Looking forward to 2018’s EPIC EVENTS

Posted on Dec 28, 2017

CVB Staff
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With the new year right around the corner, we wanted to share some of Emporia’s best events that are coming up in 2018! Emporia hosts everything from small, intimate concerts at Fremont park to the world’s premier gravel grinding race and largest disc golf competition. No matter your style, there’s something interesting happening in Emporia. Exact dates are not yet set for some of these activities, so be sure to bookmark our calendar at visitemporia.com/events for the latest info.

New Year


Kick off the new year interacting with amazingly life-like dinosaurs and other creatures at Dinosaur Zoo Live, 65 Million Years in the Making, January 10, at Albert Taylor Hall.



Disc golf season begins with the Monkey Island OpenMarch 24-25, a B-Tier PDGA sanctioned singles disc golf tournament at scenic Peter Pan Park.


Join disc golf fans April 21-29th at the Glass Blown Open, the largest disc golf tournament in the world. This PDGA National Tour tournament concludes with a downtown block party.


Test your abilities during La Grind, a two-day 130-mile gravel stage race in the Flinthills, May 5th & 6th. Begins at 5th & Commercial Street, downtown.

Celebrate Hispanic culture with folkloric dancers, food and live music May 5th, at the Cinco de Mayo Celebration. Come for the food trucks and famous pin tacos, and stay for a day full of activities.

Over one hundred antique and hot rod cars, trucks and motorcycles take over downtown Emporia at Flatland Cruisers Car Show in May. Enjoy rock & roll music and door prizes.



Summer is a time of music in Emporia. Enjoy a concert in a Norman Rockwell setting Thursdays in June & July, as the Emporia Municipal Band plays at Fremont Park. Don’t forget your lawn chair or blanket.

For family fun, bring your lunch and enjoy a different performance each Wednesday in June at the Kids’ Koncerts at the Emporia Public Library.

Cheer on over 2,000 riders June 2nd, as they attempt the Dirty Kanza, a grueling 200-mile bike race through the Flint Hills. There are also options for 100-mile, 50-mile and 25-mile rides. Join the finish line celebration at this epic downtown party.

The oldest consecutive rodeo in Kansas, The Flint Hills Rodeo is held in June each year. The three-day event includes a parade and dance.

Symphony in the Flint Hills offers a symphonic music experience unlike any other. June 9th, set in the scenic Flint Hills, listen to the Kansas City Symphony under the setting prairie sun.

Welcome this year’s exceptional teachers at the National Teachers Hall of Fame Induction. National Teachers Hall of Fame recognizes and honors exceptional career teachers, encourages excellence in teaching, and preserves the rich heritage of the teaching profession in the United States.


Hear local artists at Live in the Lot, an outdoor music series every Friday evening in July.

Watch the inaugural PDGA Junior Disc Golf World Championships, July 10-14th. This will be the first year the junior divisions will have their own stand-alone world championship competition.

Lunar Kanza is a 50-mile gravel leisure bike ride under the full moon. Experience the open range under the Milky Way on July 28th.


No summer is complete without the fair! The Lyon County Fair features carnival rides, livestock shows, concerts, and grandstand events.

Flint Hills Beef Fest is an annual celebration of the grass cattle industry for which the Flint Hills region is well known. Includes a ranch feed, ranch rodeo, and steak dinner.



Emporia lives up to its name during the Great American Market on September 8th. This 9-block long market event has fun for everyone. Buy collectibles, antiques, artwork, crafts, and food.

Enjoy a farm to table dining experience at Field to Feast. A collaboration between the Emporia Area Chamber of Commerce and Flint Hills Technical College Culinary Arts, the event sources local produce prepared by students in the culinary arts program.


Run or ride the Flint Hills Nature Trail at Rush the Rails on October 6th. Choose the full distance (96 miles), half distance (54 miles), or the short distance (25 miles), all ending in Council Grove with a finish line celebration.

Did you know all the world’s Twinkies are baked in Emporia? The Twinkies Festival celebrates the sweetest comeback in the history of ever! Events include a 5K run, Twinkie eating contest, box car derby, carnival games, EAC Art Mobile and more!

The ESU Homecoming Celebration is an annual tradition that includes football, a parade, and a musical production.  Festivities will be held October 19-20th.

Every October, things get spooky with Eek Town celebrations in Emporia. The Downtown Haunted Tours allow visitors to take a self-guided behind the scenes tour of historic downtown buildings and learn about the city’s colorful history.


The multi-day All Veterans Tribute Celebration in the founding city of Veterans Day includes over two dozen events. This celebration honoring veterans begins the first of November and culminates on Veterans Day. Events include a parade, memorial service, veteran artist exhibit, and banner walk where visitors can hear stories about those who served from their families, as well as Freedom Fest with options for a 15 or 40-mile gravel bike ride, 5K walk/run, Spur Ride, and disc golf tournament.

Brave the cold on Commercial Street for the annual Christmas Parade on November 27. Always held on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, festivities include a lighting ceremony, musical performance and an appearance by Santa.



Enjoy the Christmas lights and decorations in downtown Emporia with Holiday Carriage Rides on Thursdays in December.

CVB Staff
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