2014 Kansas Sampler Festival
+ Mount Mitchell Historical Prairie Preserve

The 2014 Kansas Sampler Festival was held in the city park at Wamego, KS, on May 3 & 4. There was an excellent turnout for this event, with an estimated 11,000 attendees for the two-day event.

The weather was perfect, and a long, cold winter had delayed blooming of spring flowers, allowing tulips to continue blooming in gay profusion later than the usual tulip season—a week or two past Wamego's earlier annual "Tulip Festival."

The historical buildings and Dutch windmill in the park were open for publis display. The park's mini-train was running. Various ancient large boulders had been hauled into town from farmland in the area to become a part of the park long ago. One statue on display in the park had originally been shown at the 1886 Chicago Worlds Fair.

Tents representing all quadrants of Kansas tourist attractions were open, with representatives passing out maps and brochures meant to entice travelers to all areas of the state.

Food venders had brisk sales. People could also buy honey, cheese, buffalo meat and other Kansas-made food products.

A special tent was set up to house the cream of Kansas nature and landscape photographers (including my favorites, Harland Schuster and Tom Parker).

Wonderful programs by historical reenactors included John Henry, Dust Bowl Farmer, Doc Holliday, Alexander Gardener, John Ritchie, and Amelia Earhart

Park
Wamego City ParkLarge rocks displayed at Wamego City ParkGatling GunBronze figure first shown at the Chicago World's Fair in 1893 Park windmillPark lakeLake bridgeView to the east across park lakeLunch on the lawn

Flowers
Flowers APink and orange tuplipsMagenta and red tulipsMagenta and orange tulipsVarigated tulips AVarigated tulips BTulips and fountainVarigated pink and yellow tulips with white tulipsYellow pansies

Buildings
Museum buildings, SE side of Wamego ParkOne-room school displayGeneral store displayOperator at swtichboardInterior, one-room cabin

Commons
Smoking meatLuncheon picnicTeepeeMusical talent plays in park bandstandElvis want-to-beFish tankStop at food vendorKids run handcarLonghorn bull sculpture of metal

Reenactors
re-enactor Are-enactor Bre-enactor Cre-enactor Dre-enactor Ere-enactor Fre-enactor G. Amelia Earhartre-enactor H, George Burnheimer as John Ritchiere-enactors audience Are-enactors audience Bwatching from the wings

Etc.
Stuffed bobcatGatling gun wood and metal wheelStuffed Great Horned Owl

I "stumbled upon" Mount Mitchell Heritage Prairie Preserve, south of Wamego. My clue was an arrowed sign along Highway 99. I turned east, drove a short distance, parked, then followed a winding pathway on foot toward the hilltop, where I discovered a granite monument with bronze plaque, with a date of 1956, commemorating the historic Beecher Bible & Rifle Church, a building north and west of the mound, which I've visited before.

I enjoyed the openness, the wind, the natural beauty, and the long view from atop the mound. There is plenty of parking, a display explaining the history of the spot, and a box for funding donations. Several other visitors came and went during my stay.

Near Wamego —Mount Mitchell Heritage Prairie Preserve
bushy spacesprairie grasses at edge of parking lotpurple wildflowerssecond variety, purple wildflowersprairie walking pathcritter footprintvista view Avista view Bclouds and grassbronze site markerbronze site marker Bvista view Csmall white prairie flowerslight green flower clustervista view Cvista view Dvista view Fmore prairie flowersvista view Gmossy rockyellow prairie flowersvista view Hsigns of prairie fire to the southold fence poletallgrass Atallgrass Btourist with camera, like me
prairie and sky
 

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