GARDEN CITY — Beef Empire Days kicks off its 51st year this weekend with a Friday concert at the Clarion Inn, followed by sports tournaments and ranch rodeo Saturday. Events promoting the beef industry continue throughout the week and festivities wrap up next weekend with the always popular chuckwagon feeds and downtown parade.
Beef Empire Days was started by John Dohogne, a packing plant general manager, who wanted to find a way to highlight and celebrate the area’s beef industry. The event began with just the Live Show and Carcass Show and grew from there to include a variety of public entertainment and events, food, and education about the beef industry.
In addition to events, Beef Empire Days is partnering with J&J Autoplex on a drawing to give away a Polaris Slingshot. Tickets for the drawing are $20 and the ticket can also be presented at various local businesses for special discounts during Beef Empire Days. Participating businesses should have a Beef Empire Days seal on display.
Tickets are available at AAA Pawn, Crazy House, J&J Autoplex and the Beef Empire Days office. The winner will be announced 9 p.m. June 8 at the Beef, Beer & Boots event in Stevens Park. You do not need to be present to win.
This year’s events include:
• Finney County Library Summer Reading Kickoff. 2:30 p.m. May 31, Finney County Public Library.
• Ag Women of the Heartland Conference. May 31-June 1, Finney County Fairgrounds, 4-H Building.
• Garden City Open Tennis Tournament. May 31 – June 2, Garden City High School.
• Hoof it to Health Road Run. Annual 5K/10K run, two mile walk and half-mile kids’ race. Registration 7 a.m. June 1, race following at Garden City Family YMCA.
• Beef Empire Days Softball Tournament. June 1-2, Peebles Complex.
• Garden City Municipal Band concert. 7:30 p.m. May 31; 7:30 p.m. June 7, Stevens Park Bandshell.
• Art Show featuring Deb Huber. Garden City Arts, 318 N. Main St.
• Spirit of the Plains – CASA Rodeo Olympics and Hamburger Feed. 5 p.m. June 1, Finney County Fairgrounds.
• Ranch Rodeo. 7 p.m. June 1, Finney County Fairgrounds. Free event in which traditional working cowboys gather to compete and demonstrate skills they use every day in cattle ranching operations. While there are some similarities to a traditional rodeo, the ranch rodeo events focus on roping, horsemanship and ground work skills involved in real-life ranch work.
• Praise in the Park. 7 p.m. June 1, Stevens Park. Non-denominational music event open to entire community.
• Feedlot and Sponsors – Roping, Riding and Barrel Racing. 10 a.m. June 2, Finney County Fairgrounds.
• Rely on the Revalor Live Show. 9 a.m. Tuesday, June 4, Finney County Fairgrounds. Anyone with an interest in the cattle feeding industry is invited to be in the grandstands to watch final judging of top steers and heifers.
• Public Pick 5. Noon, Tuesday, June 4, Finney County Fairgrounds grandstands. See how you stack up against the judge and pick five head during the steer division of the live show who you believe will be the top placers during the carcass show later in the week. Cost is $20 per person to enter the day of the show.
• Corn-fed Beef Social. Tuesday, June 4, Finney County Fairgrounds grandstands. Following the Live Show until 6 p.m.
• Beef Empire Days Sponsors Reception. 6 p.m. Wednesday, June 5, Clarion Inn. Followed by the People’s Choice Auction at 8:30 p.m.
• Cattle Working Contest. 11:30 a.m. Thursday, June 6, Irsik & Doll Feedyard. Open to all area processing crews. Entry forms available at www.beefempiredays.com.
• United Wireless Children’s Parade. 10:30 a.m. Friday, June 7, Finney County Public Library.
• Carcass Show. 2 p.m. Friday, June 7, Tyson Fresh Meats.
• First Friday Art Walk. 4 – 7 p.m. Friday, June 7. High Plains Public Radio, 210 N. Seventh; Patrick Dugan’s Coffee Shop, 301 N. Main; Finney County Courthouse, 425 N. Eighth; Garden City Arts, 318 N. Main.
• Beef Empire Days Awards Banquet. 6 p.m. Friday, June 7, Clarion Inn.
• Hamlet. 7 p.m. Friday, June 7, Garden City High School Auditorium. Goodwill donations will go towards students’ trip to perform the play at the International Thespian Festival June 24-29.
• Commerce Bank Chuckwagons Breakfast. 6:30 a.m. Saturday, June 8, Stevens Park. Pancakes and beef sausage, all you can eat for $3.
• Western Motor Beef Empire Days Parade. 10 a.m. Saturday, June 8, Main Street, Downtown Garden City.
• Chuckwagons at the Zoo. 11:30 a.m. Saturday, June 8, west green at Lee Richardson Zoo. Old-fashioned barbecue meal served for $1 per person.
• Kansas Kruisers Scholarship Car Show. 11:30 a.m. Saturday, June 8, Lee Richardson Zoo.
• Beef Empire Days Grill Master Cook-off. 4 p.m. Saturday, June 8, Stevens Park.
•Beef, Beer & Boots. 4 – 11 p.m. Saturday, June 8, Stevens Park. This year marks the second year for the Beef, Beer & Boots event on Saturday, June 8, which will feature food trucks, beer garden, crowd sampling rib eye bites with the All American Beef Battalion, and live music.
• Elanco & Animal Health International Beef Empire Days Golf Tournament. 7:30 a.m. Sunday, June 9, Buffalo Dunes Golf Course. Register by calling the golf shop at (620) 276-1210.
• Beef Empire Days Cattle Crawl. 4:30 p.m. Sunday, June 9, Samy’s Spirits and Steakhouse.
For more information about these events, visit www.beefempiredays.com or call the BED office at (620) 275-6807.