Archive for Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Meeting to introduce Kansas Sampler Festival to community

October 21, 2009

Leavenworth County officials organizing the 2010 and 2011 Kansas Sampler Festival are hoping to present all the sights, sounds and tastes that Kansas has to offer.

With potential vendors, performers, exhibitors and volunteers being charged with such a big task, festival planners have organized an informational meeting to introduce the festival to the community.

“Anyone interested in being an exhibitor, vendor, food booth, entertainer or being a sponsor, or even a volunteer should attend the meeting,” said Keyta Kelly, Leavenworth County festival director. “(The meeting) should give them a really good overview of what the Sampler is all about.”

The meeting will start at 10 a.m. Tuesday at the Riverfront Community Center, 123 S. Esplanade, Leavenworth. Participants will begin the day with a meeting to introduce festival organizers and get an overview of what exactly the festival will entail.

One of the biggest reasons for the meeting, Kelly said, was to inform potential vendors about the criteria to become a Sampler Festival participant.

“There are certain restrictions,” Kelly said. “(Potential participants) need to know who can show and who can not and what types (of booths) are appropriate and what is not.”

Kelly said the whole idea behind the festival is to educate visitors about what Kansas has to offer. She said people should be able to come to a festival and get enough information to plan several trips around the state.

So when it comes to participants, Kelly said the festival needed to make sure the chosen vendors had products or entertainment that could be seen or purchased anytime someone visited a certain city.

“For an arts and crafts person that only sells at arts and crafts festivals, with no storefront, they would not qualify,” Kelly said. “We want people to discover new places and come there and plan a day trip or several day trips just by walking through the festival.”

The meeting Tuesday also will include a trolley ride tour of Leavenworth and a tour of the festival grounds before a question and answer session to finish the day.

While May 2010 may seem to be in the distant future, Kelly said the registration deadline for vendors is Nov. 1 and following that, the festival would be here in no time.

“The next six months will go so fast,” Kelly said. “As soon as people register, that will give us the opportunity to get a feel for how many vendors and exhibits and entertainers we’ll have so we can make plans we need to make.”

The 2010 Kansas Sampler Festival will be Saturday, May 1 and Sunday, May 2 at Ray Miller Park on Fourth Street in Leavenworth. Kelly said she expected there to be more than 300 exhibitors from across the state of Kansas.

In addition to the education provided by the festival, Kelly said the festival would bring economic opportunities to Leavenworth County. She said she expects the festival to bring 15,000 to 20,000 people to Leavenworth to spend their money at local gasoline stations, restaurants and stores, as well as the exhibitors and vendors filling hotels for the weekend.

“Since we’re so close to (Kansas City) metro area, we’re planning for bigger crowds this festival,” Kelly said. “The meeting should help inform vendors what to expect.”

To attend the meeting, RSVP with Kelly at (913) 417-7575 or kssamplerfestlvco@sunflower.com.

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