Aug. 5—With the annual Great Bend city-sponsored Party in the Park set for this coming Saturday to Veterans Memorial Park, Community Coordinator Christina Hayes said she is still seeking people to sign up for a handful of the events.
"We appreciate the pre-registrations," she said. "It helps us know what to expect."
In fact, the Obstacle Mud Run is in danger of being canceled if more competitors don't register in advance, she said. It isn't worth the work involved in setting up the course if the numbers aren't there.
With many of the other activities, organizers will take entries up until the start time, she said.
As of now, Hayes said events start at 8:30 a.m. with the run, and the Oozefest mud volleyball tournament starts at 9. The party will conclude with a Crash Dadeez kids concert (kids under 10 free with parent at 6:15 p.m. (concert gates open at 6), Fool House — The Ultimate 90s Dance Party at 7:30 p.m., and the Kory Brunson Band concert (lead singer is originally from Great Bend) at 10:30 p.m.
There is a fireworks display planned for 10 p.m. But, with the dry conditions and the fire potential, Hayes said this may be canceled. "We are watching the conditions," she said.
Some the activities are free, but some require an entry fee.
The full schedule with details includes:
—8:30 a.m. — Obstacle Mud Run.
Hayes said, however, pre-registrations are low.
Unless they get a significant number of competitors signed up in advance, the event will be canceled, she said.
—9:30 a.m.-noon — Paint in the Park, sun catcher mandalas.
—10 a.m. — Wet/Dry Parade on 17th St. Terrace.
Hayes said they will take parade entries up to the start time.
—10 a.m.-4 p.m. — Mega Kite Display.
—11 a.m.-2 p.m. — "Encanto" key hunt in park with Rana Luna (win an "Encanto" party for finding the key that fits the door in the park).
—11 a.m.-4 p.m. — Optimist Kids Fun Zone.
There will be inflatables and other activities. Hayes said water will be involved, so kids will get wet.
—11:15 a.m. — Kiwanis Anything That Floats Race.
This is for fun entries, just no boats, and cash prizes will be awarded. They will take entries up to the start time.
A highlight of this is the rivalry between the Great Bend Police and Fire departments.
—Noon — lunch with vendors
—2 p.m. — car show starts hosted by the Central Kansas Shifters
—3 p.m. — Froot Loop Eating Contest (kids, adult and teams)
—3 p.m. — American Mullet Contest.
Contestants meet at the Froot Loop Contest venue and that's where the judging will take place.
—6 p.m. — Gates open for the concert and the American Mullet Contest winners will be announced.
—6:15 p.m. — Crash Dadeez kids concert (kids under 10 free with parent, kids under 16 are also free up to 7:30 p.m.).
Crash Dadeez consists of two members of the Kory Brunson Band.
—7:30 p.m. — Fool House — Ultimate Dance Party.
—10 p.m. — Fireworks.
—10:30 p.m. — Kory Brunson Band.
The Great Bend Recreation Commission is sponsoring the mega kite demonstration by Great American Kites and the Oozefest mud volleyball tournament. The volleyball tournament is open to anyone 16 years of age or older. Registration is $75 per team and is through the GBRC.
Hayes said tickets to the concerts can be purchased at Party in the Park for $5 or at the gate for $10. Cash, checks and credit cards will be accepted.
The GBPD will help with traffic flow, parking and parade procedures.
Residents can show up for an activity or two, or can bring lawn chairs and coolers and make a day of it. "Party in the Park is planned and we are almost ready to pack the park," Hayes said.
Dating back to 2013, the idea for the party stemmed from citywide festivals held in years gone by when citizens would gather in public places and celebrate summer, harvest or just the joys of living in a small town. Now, the city is bringing that vibe back.
City employees go all out for this. Many put in extra hours getting things ready or hanging around the day of to make sure it runs smoothly.
For more information, visit the Explore Great Bend Facebook page, call 620-793-4111 or email Hayes at email@example.com.