Tumbleweed Festival draws crowds to G.C.





It was fun for all ages at the Tumbleweed Festival Sunday afternoon. While children got their faces painted, ate funnel cakes and met a roaming dinosaur, adults took in the sounds of various music groups.

Brent Clark and his wife, Ashley, of Holcomb, listened to the music as they walked along with their children, 3-year-old Carter and 1-year-old Autumn.

"The kids love the music. She likes to dance to it," Ashley said, as Autumn hopped around.

Carter was spending his time pretending to be an airplane as he talked about the Legos tent.

"I made a big tower," he said.

The Clarks were on their way to get the children's faces painted.

"If they'll sit still long enough," Brent said, laughing.

Five-year-old Easton Beardsley already was wearing green face paint.

"It's the Hulk," he said. "He's my favorite because he's strong."

Easton already had been to the Lego tent.

"I was a bad guy, and Daddy kept building buildings and I built a really tall thing, and the whole thing I built explodes, all the Legos explode and then it turns the building pieces to Jedis," he said, prompting laughter from his mother, Kendra Beardsley.

She, her husband, Scott Beardsley, and Easton are from Independence and were in Garden City for the weekend, visiting Scott's sister, Kim Marez.

"They actually picked the perfect weekend to come down because actually, I've lived here for 27 years and I've never been to the Tumbleweed Festival, so yesterday was my first day," Marez said as she carried a funnel cake for them to share.

Kendra laughed and said that Scott had a Fantasy Football draft Sunday but that the entire family attended the event Saturday.

"We watched the puppet guy last night, and then we watched the magician," Kendra said. "We did the face painting and balloon people and all kinds of fun stuff."

Easton was planning on a new balloon sometime Sunday.

"I had a sword in this, but I popped it. We're going to get another one later," he said.

The puppet guy, Wayne Francis, is a ventriloquist from Denver who puts on a show featuring a life-sized puppet named Wingnut.

On Sunday, Francis asked the audience, "How many of you have ever talked to a dummy before? How many of you are sitting next to a dummy right now?"

This prompted lots of finger pointing and laughter.

Wayne and Wingnut then performed a song for the audience, using a washboard.

In a tent next to the stage where Wayne and Wingnut were performing, Deb Jarmer and her 5-year-old granddaughter, Lauren Jarmer, hosted one of the crafts tables in the arts and crafts tents. Lauren glued eyeballs onto a caterpillar made out of egg cartons.

"I think a lot of people are interested in the music and the stage shows, which is good," Deb Jarmer said. "Of course, the kids like that dinosaur that walks around. He will come up and stand over the kids while they are doing something. It's funny," she said.

About that time, the dinosaur known as Mr. Bones showed up. Mr. Bones is a puppet tyrannosaurus rex skeleton that Tim Seeber, an artist from Colorado, controls as he roams around the festival.

Nine-year-old McKenzie Brock and 5-year-old Maridee Brock excitedly ran up to Mr. Bones so their mother, Shelly Brock, could take a picture of them with the dinosaur's mouth over their heads, as 4-year-old Madison Brock hid bashfully behind her mother's leg.

McKenzie said it was fun.

"It's just made of foam. It's not scary," she said.

The Brocks are from Minneapolis, Kan., and were in town visiting family.

"My mom and dad live in Cimarron, and my grandma lives in Garden City," Shelly said.

Local musical acts kicked off the 22nd annual Tumbleweed Festival Friday night and then on Saturday and Sunday, various other musical acts and entertainers performed on four different stages on the west green of Finnup Park.

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