Wild West Festival tickets on sale; fireworks lit despite rising costs

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File photo

By Cristina Janney
Post Hays

Wild West Festival tickets are on sale now. Despite some cost increases, old favorites will be back, including fireworks and carnival.

VIP tickets are $200 instead of $150. General admission tickets for all three nights will cost $25 this year, up from $20 previously. Tickets at the door will be $30 per night. Children 5 and under will be admitted free.

The Wild West Festival has already defined its musical programming.

Lainey Wilson, who will appear on July 2, recently won two Academy of Country Music Awards – one for New Young Female Artist of the Year and the other for Song of the Year, ‘Things a Man Oughta Know “.

She was nominated at the CMT Music Awards for Breakthrough Video of the Year for “Things a Man Oughta Know”.

VIP tickets include alcoholic beverages and dinner, plus preferred seating. Gella’s Diner, Fuzzy’s Tacos and the Rose Garden will cater for VIP meals this year.

The nights that the three caterers will serve have not yet been determined. Hard liquor is served in the VIP area until 9:00 p.m. Beer is served until 10:30 p.m.

Kiwanis will again be hosting outdoor coffee sales for general admission this year.

Concert tickets can be purchased online now. They will be available in all three Cervs locations and possibly other locations starting May 1.

Image courtesy of Pixabay
Image courtesy of Pixabay

Sandi Maier, event coordinator, said tickets will increase this year to help cover costs. The cost of shipping a container of fireworks from China to the United States has risen from around $9,000 to $50,000.

What used to cost the festival $15,000 for the fireworks will now cost $25,000.

To help further defray the increased costs of fireworks, the festival is asking for fireworks sponsors this year.

Sponsorship levels are available from $400 to $10,000 and above. Sponsors receive festival concert tickets based on their sponsorship amounts. To become a sponsor, contact Maier at 785-639-3365 or [email protected].

Maier said sponsorships also help the festival keep ticket prices affordable.

The festival will again have a carnival this year provided by Ozark Amusements of Springfield, Mo.

The carnival will be open from Friday July 1 to Monday July 4.

The annual festival parade will take place at 10 a.m. on Main Street. There is no cost to gain entry to the parade, but pre-registration is suggested which will assist with parade scheduling.

Candy or items may not be thrown from vehicles by the Hays Police Department. These objects must be handed over by walkers.

The parade theme has yet to be announced. Registration forms will soon be available on the website.

The 5K, which is sponsored by another group in conjunction with the Wild West Festival, will also be back this year. Look for more information on this event which will be announced at a later date.

The Convention and Visitors Bureau is also sponsoring a kite festival at the Bickle-Schmidt Sports Complex over the 4th of July weekend. More information will be announced on this event at a later date.

The Wild West Fest Committee annually sponsors the Wichita Special Olympics team when they visit Hays for the annual Hays Basketball Tournament. This event took place Saturday at the Gross Memorial Coliseum.

They usually provide a $100 donation to the group in addition to hosting the club.

Burglars broke into the band’s storage shed shortly before this year’s tournament and stole all of the band’s sports equipment. Maier asked the festival committee to increase its contribution to the band to $300 this year to help the club replace some of that equipment.

CORRECTION: This story has been updated to correct the price of three-day general admission tickets. Hays Post apologizes for the error.

Laura J. Boyer