Rolling along: Tumbleweed Festival coming up




While it has evolved in some ways over the past 22 years, the main premise behind the annual Tumbleweed Festival has not changed.

"We provide a nice, clean, family atmosphere for people to come to bring their kids and enjoy a nice setting there at the zoo in the shade, in the green grass," Daryl Hamlett, president of the Tumbleweed Festival board, said.

The family-friendly event draws 6,000 to 7,000 people every year, with music and entertainment geared toward kids and adults, alike.

For the kids, there are magicians, storytellers and puppeteers. There is also a tent for face painting and one for arts and crafts, where kids will be able to create such things as pasta necklaces, egg carton crafts, and clothespin crafts, to name a few.

For adults, the draw has always been the musical acts, which include a variety of genres — bluegrass, country, rock, Christian rock, folk and blues.

"There's something about live music and all of these genres," Jim Randall, Tumbleweed Festival board member, said. "Besides the fact that it's live, you can't beat the spot for a festival."

The festival is held each year on the west green of the Lee Richardson Zoo. Originally, the event took place on the fourth Saturday of August each year. It later evolved into a two-day event, from Saturday to Sunday, and is now held Friday, Saturday and Sunday, which falls Aug. 23 to 25 this year.

"It will be fun for local bands to play off that sound system," Randall said.

Local acts performing Friday night include Willis Pracht, 88 Hours, Russ and Debbie Tidwell, Fresh Picked Parsley, Collective Faith, 3rd Degree and DV8.

"The Christian concert is on Saturday evening and will feature Kerrie Roberts, who is opening for Sanctus Real, who's the headliner," Randall said.

Nine other musical acts will be performing Saturday and Sunday afternoons.

Hamburgers, chili cheese steak sandwiches, onion rings and funnel cakes will a few of the tasty treats on the menu.

Another new addition to the festival will not only be artistic but also environmentally responsible.

Laurie Chapman, executive director of Garden City Arts, said the organization has been collecting used plastic bottles to both create artwork and to demonstrate the number of plastic bottles used in the United States.

"We're going to try to collect 1,500 plastic bottles. The reason being, we've seen online a similar project based on a statistic that U.S. consumers use 1,500 bottles of water in one second, so that's 90,000 in one minute. That is a huge amount of plastic bottles," Chapman said.

The idea came from a group in New York that is taking used plastic bottles and creating an art project in a park there.

"We've developed a format where we will create strands of these bottles, and we will install a tent and one whole back side will be plastic bottles. Based on how many bottles we use, we may have to involve more of the tent," Chapman said. "We may even have a few extra bottles there (so) kids can create artwork."

Chapman hopes that the project will not only motivate people to drop their plastic bottles at existing recycling locations, but also at the Garden City Arts Gallery, for kids to use for future art projects.

Randall said this year's Tumbleweed Festival also is bringing back some old favorites.

"Some of the folks who have been coming to the festival for a long time still remember the buttons that we had for admission, before we went to the wristbands, and they liked collecting them. We aren't going back to them (for admission), but we are going to have some buttons that people can buy," he said.

Kathy Friesen, Tumbleweed Festival board member, said local sponsors have been the key to keeping admission fees down.

Wristbands will allow entry to all the festivities for a one-time fee of $5 per child and $15 per adult.

Advance tickets may be purchased at participating locations in Garden City, Scott City, Ulysses, Dodge City and Liberal.

Advance tickets are $5 for children and $10 for adults.

For more information on advance tickets or for a schedule of events, go to, or contact Kathy Friesen at 290-1011.

Friday, Aug. 23

North Stage

Willis Pracht - 6 p.m.

88 Hours - 6:35 p.m.

Russ and Debbie Tidwell - 7:10 p.m.

Fresh Picked Parsley - 7:45 p.m.

Collective Faith - 8:20 p.m.

3rd Degree - 8:55 p.m.

DV8 - 9:30 p.m.

Saturday, Aug. 24

Children's Stage

Vince DeLaughder - 10 a.m.

Dino O'Dell - 10:45 a.m.

Wayne Francis - 11:30 a.m.

Joan Wells - 12:15 p.m.

Eric Vaughn - 1 p.m.

Dance Team - 1:45 p.m.

Vince DeLaughder - 2:15 p.m.

Dino O'Dell - 3 p.m.

Wayne Francis - 3:45 p.m.

Eric Vaughn - 4:30 p.m.

Joan Wells - 5:15 p.m.

East Stage

Susan Gibson - 10 a.m.

Dixie Leadfoot & The Chrome Struts - 11 a.m.

Noel McKay with special guest Brennen Leigh - Noon.

The Haunted Windchimes - 1 p.m.

Tia McGraff - 2 p.m.

Harvey Reid - 3 p.m.

Noel McKay with special guest Brennen Leigh - 4 p.m.

Don Edwards - 5 p.m.

North Stage

Kerrie Roberts - 6 p.m.

Sanctus Real - 7 p.m.

South Stage

The Mudbugs Cajun & Zydeco Band - 10 a.m.

Harvey Reid - 11 a.m.

Run Boy Run - Noon.

Susan Gibson - 1 p.m.

Don Edwards - 2 p.m.

The Mudbugs Cajun & Zydeco Band - 3 p.m.

The Haunted Windchimes - 4 p.m.

Dixie Leadfoot & The Chrome Struts - 5 p.m.

Sunday, Aug. 25

Children's Stage

Joan Wells - 12:30 p.m.

Eric Vaughn - 1:15 p.m.

Wayne Francis - 2 p.m.

Dino O'Dell - 2:45 p.m.

Vince DeLaughder - 3:30 p.m.

East Stage

Susan Gibson - 12:30 p.m.

Tia McGraff - 1:30 p.m.

Dixie Leadfoot & The Chrome Struts - 2:30 p.m.

Harvey Reid - 3:30 p.m.

Run Boy Run - 4:30 p.m.

South Stage

The Mudbugs Cajun & Zydeco Band - 12:30 p.m.

Run Boy Run - 1:30 p.m.

Noel McKay with special guest Brennen Leigh - 2:30 p.m.

Don Edwards - 3:30 p.m.

Tia McGraff - 4:30 p.m.

The Haunted Windchimes - 5:30 p.m.

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