Aquaria, taxidermy, cabin, tourism information highlight exhibits this year
PRATT — The 2011 Kansas State Fair — Sept. 9-18 — offers a wide variety of sights, sounds, food, music, and other entertainment, but the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT) brings a different kind of wild outdoor and travel experience to the fair. The KDWPT exhibit, located in the Eisenhower Building (north of the administration building and train station), gives fairgoers a chance to see replicas of state record fish and deer mounts, an aquatic nuisance species (ANS) display, aquaria teeming with dozens of fish species, and live snakes. Natural resource officers and staff from KDWPT education centers will be on hand to answer questions.
KDWPT’s mobile aquarium will set up next to Gate 9, on the southeast corner of the fairgrounds. The 40-foot long aquarium holds 3,200 gallons and displays many Kansas sportfish and nongame fish, including largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, spotted bass, white bass, striped bass, hybrid striped bass (wiper), bluegill, green sunfish, longear sunfish, channel catfish, blue catfish, flathead catfish, buffalo, common carp, walleye, sauger, saugeye, redear sunfish, black crappie, white crappie, longnose gar, spotted gar, and freshwater drum.
Viewers have a special chance to see native live fish up close, and fisheries biologists are on hand to answer questions and demonstrate fishing techniques from the aquarium’s casting platform.
KDWPT also has a cabin on the fairgrounds, near Lake Talbot. This cabin is much like those available for rent at Kansas state parks and wildlife areas, and visitors may enter a drawing for free cabin weekends. Governor Sam Brownback will be on hand to draw the lucky winners for free weekend cabin stays on Thursday morning, Sept. 15. More than 90 cabins are now available at 20 state parks and five wildlife areas, offering visitors comfortable, convenient accommodations.
Kansas Tourism and KANSAS! magazine will share a booth in the Pride of Kansas Building (located west of the administration building). Visitors to the booth will have the chance to pick up a free copy of the 2011-12 Official Kansas Visitors Guide, sign up to win a basket of Kansas goodies, subscribe to KANSAS! and more. Most days a representative from a “Spotlight Community” will be present in the booth with information on what there is to see and do in their Kansas community. Fair attendees can learn more about products, places and things covered in KANSAS! from special guests who will be featured in the booth.
For more information on the KDWPT State Fair exhibit, phone 620-672-5911. For information about the Kansas Tourism exhibit, phone 785-296-2281.