passion from the steps of her house.  A Calvary Officer will share all of the events that led to the 5 tribes being ready to sign the famous Medicine Lodge Peace Treaty. Admission to the museum not required for this event.

4:30 p.m.: The Stump with Marci Penner, Red Caboose, Main and E. Fowler (U.S. 160).

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.

11:30-2pm: Hamburger and Hotdog meals at the Chief Theatre, 122 E. Main St.

4:30pm: "Earthworks", a movie about Protections hometown artist Stan Herd, will be shown at the Chief Theatre. Stan will be on hand to greet visitors. 

7pm: From Canvas to College: The YFC Scholarship Art Auction at You’re Fired Ceramics & Canvas, 136 E. Main St. Silent auction begins at 7pm and final bids will be collected at 9pm. Drinks and hors d'oeuvres will be served. Live music by Mike Benish! Sneak peek at the art for the auction 1-5pm.

7:30pm: Feature Movie at the Chief Theatre, 122 E. Main St. Movie TBD.



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-6pm:  Protection Township Library Kids Book Walk, Stan Herd Gallery Open, 404 N. Broadway.

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.

11:30am:   The Stump with Marci Penner, 221 N. Broadway.

11:45am:  Marci Penner will facilitate a "Bring Your Own Lawn Chair" event featuring the community-owned grocery store, Protection Venture. Visitors will set their lawn chairs up outside near the store and listen, learn and ask questions about what it's like to run a grocery store in a small town. 221 N. Broadway.

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) 

3pm:  Stan Herd presentation at the Protection Township Library. Environmental artist and muralist Stan Herd grew up in Protection and during the BKRT he’ll be in his hometown. He’s planning a show-and-tell session about the field-sized artwork he has created in several countries — most recently in China.



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!

Noon:  Hot Dog Cookout in Centennial Park.

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.
2pm:  The Stump with Marci Penner, Taft and Railroad.

KIOWA COUNTY - link to map


9am-1pm:  Local Author Book Signing at a Vintage Filling Station. We will be celebrating local authors, vintage cars, gas signs and paraphernalia. Book signings by local authors Judi Kirk - Remnants: Prairie Gas Stations Remembered and Glimpses; Fill'er up Memoirs and Memorabilia; Jeff Blackburn - Light at the End of the Funnel; Matt Deighton-Molly and the Tornado, Molly and the Stars of Hope and Janice Haney-Greensburg: The Twisted Tales Vol. I & II. There will be vintage trucks and Model T's, even rides! 2 miles north of Highway 54 on Highway 183

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

10am:  Kiowa County Courthouse Tour, 211 E. Florida.

10am-Noon: Downtown Greensburg Mad Dash Drawings. Enter drawings with Main St Merchants - Dash from one shop to another to find out who wins! Gift Certificates, shopping sprees, and merchandise! Schedule for drawings will be available.

10am-4pm:  5.4.7 Arts Center, 204 W. Wisconsin, open. Come and paint your own "Explorer Rocks” to place around the 3 counties during BKRT!

10am: Greensburg Bike Tour. Ride a Greensburg bike and get a tour from a local. Tour begins at The Big Well Museum, 315 S. Sycamore. Limited to 12 riders.

10am-2pm:  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)

10:30am: The Barn Raisers documentary at Twilight Theatre, sponsored by Kansas Barn Alliance, 200 S. Main. Several Kansas barns are in this 2017 movie. "The Barn Raisers" historical documentary feature film tells the story of barns in the Midwest by examining them through the lens of architecture. What do barn settings, styles, methods and materials tell us about the people who built them, the life they lived, and the role these vanishing country cathedrals played in the settling and building of a growing nation? Barns were constructed by farmer-craftsmen, professional builders who traveled from job to job and even architects like Frank Lloyd Wright. "The Barn Raisers" paints a cinematic portrait of barns and builders, and reminds us that these remnants from America's rural past are still here to be appreciated and experienced.

11am:  Kiowa County Schools Tour, 710 S. Main.

11am:  Downtown Walking Tour, tour begins at The Big Well Museum, 315 S. Sycamore.

1pm: Kiowa County Courthouse Tour, 211 E. Florida.

1pm: Kiowa County Memorial Hospital Tour, 721 W. Kansas Ave.

2pm:  Fairview Cemetery Tour with Ed Schoenberger, Kiowa Co. Historian & Local Expert. Ed served as cemetery sexton for 23.5 years and knows about everyone there! 500 E. Pennsylvania

2pm: Greensburg Bike Tour. Ride a Greensburg bike and get a tour from a local. Tour begins at The Big Well Museum, 315 S. Sycamore. Limited to 12 riders.

2-4pm: Sip N Suppose with Mayor Dixson, 221 S. Grove. (corner of Wisconsin and Grove - the house faces east) 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.

3pm: Kiowa County Memorial Hospital Tour, 721 W. Kansas Ave.

3pm: Downtown Walking Tour, tour begins at The Big Well Museum, 315 S. Sycamore.

4:30pm:  Greensburg, Kansas: The Small Town Reimagined Documentary at Twilight Theatre, 200 S. Main. This film was produced in partnership with the City of Greensburg and the Kiowa County Media Center for the 10th Anniversary of the Greensburg tornado, May 2017.

7:30pm: Movie at Twilight Theatre sponsored by Ornery Brother Distilling & Milo Vodka, 200 S. Main.



 9-11am:  Falling Stars over Kansas, Meteorite Presentation and Field TripHeart of America Science Resource Center, 312 E. Highway 54. Come learn about and experience one of Kansas' truly unique features – a meteorite impact field. This adventure will begin at Heart of America Science Museum with a lesson and demonstration about meteorites. This will be followed by a short trip to a nearby site where the largest meteorites in Kansas have been found. Participants will hear from local residents who have had meteorites found on their property or who have been directly involved with the excavation process. Come and join us on one of these fascinating experiences. Hold in your hand a real falling star!

9am-4pm:  Treasures in the Park Craft Show, live music begins at 10am for the remainder of the day. Haviland City Park. (Kingman and Walnut)

9am-5pm: Haviland Heritage Foundation Museum, Heart of America Science Resource Center Open, 312 E. Highway 54.

9:30am-5pm:  American Legion Post 157 free rides on the children's Barrel Train & flag disposal bins for flags that need proper disposal. A ride given every hour, beginning on the half hour. At Haviland State Bank, 209 N. Main. (At 3 pm, rides will be at the city park)
9:30-5pm: American Legion Post #157 Raffle for a Blackstone-table-top grill and one propane tank. Tickets available at the Haviland State Bank location booth. For $5 donation buy one ticket or 5 tickets for $20. Proceeds to help wounded vets. The raffle drawing happens t 4pm Sunday, May 6. Do not need to be present to win.

11am-1pm: Dragon Nachos, a community fundraiser sponsored by Haviland's Today's Homemakers Club. Nachos are $4.50 and a soft drink is $1.00. City Park at Kingman and Walnut. (Named for the high school, now closed, mascot.) 

1-3pm:  Falling Stars over Kansas, Meteorite Presentation and Field Trip, Heart of America Science Resource Center, 312 E. Highway 54. Come learn about and experience one of Kansas' truly unique features – a meteorite impact field. This adventure will begin at Heart of America Science Museum with a lesson and demonstration about meteorites. This will be followed by a short trip to a nearby site where the largest meteorites in Kansas have been found. Participants will hear from local residents who have had meteorites found on their property or who have been directly involved with the excavation process. Come and join us on one of these fascinating experiences. Hold in your hand a real falling star!

1-4pm:  Southwest KS Antique Engine & Thresher Show demonstrations. Demonstrations of equipment. Wheat threshing, stationary hay baling, saw milling, wood planing & rock crushing with belt driven vintage equipment. Quilting demonstrations in the 112 year old house on show grounds. 502 E. Walnut.



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. 

6-8:30am:  Round Barn, Biscuits & Gravy Breakfast served by Mullinville Recreation Commission. Join us for the beautiful sunrise & breakfast, 2351 O Street.

8am-4pm: 1st Annual Southwest Women's Fair, Mullinville Recreation Center, 200 N. Main.

9:30am:  The Stump with Marci Penner, 200 N. Main (across the street from the gym).

10am-6pm:  Quilt Show and Pie Sale at the Mullinville Gym, 200 N. Main.

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

1-4pm:  Book Signing with author Trudy Weaver, new book Storms on the Prairie, about the Weaver family of Kiowa County. At the Fromme-Birney Round Barn, 2351 O Street.

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

4pm:  Barn Restoration Tips and Methods - by Len Schamber - Historic Preservation Contractor with Schamber Historic Preservation and Kansas Barn Alliance. At the Round Barn, 2351 O Street.

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

6pm:  Musical Entertainment - Musical Saw and Accordion by Norval Ralstin (musical saw), Wilma McChristian and Tracy Weaver (accordion), Eldon Weaver (harmonica) and Trudy Weaver Flowers (ukulele), at the Round Barn, 2351 O Street. Norval is a local rancher and steward of the round barn. A treat is to hear "Amazing Grace" from this musician and his amazing saw.

7pm: Jeff Davidson Concert at the Round Barn - free admission, 2351 O Street. Jeff Davidson is a Kansas singer/songwriter and uses his original works as well as vintage songs of old to lead audiences through the history of the "winnin’ of the west” which shaped the economy, ideology and heroism of a young nation.