Archive for Saturday, May 24, 2008

Lawrence experience ‘unique’

May 24, 2008

It doesn't matter what brings you to Lawrence or how long you stay - all that really matters is understanding there is not other place exactly like it.

"Lawrence offers an experience that is unique in that its authentic, it's not a fabricated downtown, it's not a fabricated music experience, that's just sort of how Lawrence is," said Susan Henderson, director of marketing for the Lawrence Convention and Visitors Bureau. "So it's definitely not a cookie-cutter experience."

Whether you are passing through or staying for the summer, there will be plenty of activities to keep you appreciating the community.

Henderson said the number one attraction in Lawrence is its downtown. The pulse in the heart of the city beats day and night providing plenty of family activities and nightlife.

The shopping is varied along Massachusetts Street. The annual sidewalk sale is from dawn to dusk July 17.

New this summer will be Historic Downtown Walking Tours and Buskers Fest.

Learn about the rich history of Lawrence beginning June 7 for $10. The tours will begin at the Lawrence Farmer's Market, 824 N.H. at 9 a.m. Children under 12 are free. The Buskers Fest will feature 20 to 30 street performers scattered throughout downtown interacting with children and families from Aug. 16 to 17.

The Brown Bag Concert Series which is every Thursday at noon begins June 5 at Ninth and New Hampshire streets. The event draws about 40 to 50 people, said Pennington.

For the theater buffs, a Film Noir Film Festival begins June 5 on the lawn at Ninth and New Hampshire streets. It will be the second annual for downtown Lawrence.

"We did a survey at the last one and just had nothing but positive comments," said Jane Pennington, director of Downtown Lawrence Inc. "It's a great way to bring families downtown. They are films that a lot of people just aren't familiar with. It's just a fun way to spend time your family outside and enjoy some different entertainment."

Wednesday nights during June and July is Music in the Park provided by the Lawrence City Band, a longtime Lawrence tradition. Each evening in South Park near 11th and Massachusetts, the band plays a different theme of music from big band to marches.

"I think the park itself offers just beautiful landscaping, it really has a rich history," Henderson said.

Also in South Park, Lawrence is hosting the Kansas Chautauqua from June 18 to June 22.

"We will be lucky to have it happening this year," Henderson said. "Chautauqua is something that will bring a lot of activity here for those five days from morning until night in the form of workshops and performances each evening."

The state Pickin' and Fiddlin' Championship is set for South Park from noon to 5 p.m. Aug. 12. The event is free.

There are several museums in Lawrence, including the Natural History Museum; Spencer Museum of Art; The Booth Family Hall of Athletics at Allen Fieldhouse, the birthplace of basketball on the campus of Kansas University; and Haskell Cultural Center.

Kansas University's Community Theater and Lawrence Arts Center have a full calendar of performances during the summer.

This summer, Watkins Community Museum will host a traveling Smithsonian exhibit from June 20 to Aug. 10 called, "New Harmonies: Celebrating American Roots Music." Henderson said it will feature the evolution of music in the U.S.

A major attraction this summer with be the 70.3 Ironman. The competition is June 15, but there will be plenty of events surrounding the event. On June 14 will be live music downtown in the evening, a vendor expo where 1,500 elite athletes will check in for the event.

Clinton Lake also offers outdoor recreation such as swimming, fishing, boating sailing, nature trails and a dog park.

"If you want to do something on your vacation you can't do in the next town over, Lawrence is a good spot for that," Henderson said.

For details

Check out visitlawrence.com and downtownlawrence.com for a complete list of events and details in Lawrence.

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