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Big Kansas Road Trip

What is the Big Kansas Road Trip (BKRT)?


The BKRT is coming to Ellsworth and Lincoln counties plus the community of Lucas next year bringing all sorts of visitors and explorers to the area! The BKRT is a multi-day 'open house' type event highlighting unique points of interest, museums, attractions, shops, and restaurants. The BKRT is organized by the Kansas Sampler Foundation (KSF) and 2024 will be its sixth year.


The BKRT will bring people from all over the state and beyond to the area for a "Build Your Own Adventure". These faithful adventurers love to explore, see the treasures, savor the local cuisine, and spend at their favorite stop shops!

Let's Get Started....

We had a great meeting on August 8 full of energy and excitement and community champions!  What's next?  We need your help!

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How you can help...

Volunteers Cleaning Park

Community Champion

Roller and Tray

Clean Up & Project Completion

Photographing

Take Photos

Google

Two superstar champions from every community to volunteer as boots-on-the-ground coordinators for local businesses. These champions will help build excitement, funnel ideas, and help all year as we plan and coordinate! Collaboration, teamwork, positive energy, and TIME are needed here!  Additional volunteers will be needed for clean up projects, signage, and serving as ambassadors for your community!

All businesses, museums, and attractions need to take a fresh look at themselves and consider small spruce-up projects that can be completed before May, 2024. If there is a project that has stagnated, NOW is a great time to move it forward before we have hundreds of visitors at taking a look at our community!  Funding sources listed below.

Take lots of photos of your business/attraction. While the grass is green, the skies are blue, and people are visiting and shopping, we will need high quality images for marketing the BKRT. We will accept your uploaded photos at the button below.

Claim your Google Business listing, and make sure it's up to date - hours, details, photos, etc. Make sure your listings on any other websites (such as Yelp and TripAdvisor) are also looking their best!

Are you a member of Grow Ellsworth County?  Renew/join in 2024 to take advantage of special promotions during the BKRT and to allow Grow Ellsworth County e-gift cards!

Funding Sources

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Smoky Hills

Community Foundation

Facade Improvement

Loan

Wall Sketching

Reimagined

Spaces Grants

Smoky Hills Community Foundation is now accepting grants for the fall window!

 

It's a great time for all non-profits to take a fresh look at their facilities and spaces, and prepare for hundreds to visit our community in May 2024 with the Big Kansas Road Trip! The time to make those applications is NOW, as the spring round will be too late!

Let's all consider giving our county the brightest and best face in 2024 as we welcome explorers from across the state and beyond!

This program is designed for small scale renovation projects to the facade of commercial buildings in Ellsworth County.

 

The program is available to provide an affordable financing option for improvements to commercial building facades in order to maintain the functionality, structural integrity and aesthetics in commercial areas.

This is a 0% interest loan facilitated by Grow Ellsworth County in partnership with the North Central Regional Planning Commission.

Reimagined Spaces provides funding for communities to activate publicly accessible spaces for the purposes of artistic use and public programming.

 

The program is designed to utilize artists, temporary creative interventions and arts organizations to increase community vibrancy and provide space for artistic expression and public engagement.

 

Eligible projects may include artist studios, pop-up performance spaces, installations, activation of outdoor spaces and exhibition space. 

The above resources are not meant to be an inclusive list of funding sources.  Contact Grow Ellsworth County to discuss your need and a potential matching fund source.

Next Steps

We will need all hands on deck to make this a successful event!  We will also need some organization and structure, as we create the marketing materials and color guide for the Explorers coming to our community.  To this end, we have created some easy ways to submit your ideas for events, restaurants, and attractions that should be included in the guide.  Please note, this does not include paid ads.

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Events

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Attractions

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Restaurants

CRITERIA:  

Activities should tell the story of an aspect of the community. 

Events should portray a local custom or an activity that is an annual event. Examples are lemonade stands, annual bake sale or a hoola hoop contest.

If a musical event is submitted, entertainers should be local or from the region. 

It is strongly suggested that tours last no more than 15-30 minutes. Priority will be given events that submit tours for this length of time.


THE DEADLINE TO SUBMIT AN EVENT APPLICATION IS DECEMBER 1, 2023. (If your event is approved the information will be listed on the BKRT website and in the color guide. Deadline for approved event changes is February 1, 2024.

Please fill out this form if you are an attraction and plan to participate in the Big Kansas Road Trip, May 2-5 in Ellsworth and Lincoln counties + Lucas. The information will be compiled and used in the print color guide and website. 


THE DEADLINE TO SUBMIT INFORMATION FOR THE BKRT COLOR GUIDE IS FEBRUARY 1, 2024

After this date, registration form information will be added to the BKRT website until April 5, 2024, but will not be included in the print color guide.

Examples of attractions:

Museums

Walking Trails

Historical Destinations

Destination Locations

Please fill out this form if your restaurant will be open Big Kansas Road Trip, May 2-5 in Ellsworth and Lincoln counties + Lucas. We only list locally owned restaurants. Franchises are not listed in the color guide. The information will be compiled and used in the print color guide and website. 


THE DEADLINE TO SUBMIT INFORMATION FOR THE BKRT COLOR GUIDE IS FEBRUARY 1, 2024

After this date, registration form information will be added to the BKRT website until April 5, 2024, but will not be included in the print color guide.

Examples of restaurants:

Local pizzerias

Locally owned coffee shops

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Shop Stops

CRITERIA:  

Activities should tell the story of an aspect of the community. 

Events should portray a local custom or an activity that is an annual event. Examples are lemonade stands, annual bake sale or a hoola hoop contest.

If a musical event is submitted, entertainers should be local or from the region. 

It is strongly suggested that tours last no more than 15-30 minutes. Priority will be given events that submit tours for this length of time.


THE DEADLINE TO SUBMIT AN EVENT APPLICATION IS DECEMBER 1, 2023. (If your event is approved the information will be listed on the BKRT website and in the color guide. Deadline for approved event changes is February 1, 2024.

Qualifying businesses are those that are tourism attractions or destination shop or unique inventory/architecture/or story. We ask that any business who is in the BKRT promotion provide something, whether it be a special price, a bottled water, a cup of coffee, a souvenir, a photo opp. We encourage these businesses to put some kind of extra Welcome sign in their window, along with the BKRT sign, and/or a sandwich board sign on the street. Places like liquor stores, chiropractor, appliance shops, insurance agencies, banks, etc. are not likely eligible unless circumstances offer something really unique (examples – liquor store in Hoisington is in an old Valentine Diner). 


THE DEADLINE TO SUBMIT INFORMATION FOR THE BKRT COLOR GUIDE IS FEBRUARY 1, 2024

After this date, registration form information will be added to the BKRT website until April 5, 2024, but will not be included in the print color guide.

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