Kansas Sampler Foundation is planning a road trip to Northeast Kansas and everyone is invited
The Kansas Sampler Foundation is ready to hit the road and show off what makes Kansas unique.
The foundation's Big Kansas Road Trip will take place from May 6-9. This year, visitors will explore Brown, Doniphan and Nemaha counties, which are in the most northeastern part of the state.
The road trip provides the public with first-hand experiences in a format that emulates a tri-county open house. It also gives rural communities a shot in the arm — economically. Each visitor creates their own plan of where and when to go to any particular place.
"Communities are asked to simply be good at being themselves," said Marci Penner, the director of the non-profit Kansas Sampler, which is based in Inman. "The open-house type of event suggests that locals know you're coming so it's less intimidating to be a stranger in town."
Organizations, attractions and businesses are invited to help the public get to know them through a variety of activities.
This event was postponed twice because of COVID-19. If people want to simply drive through the three counties and not leave their automobile, they can.
"We want to give city dwellers and those in other parts of the state an opportunity and a reason to get to know a part of the state that they don't know well," Penner said. "There are invitations to come onto farms, to get tours not normally available and for locals to share who they are and where they live."
Activities include tours of a historic vineyard cellar near Doniphan, a wheel-and-wainwright business in Horton, a farm with baby lambs near Sabetha, a sawmill demonstration at Albany and a melodrama presentation in Robinson. Travelers are also invited to partake in eating pie on a porch in Highland or a trip into a 60-year-old butcher shop in Bern.
On Friday night, participants can either watch The Peterson Brothers in Sabetha or enjoy goodies at sunset on Centralia Lake. There will be events happening throughout the day in all three counties.
People can find updated listings for events, attractions, shop stops, restaurants and lodging at bigkansasroadtrip.com or they can pick up a 52-page guide at participating state visitor centers and chambers of commerce. The guide and a day program will be available in the counties during the event.
Information and pictures are posted daily on the Big Kansas Road Trip Facebook page.
"The BKRT format introduces so many different parts of a community to the interested public from attractions, natural landmarks and back roads to restaurants, businesses and libraries," Penner said. "It also encourages the interaction between locals and visitors."