Much will be the same, but much will be new for the 2017 Party in the Park set for Aug. 12 at Veterans Memorial Park.
“Of course we will have the fireworks and the mud volleyball and the dog park events,” Great Bend Community Coordinator Christina Hayes said. There will also be the car show, inflatable toys in the kids’ zone, canoe races and the food-eating contest. In the past, this eating contest has included Oreo cookies, Twinkies and pie, but this year’s entree has not been determined.
However, the first big change will come early in the event. “Instead of the obstacle mud run that was in the morning, we are going to have a parade. We’ve had a lot of requests for a parade,” Hayes said.
This will run east down 17th Street Terrace and will be a “wet-dry” parade, she said. The first half will be dry, but at the end, those watching who want to can exchange water volleys with participants.
Another addition will be a large kite festival at the north side of Vets, sponsored by the Great Bend Recreation Commission. Featuring fancy, expensive kites, “we are really excited about this,” Hayes said.
Then there is the musical entertainment. This year’s line-up includes acts that all have a strong local following. They are Emporia country singer Ricky Fugitt, Great Bend-based rock band Home Brew and Stillwater, Okla.-based country singer Jason Boland.
“I think it should be a big turnout,” Hayes said.
An annual city-sponsored event since 2013, Party in the Park is a chance for city officials to say thank you to the community. It is also a way to bring family activities back to Vets.