2022 Cowboy Poetry Contest Finals (Friday 7 p.m. at the Flint Hills Discovery Center)

The best cowboy poets in Kansas are taking the stage Friday for the state finals in the 2022 Cowboy Poetry Contest.

The Flint Hills Discovery Center serves as the backdrop for the annual event. Poetry contest chair Ron Wilson, of the Lazy T Ranch in Manhattan, says finalists will present in two go rounds that include both serious and humorous poems.

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Qualifying contests were held in Fredonia and Hays and included 28 entries from four states. Manhattan residents that have made it into the finals include Betty Burlingham and Tim Keane. Wilson says the state champions in each category will receive a generous prize package.

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The contest begins at 7 p.m. Friday and is open to the public.

Arts in the Park artist Nave Monjo (8 p.m. at City Park)

Manhattan Parks and Recreation has been celebrating the return of Arts in the Park, the annual weekly summer concert series at City Park.

One of the non-musician artists that Arts and Humanities Recreation Supervisor Molli Maberry has brought on is a flamenco dancer from AHA! Manhattan. Maberry says the tradition of the event series is what helps these bands want to get involved. She also spoke to tonight’s concert featuring artist Nave Monjo.

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Friday’s performance begins at 8 p.m. at the Larry Norvell Band Shell in City Park.

The series includes a concert Fridays through June and July, featuring a new artist every week. Maberry says they will have a special Juneteenth Concert for next week’s holiday celebrations.

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Nelson Family Community Foundation fundraiser (Leonardville)

The 14th annual Nelson Family Community Foundation benefit is happening Friday and Saturday in Leonardville.

Funds raised will support Kyra Dettmer and Bradley Stone. Dettmer’s family was involved in a motor vehicle crash last fall that resulted in the death of Kyra’s husband Kevin and injuries to Kyra and three of their four children. Stone is a local farmer diagnosed with lymphoma last year who is now cancer free but has had to undergo several rounds of chemotherapy and continues to have follow up medical visits.

Activities in Leonardville include the barbecue meal Friday from 5 to 7 p.m. There will also be a beer garden, live music and a corn hole tournament. Saturday’s activities include a golf tournament, drive or ride and a silent auction from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. followed by the live auction at 6 p.m at the Sikes Venue.

Manhattan High School alumni reunion and Columbian Theatre performance of Mary Poppins
Other activities this weekend include the Manhattan High School alumni reunion happening Saturday. More details are available at mhkhighschoolreunion.com.

The Columbian Theatre in Wamego is also showing a live theatre production of Mary Poppins at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday. A 2 p.m. matinee performance will take place on Sunday.