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Manhattan Day, Gardens gala set for weekend

Ben Hopper

By Ben Hopper

Observe Manhattan Day this Saturday with your neighbors. Celebrate your neighborhood and host a block party, enjoy a pot luck barbecue, or have an ice cream social with the people next door. For a list of gatherings, see Friday’s edition of The Mercury.

Invite your neighbors to this summer’s inaugural Arts in the Park concert featuring the White Ghost Shivers at 8 p.m. Friday. The group, known for their combination of ragtime, jazz, swing, bluegrass, cabaret, vaudeville, burlesque, is from Austin, Texas. This concert kicks off the 2012 Arts in the Park concert series at Larry Norvell Band Shell in City Park.

Don’t let the celebration of Manhattan end on Saturday. One of our community gems has expanded and it is time to celebrate. Be among the first to see the Sunset Zoo’s new Nature Exploration Center on Sunday. See the state-of-the-art classrooms, an interactive distance learning laboratory, ticket booth, gift shop and more.

The grand-opening ceremony is set for noon on Sunday. While you’re at the zoo, get information on the Zoo’s Youth Summer Camps, which start June 4.

Here’s a look at other area events.


Opening Reception for Manhattan Arts Center’s MAC Watercolor Studio exhibit, “PAINT. PAINT. PAINT.” 5-7 p.m. The exhibit runs June 2 through July 14.This unique yearly exhibit from Manhattan area artists includes a variety of themes such as landscapes, still lifes, portraits and floral paintings. The Watercolor Studio has met weekly at the Arts Center for the past fourteen years and has had an annual exhibition for the past thirteen years. Also in the galleries from June 2 to July 14 is MAC’s Oil Painting Studio in the front gallery. This is the Oil Painting Studio’s debut exhibition at MAC. This studio is a recent addition to the Arts Center and strives to introduce the medium to those interested as well as providing a place where area painters can get together for feedback and inspiration. MAC’s galleries are free and open to the public noon to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 1-4 p.m. Saturday.

Relay For Life of Pottawatomie County, 7 p.m. through 7 a.m. Saturday. Carnival fun for everyone. Wamego Sports Complex.

Manhattan Arts Center presents musician Kelley Hunt, 7:30 p.m. The Omaha Reader has described her as a “Blues, R&B and gospel singer-songwriter and show-stopping boogie piano player.” Kelley’s song “Heartland” is featured as the final song in the immersive experience in the theater at the Flint Hills Discovery Center. She performed “Heartland” during the Discovery Center’s opening festivities. Kelley has been featured on A Prairie Home Companion and numerous festival stages throughout the U.S.

Visit for more information. Tickets: $20 adults and $15 military and students. They can be purchased at, MAC’s Office at 1520 Poyntz Ave. or by calling (785) 537-4420.

Three of a Kind, 8 p.m. Rusty’s Last Chance.



Manhattan Day, all day. An annual celebration of our community and its neighborhoods.

Flint Hills Farmers’ Market, 8 a.m.-1 p.m. Staples/Hobby Lobby parking lot.

Downtown Farmers’ Market, 8 a.m.-1 p.m. Fifth and Humboldt.

Summer Reading Kick-Off Party on Library Lawn, 10 a.m.-noon. Manhattan parents and kids are invited to a party on the lawn at the library to kick off the summer reading program “Dream Big–Read!” The event will feature fun games, prize drawings, activities and live entertainment from the K-State Tap Dance Ensemble at 10:15 a.m. and music by Mr. Steve at 11 a.m. The event is free and open to the public. The Manhattan Public Library’s summer reading programs for kids “Dream Big–Read,” teens “Own the Night,” and adults “Wake Up and Read” begin June 1 and end July 31. Participants can keep track of their reading in June and July for chances to win prizes including gift certificates donated by local Manhattan businesses.

More information can be found by visiting the library at 629 Poyntz Avenue, online at or by calling (785) 776-4741. In case of rain, the Kick-Off event will be held in the auditorium.

Wine in the Wild, 7 p.m. Saturday VIP Reception at 6 p.m. Be the first to tour and celebrate the grand opening of Sunset Zoo’s New Nature Exploration Center. Cost: general admission tickets: $40, $50 day of event. VIP tickets: $80, $100 day of event. Sunset Zoo.

Riot on the Roxxx with Shawn Rock, 10 p.m. Pat’s.



Jazz Brunch, 10 a.m.-noon. Bluestem Bistro.

Riley County Genealogical Society Picnic on the Lawn, 5:30 p.m. For chicken dinner reservations, call (785) 565-6495, $10 pay on arrival. Musical entertainment by Hieberts of Abilene. The event is open to the public. Riley County Genealogical Society Library lawn, 2005 Claflin.

Wayne Goins Jazz Trio, 6-8 p.m. dellaVoce.

Friends of the Konza Prairie Wildflower Walk at Konza Prairie, 6:30 p.m. Trained docents will be available for wildflower identification. As a fundraiser for the Konza Environmental Education Program, we ask for a $10 donation per person and $2 per child. Please register before May 31 at (785) 587-0441. Konza Prairie Biological Station.

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