Inaugural Sunflower Festival draws several hundred to downtown Colby
Bikes whizzed down the brick-paved streets of downtown Colby on that chilly Saturday morning in August, as triathlon participants peddled the second portion of the Sunflower Festival Triathlon.
The athletes had already swam 300 meters, were in the middle of a six mile bike ride and had two more miles to run. Still, the grins on their faces said they were having a good time.
So were the grill masters. More than 29 teams from Texas, Oklahoma, Iowa and around the state of Kansas converged on Colby that morning for the SCA sanctioned steak cook-off. The winner would not only take home bragging rights and $1000 in prizes, they would get the golden ticket… an invitation to the SCA World Championship in Fort Worth, Texas.
Not to be out-done, the Colby Diplomats pulled water tanks fulls of ice across the street as they prepared for Brew Fest. Little did they know that hours later they would sell out of tickets with just minutes to go before the start of the event.
Add to all that a sidewalk sale, basketball tournament on the bricks, kids events including a bouncy house and tractor train ride, food trucks, a corn hole tournament and a street dance… and you had the makings of one hugely successful community festival.
“The Sunflower Festival managed to exceed everyone’s expectations,” says committee member, Amanda McGreer. “The triathlon filled up and went smooth… The food vendors and kids activities throughout the park kept families busy and content. We achieved our goal of creating a diverse, family friendly experience that brought people to Colby as well as enhanced the lives of our community members.”
The committee has already met to start getting ready for next year. They say they received a lot of positive feedback as well as constructive ideas for improvements for next year’s festival.
“I am so proud of our community for supporting the event and volunteering to help,” McGreer said. “The Sunflower Festival took a lot effort from a lot of people. It also does not happen without very generous sponsors that believed in what we were going to achieve.”