Community hosts many festivals
Ellis County is home to numerous festivals throughout the summer months and into the fall, beginning in June and extending through October. From Riverfest to Oktoberfest, Ellis County residents can find a way to stay busy and entertained.
The first festival is Riverfest in Ellis. The event is hosted by the Ellis Chamber of Commerce on the second weekend of June each year.
For more information about Riverfest, contact the Ellis Chamber of Commerce at (785) 726-2660.
The weekend nearest the Fourth of July is the traditional date for Wild West Festival in Hays at Municipal Park on south Main Street.
For more information about Wild West Festival, contact (785) 623-4476 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit the Wild West Festival website at www.wildwestfestival.com.
Also in July is the Ellis County Fair, which was July 14 to 21 in 2012. Events at the fair include 4-H activities such as showing animals and fine arts.
For more information about the Ellis County Fair, visit www.elliscountyfair.com.
The Ellis Jr. Free Fair annually is during the final week of July, beginning Tuesday and running through Saturday. Now in its 80th year, the free fair features sand volleyball and horseshoe tournaments, baseball games, children's games and a free barbecue.
More information about the Ellis Jr. Free Fair can be found by calling (785) 726-3636.
Herzogfest, a free celebration, is celebrating its 30th anniversary Aug. 10 and 11. Herzogfest features live music, a 5K run/walk, polka Mass, parade, talent show, vendors, rod, custom and cycle show.
In 2012, Herzogfest also will feature free concerts from Wes Windholz Band, Shades of Gray, Galen Schmidtberger and Joe Dolezal, and Jimmy Dee and the Fabulous Destinations, as well as a featured concert from Wade Bowen.
For details on Herzogfest, visit www.herzogfest.com or email email@example.com.
Sept. 15 and 16 will be the second annual Harold Dorzweiler Cancer Memorial Fund Polka Fest at the Ellis County Fairgrounds.
Activities begin at 10 a.m. with polka bands, a wedding dinner both days and beer garden. Funds will be raised through the event for cancer patients and their families. For more information, call (785) 625-5256.
In 2012, the Volga German Society will have its Oktoberfest on Oct. 5. Oktoberfest is an annual celebration of the Volga-German heritage of Ellis County.
Oktoberfest is celebrated on the Friday before Fort Hays State University's homecoming celebration. In the past, the festival has brought nearly 10,000 people to Frontier Park for music, food, crafts, games and a beer garden.
The Volga German Society promotes the heritage of the German immigrants with various events and programs.
For more information, contact the Hays Area Chamber of Commerce at (785) 628-8201.
On Nov. 10, a traditional German Lanternfest will be at Cottonwood Star Cultural Corner (Kris Kuksi Fine Art Gallery), 807 Main, Hays.
The festival of lanterns is a German tradition that takes place in the evening on or near the Feast Day of St. Martin where parents, families and neighbors gather together for a small, neighborhood parade led by St. Martin and his white horse.
The Lanternfest is an evening for children to make a lantern, learn the lantern songs and sing them as they walk the downtown streets with lanterns in hand. After making the lanterns and baking the little WeckmÃ§nner, the story of St. Martin is told, a shadow puppet show is shown, and the parade of lanterns goes into the streets where participants will sing the newly learned songs. The event will feature warm baked goodies and beverages. For information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.