Facts at a Glance
ANNUAL TIMES: 28th annual (the festival is always held the first full week-end in May)
WHERE: Island Park, located at the end of Main Street. Click here for map
WHEN: Saturday, May 6, 2017, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. & Sunday, May 7, 2017, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
WHY: The festival is designed to provide the public a sample of what there is to see, do, hear, taste, buy, and learn in Kansas.
WHO: More than 150 communities (of 626 incorporated) in the state are represented. They come from every corner of the state and every size attends from the smallest rural town to the largest metro area.
HOW MANY: Attendance varies for each community. In 2014, over 11,700 attended and in 2015, over 12,000 attended the festival in Wamego. Combined attendance for the previous two years in Liberal was 9,000. (2012 was 5,500 and 2013 was 3,500). Other attendance figures have varied from 6,000-8,500. Attendance at the Winfield festival in 2016 was 8,200. (festival closed early on Sunday due to weather.)
WHAT: Primarily this is a travel show to educate the public about what every corner of the state has to offer. Kansas made products are showcased and sold in one tent and scattered throughout other tents. Kansas entertainers and historic performers take the stage at different venues. Food vendors sell Kansas ethnic or specialty foods.
WHAT TO EXPECT: Expect tent after tent of exhibitors placed in geographical regions promoting tourism attractions. Food booths and entertainment stages are placed around the grounds. There are little pockets of surprises such as a row of historical performers, someone on a stump asking Kansas questions, artists at work, a petting zoo, blacksmith demonstrations and who knows what else.
WEB SITE: www.kansassamplerfestival.com. List of exhibitors will be found on web site. News releases will also be on this web site.
PARKING: Shuttles help bring people from designated parking lots to festival entrance. Handicapped shuttles will be available. For exhibitor and visitor handicapped parking information go to this link.
RULES: No dogs (except for service animals) and no smoking or vaping (e-cigs) allowed on the festival grounds. No solicitation of any kind, no coupon or other type of printed material will be allowed at the festival site including parking lots from Friday a.m. - Sunday p.m.
FESTIVAL FOUNDER: The festival is a project of the Kansas Sampler Foundation. A public non-profit based out of Inman with a mission to preserve and sustain rural culture.
FESTIVAL HISTORY: The pre-cursor to the Kansas Sampler Festival was a book-signing party in 1990 for Mil and Marci Penner's book, Kansas Weekend Guide. The event was held on the Penner Farm near Inman with one tent full of exhibitors. The event was such a success it was given the name, Kansas Sampler Festival.
FESTIVAL ON FARM: The festival was held for eight years (1990-1997) on the Penner Farm near Inman.
MOVING FESTIVAL: The Kansas Sampler Foundation decided to take the festival on the road to expose more people to the exhibitors and purpose of the festival. Hosts are picked through an application process and host for two years. Hosts have been Pratt (1998- 1999); Ottawa (2000-2001); Independence (2002-2003); Newton (2004-2005); Garden City (2006-2007); Concordia (2008-2009) Leavenworth (2010-2011) Liberal (2012-2013) Wamego (2014-2015) and Winfield (2016-2017).