2024 Big Kansas Road Trip Leads to North-Central Kansas

The sixth annual Big Kansas Road Trip (BKRT) takes place May 2-5 in Ellsworth and Lincoln counties plus the community of Lucas in Russell County.

The goal of the Kansas Sampler Foundation annual event is to provide first-hand experiences in rural communities for the general public, according to Marci Penner, co-director of the foundation.

Dozens of attractions and merchants open their doors and plan activities during the four-day event. Visitors choose their own pace and which of the a la carte options to include.

Itineraries can be planned by visiting bigkansasroadtrip.com or perusing the BKRT color print guide. Options include grassroots art, military history, missile silos, geologic gems, petroglyphs, lakes, post rock structures, hiking trails, museums, a microbrewery, made-from-scratch restaurants, unique shopping, and even a drive-in movie theater.

For more information go to bigkansasroadtrip.com or call 620-960-0552.

Ulrich celebrates 50 years of art 

The Ulrich Museum of Art at Wichita State University kicked off its 50th anniversary with an exhibition featuring its world-class outdoor sculpture collection. Fully Dimensional: Artists of the Outdoor Sculpture Collection, Jan. 25-June 15, celebrates artists of the Martin H. Bush Outdoor Sculpture Collection and their larger bodies of work.

Featuring over 90 pieces, the exhibition combines selections from the Ulrich permanent collection and special works on loan. The WSU outdoor collection includes works by such notable artists as Henry Moore, Louise Nevelson, Robert Indiana, Joan Miró, Fernando Botero and Andy Goldsworthy. 

For more info on the exhibition or the outdoor collection, visit ulrich.wichita.edu.

Kansas fall festivals offer tons of fun

In addition to corn mazes and pumpkin patches, Kansas is brimming with a wide range of festivals for fall 2023. Click on Calendar Highlights for even more ideas.

A September highlight for thousands of attendees is the Walnut Valley Festival at the fairgrounds in Winfield. The 51st festival, this year on Sept. 13-17, features five stages of live music, international flat-picking contests, crafts and food. 

Every other year, Lindsborg pulls out all the stops to honor its Swedish heritage with two days of traditional foods, dancing, music and crafts. A biennial event since 1941, the 2023 Svensk Hyllningsfest is Oct. 13-14. 

For more than a century, Independence has celebrated Neewollah (Halloween spelled backwards). The festival was started in 1919 to keep kids out of mischief. The Oct. 20-28 event features parades, a carnival, coronation, arts and crafts fair, bandstand entertainment and food vendors.  

Curtain up on 2023 MTW season 

The 2023 season starts with “Rock of Ages,” May 31-June 4, the story of a Kansas girl seeking fame in Los Angeles. The outdoor extravaganza “Red White and Broadway,” July 1-4, combines Broadway tunes with patriotic songs and a fireworks finale. 

Disney’s beloved “Beauty and the Beast” takes the stage at Century II July 26-30. A special kids’ matinee is planned for July 27. “Ragtime,” a sweeping musical portrait of the early 20th century is Aug. 16-20. The season culminates with “Cats” Sept. 6-10.  

Single tickets go on sale in April. For info, go to mtwichita.org