You may have heard about the Kansas Sampler Festival, but you're not sure if you should go.


     You may have heard about the Kansas Sampler Festival, but you're not sure if you should go.
     The festival was started in 1990 on a farm near Inman as a way to showcase Kansas attractions and events. The idea was to get Kansans to plan visits to other parts of the state.
     The festival takes place in large tents in green landscapes with a lot of trees. Some of the entertainers and vendors are set up around the site, so a stroll through the grounds is a pleasant way to learn about things in the state that you might like to experience.
     In recent years, the festival has migrated to various towns around the state for two-year stays. This year, the festival is located in Liberal, and it's scheduled for 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday.
     Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for kids ages 7 to 12.

Representing Dodge
     Representatives from Dodge City have been attending the festival for the past several years.
     This year, Sandie Masden, publicist with the Dodge City Convention and Visitors Bureau, will lead a delegation that includes folks from the Depot Theater Company, Carnegie Center for the Arts, United Wireless Arena, Roundup Rodeo and the Dodge City Drovers.
     In conjunction with a booth hosted by Boot Hill Museum, the Dodge Citians will distribute brochures about everything there is to do in Dodge.
     "I like to take summer schedules for places like Raceway Park, the Depot and the arena," Masden said in an interview Thursday. "People respond better when you give them specific dates, not just a list of activities."
     And the CVB has much more to promote these days than just Dodge City Days.
     "Dodge City Days is still our big event and an important one," said Jan Stevens, director of the CVB, "but we have a lot more to offer now, year round."
     Among the other offerings on the list are a number of events related to Dodge City's 140th anniversary celebrations.
     "And there are still people who say there's nothing to do in Dodge," Masden said.
     The Dodge City delegation will be located in the Wild West Country tent. The festival is organized into the six tourism regions designated by the state tourism department.
     "At this time of year, we're getting ready for the party," Stevens said.
     And the Sampler Festival offers Dodge City and many other Kansas towns an opportunity to spread the word and put out some invitations.

Always busy
     Once the festival is over, CVB staff will continue to plan for several upcoming events. A new trolley will arrive soon, changes are being made at the visitors center, and June will bring two groups to town — the Wounded Warriors tour and the Grandmother's Horses trail ride.
     "It just seems like we're busy every day and busy all year round," Stevens said.