Thanks to The Big Read in Wichita and a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, Dyck Arboretum will be giving away a free copy of Willa Cather’s novel “My Antonia” to each family or group that attends the arboretums’ luminary walk.


Thanks to The Big Read in Wichita and a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, Dyck Arboretum will be giving away a free copy of Willa Cather’s novel “My Antonia” to each family or group that attends the arboretums’ luminary walk.

Excerpts from the novel will be heard along the path thanks to narration by Roland Miller of rural Newton and music overlay by Gary Oyer of Hesston.

Dyck Arboretum of the Plains will host the annual luminary walk from 5:30 to 8 p.m. today and Saturday featuring the theme My Antonia: A Luminary Walk though Her Story.

Along the lighted pathways, visitors will enjoy vignettes of life on the prairie in the late 1800’s. These will include Mrs. Shimerda’s cow and the rattlesnake in the garden.

Maynard Knepp and Carol Duerksen are bringing animals that are depicted in the novel from their farm to provide an authentic feel of life on the land.

In the Visitor Center, musical selections and a Reader’s Theater will showcase passages from the book available in the arboretum gift shop.

The cost of the luminary walk is $5 for adults, $3 for college students, and $2.50 for children (children ages 4 and younger are free).

For an additional cost of $5.99, a soup supper and dessert will be served today and Saturday in Willa Cather’s Kitchen, with children younger than 4 free.

The luminary walk will continue with the same theme on Dec. 12 and Dec. 13 with music and refreshments along the path.

Cookies baked by Hesston Women’s Civic Club and hot drinks will warm visitors inside the visitor center.

Each night there will be a “guessing table” with artifacts from the time period.