Flint Hills Family Day draws hundreds

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By Jessica Conwell

Hundreds of people flocked to the Flint Hills Discovery Center on Saturday, as they hosted their first Family Day. The free event was filled with activities
that began at 10 a.m. 

“We are expecting around
five hundred people,” said Melissa Kirkwood, development officer for the Discovery Center. “The weather is very nice so we could see many more
attend.” 

Visitors were able to see the center’s newest temporary exhibit, “Forces,” which is about the shaping of Manhattan, Fort Riley and K-State. Families could also participate in several all-day activities including rock science quilting demonstrations, live prairie animals, family photography and a scavenger hunt in which contestants could win prizes.

“Families began coming in right at 10 a.m.,” said Judy Lundberg, volunteer at the Discovery Center. “Usually, when I volunteer the traffic
is steady. Today being family day is a great way to promote the new beautiful
facility.”

It wasn’t just parents and their young children that came to check out “Forces.”

“My dad told
me about this event, and I decided to come,” said Kaitlyn Slips, 15, of Manhattan. “I have wanted to come see the
exhibit and thought this would be the perfect opportunity.”

The event provided something new for residents of the Manhattan area.

“This family-friendly event is because of a staff effort,” Kirkwood said. She said she was very excited to interact with community
members, play old-fashioned games and see community members in costume.

The Discovery Center was able to host Family Day with the support of sponsors.

“We could not have done this without
our sponsors,” Kirkwood said, noting that the center owed a big thanks to the Kansas Farm Bureau and the Kansas Farm Bureau Financial Services for making the event possible. 

On Sept. 29, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Konza Prairie will host their bi-annual open house, and a booth was set up in the Discovery Center to promote it. This free event will have bison
loop rides, hay rides around research areas and much more.

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