Sunflower Summer: A New Initiative to Boost Kansas Pride and Tourism

By Trish Svoboda

Jordan Roemerman, marketing manager at Kansas Tourism, a division of the Kansas Department of Commerce, is spearheading a new initiative named “Sunflower Summer,” designed to encourage families to explore the attractions of Kansas during the summer.

The free program, available from May 25 to August 11, is only for Kansans and is specifically aimed at families with children. Public, private, and home-schooled kids are qualified. Families can download a mobile app from the Sunflower Summer website for access to over 220 free attractions throughout the state.

Attractions participating in this initiative are grouped into four categories: Nature and animals, arts and sports, amusement and water parks, and museums and history. They range from the Amelia Earhart Hangar Museum in Atchison in the northeast, to the Morton County Historical Museum in Elkhart in the southeast, and there are over 200 community attractions in between that are ticketed or free.

The initiative began in the Kansas Department of Education back in 2021, utilizing COVID relief funds to promote educational summer activities. As the program was nearing its end, the positive outcomes led to the continuation of the program under the guidance of Kansas Tourism, set to commence in the summer of 2024.

“We want to develop that Kansas pride from an early age and have kids be excited about our state,” Roemerman said. “We want Kansas kids to get out, explore Kansas, have fun, and eventually know there is a place for them here.”

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