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Jess, Faces & Places Tour Roadie

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Wellington Wheat Harvest, a Cause for Celebration

As far as I can see, the golden glow of freshly-cut wheat fields meets impossibly blue sky. My view is interrupted only by a grain elevator as I step out of the van to take photos of the "Wheat Capital of the World." Wheat has played an important role in the Sumner County economy for decades. Agricultural technologies have changed, yet there is something timeless in this view. I wonder, when the citizens of Wellington decided to hold a festival in celebration of a particularly successful crop in 1900, if they imagined we would still be celebrating 113 years later. 

Posted on July 17, 2013 11:10AM by Jess, Faces & Places Tour Roadie

It was a Blast: Russell and Hays Sparkle with Fourth of July Spirit

A Faces & Places Roadie Blog  

The most recent stops on my Faces and Places tour itinerary were familiar names on my map. I've always associated Russell with its hometown hero, Bob Dole. My kids beg to stop by the Sternberg Museum of Natural History in Hays each time we pass by on Interstate 70. This visit, however, offered a unique opportunity to see each community at its festival finest.  I was to visit Russell's Fourth of July Freedom Fest, followed by a visit to Hays' four-day celebration, the Wild West Fest.

Posted on July 10, 2013 8:15AM by Jess, Faces & Places Tour Roadie

Gypsum Hills Scenic Byway by Bicycle

A Faces & Places Roadie Blog 

On June 8th, bicyclists aged seven to 87 met in Johnson City to travel 522 miles across Kansas. Many came from Kansas; others traveled from as far away as Northern Ireland. Larry Cabeen, Chicago, laughingly claims he came because, "I was told Kansas was flat." Some arrived for the physical challenge, others to connect with friends and family. Riders counted up their trips: For John Bergey of Hesston, this ride marks his ninth.

Posted on July 3, 2013 12:00PM by Jess, Faces & Places Tour Roadie

Cornstock: Make yourself at home

A Faces & Places Roadie Blog

I may be getting a bit sentimental as I near the end of my travels as a roadie for the Faces & Places Tour 2012. Blogging each adventure provides an opportunity to reflect.  After each event, I sit at my computer and brainstorm keywords. I try to choose words that capture each experience and then use the words to shape the blog. Some of my words have included: “generation,” “community” and “tradition.” My word for Garnett didn’t take much brainstorming.

Posted on September 26, 2012 11:49AM by Jess, Faces & Places Tour Roadie

Yoder: Then and Now

A Faces & Places Roadie Blog

I arrived to line up for the Yoder Heritage Days Festival parade over an hour early. I was kindly pointed to my spot in line – a line that stretched miles down a ...

Posted on August 29, 2012 10:30AM by Jess, Faces & Places Tour Roadie

Promised Land on the Prairie

A Faces & Places Roadie Blog

Driving through the hills on Highway 283 on a perfect July morning, air conditioner blasting away the early heat, sunglasses perched on my nose, it was impossible not to be taken in by the rare beauty of the Smoky River Valley. While somehow managing to be inviting and foreboding at the same time, the landscape made me feel small, not unlike the feeling of standing beside the ocean or a busy sidewalk in New York. On this day, my husband, kids and I headed toward the unincorporated town of Nicodemus, Kansas, to attend the 134th annual Homecoming and Emancipation Celebration.

Posted on July 31, 2012 4:06PM by Jess, Faces & Places Tour Roadie


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