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Kansas Sampler Festival

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Kansas Sampler Events

 

The 2015 Kansas Sampler Festival

The festival was another huge success with 12,054 people attending over the week-end. We are grateful to the Wamego community and volunteers for their hard work and generous spirit in preparing and welcoming visitors and exhibitors to the smallest community to have hosted this event. Thank you!    
 
CLICK HERE FOR FESTIVAL PHOTOS!                        
 
The festival will be held in Winfield, May 7 & 8, 2016 and May 6 & 7, 2017   
 
Registration for the 2016 festival will begin November 1, 2015.    

2016 Festival Dates
Saturday, May 7, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m 
Sunday, May 8, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Admission: Adults - $5, Children, 7-12 yr. - $3, 6 and under free (cash and checks only)
Island Park, Winfield, Kansas
Contact: WenDee LaPlant, wendee@kansassampler.org, 620.585.2374
 
 
FESTIVAL REGISTRATION INFORMATION FOR NEW EXHIBITORS - Please email wendee@kansassampler.org if you are interested in participating as an exhibitor or vendor.  To determine if you fit the festival criteria please click here.
 

In 2014, the festival moved from Liberal to Wamego, the smallest town (population 4,372) to ever host the state's largest traveling festival. Last year, not only commemorated the 25th Anniversary of the festival but also ended up being the best attended, with over 11,700 people! And, in 2015, the attendance grew even more to 12,054 attendees. Big thanks to the community of Wamego and the hundreds of volunteers that it takes to put on this huge event. You won't want to miss attending this year before it moves to Winfield in 2016 and 2017.
View of the Wamego City Park, location of the festival. Photo courtesy Eric Montgomery
 
The festival is always held the first full week-end in May.

TO SEE PHOTOS OF THE 2014 FESTIVAL CLICK HERE


WHAT IS THE KANSAS SAMPLER FESTIVAL

The primary purpose of the Kansas Sampler Festival is to provide the public a sample of what there is to see, do, hear, taste, buy, and learn in the state.

The reason for rotating the festival is to give exhibitors statewide exposure, to give the public in every part of the state a chance to experience the festival, and to give each host city a chance to showcase themselves to a statewide audience.


The Kansas Sampler Festival was designed to bring communities and attractions from all over the state together to make it easy for the public to discover day trip possibilities. Whether you are looking for hiking trails, historic sites, natural landmarks, unique restaurants, off-the-beaten track eateries, architectural gems, hole-in-wall performing centers, artists-at-work, specialty shops, or have-to-be-there Kansas events, this festival is for you!
 
Tulips in bloom at the 2014 festival in Wamego.                                                                                                                         Photo courtesy Eric Montgomery


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Festival exhibitor registration is open to residents of Kansas. Please read through the criteria by choosing the links found on the right side of this page. If you would like to be considered for next years festival and added to the invitation list please email wendee@kansassampler.org or call 620.585.2374.


HISTORY OF THE EVENT

In 1990, Mil and Marci Penner had a book signing party for their first Kansas guidebook, Kansas Weekend Guide. They invited places in the book to come help support the purpose of the book which was to inspire travel throughout Kansas. These attractions filled one big tent. It was a cold November day with rain turning into snow but still a thousand people came to the farm. The event became the Kansas Sampler Festival in 1991 and was held until 1997 on the Penner farm near Inman. In 1993 the Festival became a project of the newly formed Kansas Sampler Foundation.

It was decided to take the festival on the road starting in 1998 to expose more people to the festival exhibitors. After a bid process, Pratt was chosen to host the event in 1998 and 1999. Ottawa hosted the festival in 2000 and 2001. Independence was the host for the festival in 2002 and 2003, and Newton was the host in 2004 and 2005. Garden City was the host for 2006 and 2007 followed by Concordia in 2008 and 2009; Leavenworth in 2010 and 2011; Liberal in 2012 and 2013; and Wamego in 2014-2015.  Winfield will be the host in 2016-2017.  Bid information for 2018-2019 will be announced in January 2017. For more information about hosting the festival contact Marci Penner, marci@kansassampler.org.

FESTIVAL FEATURES:
  • Over 150 Kansas communities tell what they have to see and do;
  • Dozens of entrepreneurs sell their Kansas-made products
  • Cultural heritage demonstrations and displays;
  • Kansas entertainers perform, sell CD's and showcase for future bookings;
  • Historical performers provide a sampling of many characters;
  • Kansas questions are asked at The Stump, prizes given;
  • Food booths tell the Kansas story through their menu