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Kansas Sampler

Last Kansas Sampler Festival App...

The 28th, and final, Kansas Sampler Festival will take place May 6-7 in Winfiel...

Kansas Guidebook 2 for Explorers...

It took Marci Penner and WenDee Rowe four years to visit every one of the 626 in...

2016 We Kan! Awards announced...

The 24th annual We Kan! awards were announced May 7, 2016 at the Kansas Sampler...

Kansas Explorer Club

Kansas Explorer Club

Members of the Kansas Explorer Club receive 5-6 print newsletters a year full of things to see and do that are off the beaten path.

We Kan!

We Kan!

The Big Rural Brainstorm will be held March 7 in Newton in 2016.

Kansas Sampler Festival

Kansas Sampler Festival

The 2016 Kansas Sampler Festival will be held on May 7-8 in Winfield at Island Park.

Rural Culture Elements

Rural Culture Elements

The 8 rural culture elements are: architecture, art, commerce, cuisine, customs, geography, history and people! They help you see a place with new eyes.

8 Wonders

8 Wonders

Have you seen the 8 Wonders of Kansas Guidebook? Let it guide you to all 216 Wonders!

ERV

ERV

Marci and WenDee, of the Kansas Sampler Foundation, are going to every (626) incorporated city in Kansas to research for the second edition of the Kansas Guidebook for Explorers.

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General/All News

Dec 8, 2015 | Popular Statewide Festival Coming to an End
The Kansas Sampler Foundation announced today that the long-time Kansas Sampler Festival will come to an end after being hosted in 2016 and 2017 in Winfield.

Foundation director Marci Penner said, "The festival has been a tremendous event for the whole state and has helped people see that Kansas has a lot to offer. It's exciting to now think of the festival as part of a progression in helping share what there is to see and do. We have some ideas for what is next and will start that conversation in January."

In 1990, the late Mil Penner and daughter Marci Penner held a book-signing party on the family farm near Inman. About thirty places included in the new Kansas Weekend Guide came to promote under one tent. When a thousand people attended this event on a cold November day, it was clear that the public wanted to know more about Kansas day trips. The event was given a name and the Kansas Sampler Festival was born. It was held for seven more years on the Penner Farm.

The festival went on the road in 1998 as host communities were chosen for a two-year stint through a rigorous application process. Pratt was the first to organize the traveling event followed by Ottawa, Independence, Newton, Garden City, Concordia, Leavenworth, Liberal, and Wamego. Winfield will have the honor of hosting the final two years. "We could not have continued the festival without the amazing commitment of local host organizers and volunteers. They have taken such good care of the festival and given it a special flair in each location." Penner said.

WenDee LaPlant, assistant director, came to work at the Kansas Sampler Foundation after serving as local festival director in Garden City. She said, "I love how the festival has been great for the smallest towns and large ones, as well. It's brought towns together from every part of the state. It has helped make Kansas explorers out of the public. It's always such a happy, positive weekend. It's sad to see it come to an end but exciting to think of new possibilities."

Winfield's local director Sarah Werner when told of the news Monday morning said, "We feel very fortunate to be the site for the final two Kansas Sampler Festivals.  This event has really been a springboard for many small Kansas communities to promote to a larger audience.  I have no doubt that whatever the Kansas Sampler Foundation comes up with next will be just as important for rural Kansas."

Representatives from more than 150 communities will meet in Winfield's Island Park on May 7-8 2016 to share what there is to see, do, hear, taste, buy, and learn in Kansas. For more information go to www.kansassamplerfestival.com.

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