Wheat, family, cattle and good food — staples to the state of Kansas.
These Kansas traditions are celebrated at the 117th annual Kansas Wheat Festival, which continues through Sunday.
“It’s just a huge, local Midwest festival,” said Annarose White, executive director of the Wellington Area Chamber of Commerce. “It’s six days of family, fun and entertainment.”
The festival is made complete with an hour-long parade, food vendors, a car and arts and crafts show, the Ottoway Carnival and special events including a doughnut-eating contest and a lawn-mower race.
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“It’s real American fun,” White said.
Admission to most events, including the Kansas Wheat Fest Beer Garden, the street dance and the festival’s grand finale with kite-flying in the Kansas wind, is included with the purchase of a $5 Wheat Festival button.
The buttons can be purchased at Wellington’s Walmart and Dillons stores, local banks or at the festival’s merchandise table.
“It’s an amazing festival — it’s just fun to be around people and outside,” White said. “Don’t be too scared to leave your air conditioning.”
The Kansas Wheat Festival, hosted in Wellington, started in September 1900 and was first known as the Sumner County Jubilee. The event celebrated the county’s recognition as the wheat capital of the world.
“We’ve maintained that title for the majority of the past 117 years,” White said. “There’s been a couple of times that Russia beat us. But in the early 2000s, we became the official Kansas Wheat Festival.”
Not only will this year’s festival celebrate the wheat capital, but also the Chisholm Trail’s 150th anniversary. A relative of Jesse Chisholm, the cattle trail’s namesake, will be present in the parade Friday at 8 p.m.
“We are one of those communities” that are on the trail, White said. “It’s just a huge tradition here.”
A full schedule for the festival can be found at www.wellingtonkschamber.com/2017-schedule-wf.
If you go:
Admission: $5 button, can be purchased at Wellington’s Walmart, Dillons, local banks or at the festival’s merchandise table
More info: www.wellingtonkschamber.com/2017-schedule-wf