Organizers hope for big, successful Sand Creek Summer Daze

In a file photo, a human foosball team competes at Sand Creek Summer Daze.

By Adam Strunk

NEWTON—First a torrential downpour the first year made for a knee deep beer and barbecue tasting. On year two, a busted dam removed the eponymous Sand Creek. Year three got canceled by a global pandemic canceling.

For 2021, Sand Creek Summer Daze organizer Greg Hanson hopes the third-ish time is the charm.

“You will have a creek, no pandemic and no one better be doing the rain dance,” he said, discussing the upcoming festival from July 3 to July 11, held mostly at Athletic Park.

Hanson hopes Sand Creek Summer Daze will serve as a way for Newton to come together again in a big way following the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We’re very excited that Newton has the opportunity to come together for the first time in a celebratory purpose,” he said. “We’re expecting a larger crowd. People have a chance to get out and have fun in many events.”

There will be days of musical acts, physical competitions, beer and barbecue competitions, and events for the kids.

There will also be plenty of food.

“Get people away from TV for healthier options or unhealthier options with the food,” Hanson said. “There will be a good selection of food trucks.”

The events—outside of a few—will be covered by the event button at a cost of $4 beforehand and $5 at the gate.

Pre-sales are taking place at the Berkshire Hathaway Office, 616 N Main St., The Union State Bank office at 527 N Main St., and B & B Lumber at 1601 W 1st St in Newton.

“There’s so many different events that they’ll find something worth their money,” Hanson said. “There’s so many days. For $5, you can’t go to a movie anymore.”

There will be a pile of events going on. Check out for more information.

Here are some of the main draws Hanson mentioned for those interested.


There’s a bevy of them here.

An ’80s rock concert featuring The Banned out of Wichita and Villains Dance will take place at 6 p.m., July 3 at the Wild Prairie Event Center, 1610 SE 3rd St., at 7 p.m. There’s a $10 cost on top of the button, the only concert that includes an extra charge.

And if you didn’t get your fill of ’80s music, there will be a performance starting at 7 p.m. by The Astronauts out of Wichita of pop covers from the decade, followed by fire twirling and an ’80s costume contest July 10 at the Athletic Park bandshell.

Also preforming on July 10 at Athletic Park beginning at 10:30 a.m. will be Mariachi Los Reyes. Local favorites The Sassanachs will perform at 12:30 p.m. This high-energy band has a heavy Irish influence with other international influences.

If country and bluegrass is more your scene, recording artist Randy Fugitt, as well as the Smokey Valley Blue Grass Band out of Galva, will perform Friday night at the Athletic Park bandshell.

There will also be a concert by the Newton Mid-Kansas Symphony Orchestra at 7:30 p.m. July 8, followed by an outdoor movie.

“We’re excited about the symphony orchestra Thursday,” Hanson said.

That event takes place before an outdoor screening of a movie projected on a 22-foot screen. Hanson said the movie was supposed to be a surprise.

“The movie involves going back in time with a professor and younger gentleman,” he said.

Finally, there will be a Christian concert at the bandshell Sunday, July 11, starting at 2 p.m.

Beer and Barbecue

Two of the highest attended and more popular events of the festival have remained the brewing and the barbecue competition.

So far, 15 brewers have signed up for the Hard Redz Summer Brew Off on July 10 at the Athletic Park tennis courts. For $10, festival goers can try the beers and choose their favorites. The public tasting starts around 12:30 p.m.

On the barbecue side, Hanson said 18 teams signed up so far for the Saucy and Glazed Barbecue Competition. Teams come from Kansas as well as Oklahoma, Colorado and Missouri. Hanson said they expect about 20 teams to compete.

Public tasting will take place July 9, starting at 5:30 p.m. and be open and free with a button to the first 150 event goers at Athletic Park.

Competition judging and awards take place the following day at 3 p.m.

The many other happenings

The Human Foosball Tournament will be bigger and better than ever, Hanson said.

Fishing Derby and Drone racing? July 11. Car show, art show, yard games, kids corner—you name it, it’s going on.

You can even test your chipping skills with a golf club, trying to hit a target in Sand Creek to win a TV.

Hanson said organizers are continuing to refine the festival, adding events that work and removing ones that don’t. With two dozen scheduled events listed, there should be something for everyone.

A full schedule of events is available at

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