Explore! Kansas


Day schedule – Saturday, May 2, 2015

7 a.m. – depart from Hesston Mennonite Church south parking lot
Village Tours Charters round trip bus service including a Kansas historic road stop for Knackies famous cinnamon rolls break!
10 to 11 a.m. – Columbian Theatre Museum and Sogger Gallery Arts Center tour
Built in 1895 by J.C. Roger, a local banker and merchant, to house artifacts he brought to Wamego from the 1893 Columbian Exposition at the Chicago World’s Fair. Roger operated the two-story limestone building as a vaudeville theater, fitting for today’s live performances. A $1.8 million restoration was completed in 1994.
11:15 a.m. to 1 p.m. – OZ Museum tour
More than 2000 wizard artifacts! Experience the many exhibits the OZ Museum has to offer. You will find detailed historical facts about the movie and actors, OZ memorabilia and so much more! The OZ Museum houses more than just memorabilia from the famous 1939 MGM musical starring Judy Garland. It encompasses earlier silent films, one of which starred none other than Oliver Hardy (Laurel and Hardy fame) as the Tin Man as well as “The Wiz” starring Diana Ross and Michael Jackson. In fact, the OZ Museum also showcases over 100 years of OZ history, from the first edition L. Frank Baum books to the most current collectible pieces.
1 to 5 p.m. – Kansas Sampler Festival and Kansas vendors lunch
Vendor selection/cost on your own from a variety of choices including The Friendship House Bakery and Totos Tacoz. Entertainment stages, historical performers, artists, Kansas stump questions…see, do, hear, taste, buy and learn Kansas. The afternoon will be held at Wamego City Park, so prepare for outdoor conditions. More than 150 communities in the state will be represented at the festival. More than 11,000 people attended last year’s event in Wamego.
5 to 7 p.m. – Black Jack Hills BBQ Brisket Dinner
“The Best Little Party Meal in Kansas” Wamego Senior Center.
7:30 to 9 p.m. – Footloose musical at the Columbian Theatre
Starting a new life is never easy, especially when moving from the big-city life in Chicago to the small town of Beaumont. Ren has a major culture shock when he finds himself in disagreement with the ultra conservative, spiritual town that has put a ban on dancing. He makes quite the reputation for himself as a trouble-maker; he vows to break the dancing ban and to reawaken the town. Ren faces road blocks along the way, but eventually both he and Rev. Moore let down their guards and teach each other vital life lessons. Do you dare to “cut footloose” with Ren and the rest of the town?
9 p.m. Departure for return trip to Hesston
11 p.m. Arrival at Hesston Mennonite Church and dreams of Explore Kansas! in 2016!


$90 per person. Call alumni relations at 620-327-8109 or toll free at 866-437-7866 to pay. Check or credit card accepted to reserve space (first come, first served).

Join us for an outstanding spring day in Kansas!

Each year the Alumni Relations office plans a day-long charter bus tour to Kansas historic sites and points of interest. The 2013 tour included:

  • Cherokee Heritage Center including museum, Trail of Tears exhibit, Ancient Village and Adams Corner Rural Village.
  • OK Mozart Festival, Woolaroc Ranch
  • Woolaroc Museum and Wildlife Preservetours of western art and artifacts, wildlife preserve and country lodge ranch of Frank Phillips, Phillips Petroleum founder
  • Tour of Elk Falls, Kan., including the falls, Prudence Crandall history, Outhouse Tour, potters wheel demonstration, restored barn and bunkhouse and Missouri Oak Timbers home and early 1900s restored garden and estate
  • Garden party dinner and show with folk singer/guitarist Clint Gilbert