Big Kansas Road Trip – A Letter From Marci Penner, Kansas Sampler Foundation

RE: The BKRT is coming to town!

From: Marci Penner, Kansas Sampler Foundation, marci@kansassampler.org, 620-585-2374

To the people of Cheyenne, Sherman and Wallace Counties,

It has been so fun promoting the attractions, the people, and the activities for the Big Kansas Road Trip coming up on May 2-5. If you have “Liked” the BKRT Facebook page you’ll see that there is a great deal of interest.

We have a number of purposes for the BKRT. One is to get people to come out to the Great (KS) Northwest to see, do, hear, taste, buy, and learn. But another is to use the showcase counties to get people addicted to exploring Kansas in hopes they’ll continue to visit all parts of the state year-round.

The mission of the Kansas Sampler Foundation is to preserve and sustain rural culture. We write Kansas guidebooks, have a Kansas Explorers Club, and organize (along with county leaders and volunteers) the BKRT because we want to help people get to know rural communities through first-hand experiences.

We asked communities to simply be good at being themselves which means you didn’t really have to do anything extra. Still, so many of you have jumped in to help tell the story of the area with more than 75 activities! It’s kind of like we’re having a tri-county open house and inviting the public to come on over and have a good time.

Without an official count, we think that 500-700 people attended last year. Will we have more this year? It’s hard to know. Because people will be spread out over the three counties it can feel like there aren’t many visitors. We encourage those of you who have opened your doors to enjoy each person who comes in rather than concentrate on wanting “numbers”.

In a way you are ambassadors for all of rural Kansas. There will be a number of people from metro areas who feel like this event is a good way to dip their toe into seeing what rural communities are all about. Share with them why you are rural by choice and help them see the benefits of living where you do. That point of view will make an impact that they’ll talk about for a long time.

If you have not yet seen any information about this event, pick up a printed guide at your local library or museum, go to http://bigkansasroadtrip.com , or find this event on Facebook. And if you run across people you don’t know May 2-5, just be friendly and help these visitors get a positive impression of where you call home.

We look forward to seeing you soon,

Marci Penner & Wendee Rowe, Kansas Sampler Foundation

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