Blog | Big Kansas Road Trip expands its statewide reach

Big Kansas Road Trip expands its statewide reach

The Kansas Sampler Foundation announced Sunday that the Big Kansas Road Trip is changing its format to encourage more exploring in the state. 

The Big Kansas Road Trip was designed six years ago to provide the public firsthand experiences in rural communities and to give these cities a chance to showcase who they are and what they have. From May 2-5, hundreds of Kansans explored events and attractions in Ellsworth and Lincoln Counties and the community of Lucas. 

“People from all over Kansas and from out of state interacted with locals, enjoyed attractions, learned about the area’s rural culture through a myriad of events, and shopped and ate local in ten incorporated cities and two unincorporated burgs,” said Marci Penner, co-director of the Kansas Sampler Foundation. “The post rock quarry demonstrations in Lincoln County, the missile silo tours in Ellsworth County and the art in Lucas were just three of the highlights. The public loved the open house format in getting to know the area.” 

Beginning in August, the event will transition to multiple one-day “pop-up” experiences throughout the year, providing more opportunities for exploring more areas of the state. The first pop-up will take place on Aug. 24 in Blue Rapids, when Explorers are invited to the town for a round-up of explorer-y interactions during a collaboration with Blue Rapids’ Fun Day Festival. 

“This new format of one-day pop-up adventures will allow us to take people to areas that would not have been able to handle a four-day event,” said Sarah Green, co-director of the Kansas Sampler Foundation. “We will take the elements Kansas explorers have loved about the Big Kansas Road Trip and incorporate them into the new BKRT Pop-Up adventures.” 

The best way to find out about the schedule for the new pop-up adventures is to join the Kansas Explorers Club and to follow the Big Kansas Road Trip on social media.     

The Big Kansas Road Trip grew out of the Kansas Sampler Festival, which, for 28 years, brought together communities of all sizes to share all manners of ways to see, do, hear, taste, buy, and learn in Kansas.  

It’s always open to the public but is a favorite activity of members of the Kansas Explorers Club, also organized by the Kansas Sampler Foundation. 

“Kansas Explorers love to be around each other so this new format will help us encourage people to get on the road more often and to more places,” Penner said. 

The mission of the Kansas Sampler Foundation is to preserve and sustain rural culture and so efforts will continue to create a thoughtful audience for rural communities. Part of that is helping people explore every region of the state regardless of size or distance between cities. 

 “We can't wait to see how this next iteration of road trip adventures can help people see Kansas with new eyes,” Green said.