Wednesday, June 06, 2007

8 Wonders of Kansas

Six sites: 1) Brookville Hotel at Abilene, 2) the Chase County Courthouse in Cottonwood Falls, 3) the Eisenhower Center in Abilene, 4) John Steuart Curry murals, Topeka, 5) Keeper of the Plains in Wichita and 6) the Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve/Flint Hills in Chase County were honored Friday when they were among the top 24 finalists in a contest to determine the 8 Wonders of Kansas. These six sites are within the 22-county area of the Kansas Flint Hills represented by the Flint Hills Tourism Coalition.

The contest and finalists were announced by Marci Penner of the Kansas Sampler Foundation in Inman on June 1. Van Rothenberger of Osborne, a member of the Sampler Foundation’s Kansas Explorers group, initiated the idea.

The top 8 Wonders will be determined by the public, who can vote for their favorite wonders at from now until Dec. 31, 2007. On Jan. 29, 2008, Kansas Day, Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius will announce the top 8 Wonders as Kansas.

Each of the 24 finalists was selected based upon what Penner refers to as the 8 Rural Culture Elements: architecture, art, commerce, cuisine, customs, geography, history and people. The Brookville Hotel represents cuisine; the Eisenhower Center people and history; John Steuart Curry murals art; the Keeper of the Plains art and customs, the Chase County Courthouse architecture and the TPNP/Flint Hills a geographical representation.

Penner hopes the project will help to educate both Kansans and others about Kansas, encouraging people to see each of the sites in person.

To vote, go to between June 1 and Dec. 31 and vote online for your top eight choices. Be sure to vote for our wonderful Chase County sites. Each email address may be used up to three times for voting purposes. If you are unable to vote online, call 620-585-2374 for a printed ballot.

Personally, I'll be voting for the Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve/Flint Hills as most representative; but I'm very pleased that the Kansas Flint Hills got 25% of the nominations!

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