Festival gets underway

Chad Frey
The Kansan

Sand Creek Summer Daze has finally arrived — events in Athletic Park will begin, in earnest, July 8. 

Following a one-year hiatus, the Sand Creek Summer Daze Festival returns this weekend.

The festival will host "Heroes, Music and Moviez" in Athletic Park starting at 7 p.m. The night will kick off with a ceremony to honor local heroes, followed by a concert by the Newton Mid-Kansas Symphony Orchestra. 

A 1980s movie will be screened in the park at 9 p.m.

July 9 barbecue will take center stage, with "The Saucy and Glazed BBQ Competition" starting at 5:30 p.m.  is in its second year as a Kansas City BBQ Society Master Series Sanctioned Contest. Master Series Sanctioned Contests are eligible for the American Royal and the Jack Daniels World Championship. In addition, all KCBS team members who participate in a Master Series Sanctioned Contest earn points towards the KCBS Team of the Year awards.

A concert in the park — "The Wild Seeds of Sand Creek Concert" — will start at 7 p.m.with  The Smokey Valley Bluegrass Band out of Galva. The group  is mostly  a traditional bluegrass band with a mix some contemporary songs as well. At 8:30 p.m. Great Bend native Ricky Fugitt will take the stage, offering a straight forward rodeo and red dirt form of country music.

Saturday a full plate of activites awaits, from a golf chipping compeition; low rider parade; lawn games including   Giant Jenga, Corn Hole, Ladder Golf, Washers, Lawn Bocce, Putt-Skee, Wall Ball, Giant Connect 4, Bean Bag Pipes, Giant Dominoes, Kerplunk, Tic Tac Toe and Lawn Twister; a food court, a special area for children and a car show are included in a full list activities. 

Music begins at 10 a.m. with Mariachi Los Reyes will be on the Farm Bureau Stage. At 11:30 a.m., magician Eric Vaughn will perform. Vaughn was named “Magician of the Year by the Kansas City ring of the International Brotherhood of Magicians in 2001.

At 12:30 p.m. with local favorites The Sassanachs will perform on the Koehn Painting Barbecue Stage. This high-energy band has a heavy Irish influence with other international influences.

Hypnotist Heather Jay blends comedy and hypnosis in an interactive 3 p.m. performance on the Farm Bureau Stage.

The evening concert on July 10 will feature The Astronauts at 7 p.m. in the bandshell at Athletic Park. The Astronauts is a high-energy dance band that covers songs by artists including Duran Duran, Madonna, Van Halen, The Go-Gos and more. Their performance will be followed by Wichita-based fire performing group Phlox Fire, which uses props to enhance their craft called Flow Art.

The festival will wrap up on July 11 with Rising Above the Creek in Athletic Park, a Christian concert featuring Accrostic at 2 p.m., The Gathering Collaborative at 3 p.m. and Evidence of Journey at 4:30 p.m

Festival buttons are $5. For a full list of activities and events, visit https://sandcreeksummerdaze.com/