Let’s be honest – at some times of the year in south-central Kansas, the choices of what to do for fun seem to start at one end of the movie theater complex and stop at the other end. This is not one of those times.
Do you like to listen to music? Eat fair food and go on amusement rides? Look at art? Watch a Broadway musical?
You are in the right place.• The Kansas State Fair is under way through Sept. 16 in Hutchinson, celebrating its 100th birthday by satisfying Kansans’ annual need for agricultural exhibits, Pronto Pups, oldies bands (Boston, 38 Special, the Oak Ridge Boys and Heart?), quilt displays, pig races, and unexpected demonstrations (chicken bathing?) and performances (“flying debris”?). The fair keeps coming back year after year because it offers such breadth and variety that everybody has his own must-see-and-do list.
• The Theatre League booking of Disney’s “The Lion King” is occupying Century II Concert Hall through Sept. 30, betting on local theatergoers to be even more abundant for the elaborate stage version of the animated Elton John/Tim Rice classic than the 45,000 who saw the 24-performance run of “Wicked” in 2009. It’s great that the city-owned facility could accommodate the historic four-week, 32-show run of “Lion King,” and that families throughout the region will have so many chances to see and enjoy it.
• The cherished tradition officially known as the 41st Walnut Valley Festival will fire up the bluegrass Sept. 12-16 at the Cowley County fairgrounds. People come from all over the continent to experience the acoustic genius and serendipitous jamming of “Winfield.” It’s a fraternity as much as a music festival, and one that anybody can join.
• The third-annual Autumn & Art at Bradley Fair will happen Sept. 14-16, in a showcase for nearly 100 artists from around the country that also offers music, food and demonstrations. Thank goodness this classy cultural event has made itself at home on Wichita’s early fall calendar.
Meanwhile, Saturday is when the Sedgwick County Zoo throws its annual Zoobilee fundraising party, this time featuring bluesman Tab Benoit; the Wichita Shakespeare Company is doing “Julius Caesar” in parks hither and yon; the Ulrich Museum of Art at Wichita State University plans a grand reopening Sept. 15 after a nine-month gallery renovation; and area museums, theaters and concert venues including the Orpheum Theatre and the Cotillion are diving into their fall schedules.
Check out the calendars and articles in The Eagle’s GO! section or online at Kansas.com, choose your pleasure – and then get going while the going out is good.
For the editorial board, Rhonda Holman