WELCOME! Check out the latest in arts and entertainment---right here.
If it's hip and happening in Central Kansas, you'll see it here first.

Monday, September 30, 2013

McPherson Scottish Festival

 The McPherson Scottish Festival
Lakeside Park Park
McPherson, KS
© Lydia Lowe 2013

      I had a chance to attend the Scottish Festival this weekend and it was lots of fun.  This is the 20th year for this gathering and if you haven't been, you need to check it out.  There is so much to see and do, unique foods to try, amazing gifts to buy, demonstrations to watch, and music at every turn.


and Scottie dogs
     The Blackhearts Fencing Club from Derby Kansas gave demonstrations throughout the day  These demos were always entertaining and full of fun.  These folks just love to talk weapons and entertain the crowd with killing and dying.  I don't think I've ever seen a group so dedicated to the craft of battle.  Men and women were dying left and right, swords were flying, judges were looking the other way at crucial intervals, and the ones who survived got crowd chants going to urge their fellow fencers to hurry up and die already.  During one of the demonstrations, one combatant caused an actual slight injury to another combatant and there was much ado about his well-being.  Apparently while they enjoy the killing and dying, they don't want to cause actual injury.

     At one of the highland game areas, I saw a fella who was helping participants get ready to compete and he had a shirt on proclaiming that he was not in fact the "Dancing Chad" but he did know him.  I was never able to solve this mystery of the Dancing Chad nor was I able to locate him.  Perhaps next year.

     And it wouldn't be a Scottish Festival without highland dancers and bagpipe bands.  

      I got a chance to sit in on the bagpipe competition.  Both competing bands were excellent.  This competition was a nationally judged competition.  As I watched both seemingly flawless performances, I began to wonder how does a person judge a competition like this.  So I interviewed one of the judges at the end of the competition to find out.

     Bagpipe bands weren't the only music to be had at the festival.  There was music everywhere.  Cady Finlayson and Vita Tanga were just one of the groups performing at this years event. 

     There is simply to much to cover in one review.  Check back later this week for links to interviews on YouTube, photo's on Flikr and so much more.


Monday, September 23, 2013

Concert For The Cause

Concert For The Cause:
Featuring Kathy Withrow, SoapBox Troubadors, HOT, and ZSP
Avenue A Park
Hutchinson, KS
© Lydia Lowe 2013
     The final concert for the 2013 season saw gentle breezes, cooler temperatures, larger crowds than ever before, a wide variety of musical stylings, free food (hot from the grill), and all the free water and pop that you could consume.  A fight almost broke out, too.  This concert series has had it all.
     Kathy Withrow kicked off the night with a variety of different tunes.  As I walked through the crowd I overheard one person or another say, "I love this song" and then they'd start singing along with the lyrics as Kathy sang.  Kathy picked so many crowd favorites that I wasn't sure she was going to be allowed to leave the stage.
     Then it was time for the SoapBox Troubadors to play.  These guys are crowd favorites and I waited a bit to see if they'd play their signature song, Washed By The Water.  I was thrilled when they finally got to this tune and the crowd pop for it was excellent.  This group has played several times this summer and are not to be missed.
     HOT a group that I was not familiar with took to the stage next.  They owned the stage.  There was singing, dancing, and choreography that couldn't be beat.  The energy coming off this stage show was incredible and had the crowd on their feet bouncing along with the beat.  This Christian Rock group also had a powerful message that they delivered between songs.  The overall performance was amazing and I hope they come back next year.  

     Then ZSP took to the stage to round out the night.  Unfortunately, I only got to hear the first song of this performance, but if crowd reaction was any indication of how the night and the series was going to wind up, the end of the evening was looking to be a powerful send off for the 2013 season.

     There was no non-profit on this night, but our grill master, Dave Jennings, was taking donations to cover the hospital costs of his grandson who was just released from the hospital.  The crowd was more than generous with their donations.  

     Also, on this night the food, pop and water from the summer season was given out to the crowd for free as a thank you for attending the concert season and making it such a success.  One fan took advantage of the situation and picked up about 10 cases of pop and had to be set straight.  A few words were exchanged but everything returned to a peaceful gathering quickly and the crowd took it all in stride.

     Don't forget that the concert series will be back next year in June.  Watch The Bee for more information in the spring and keep checking the website and Facebook page: concertforthecause for updates throughout the year.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Saturday, September 14, 2013

The 100th year of the Kansas State Fair
 and it's all about the food . . .

Check out this birthday cake
Have some moink balls and a cherry limeade
(Moink balls are bacon wrapped hamburger in barbeque sauce.  Yum!)

This cupcake is dressed in its prize winning state fair duds.

If you haven't been to the fair yet, it's not to late,
there's still plenty to see this weekend-go check it out!

Friday, September 13, 2013

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Art ala Carte-The Autumn Edition

It's time for Art ala Carte again.  
The season kicked off last Friday, September 6 with the April Verch Band.

It's not to late to get in on the fun!

Check out Robert Caldwell Plaza
(between the City/County Building and the Salina Public Library)
Fridays from 12:20 to 12:50 p.m.
on these dates:

September 6      April Vetch Band   Canadian Fiddler

September 13     Paul Austin     Jazz Piano

September 20     Ann Zimmerman     Vocals

September 27      Teresa Hernandez     Cello

October 4     Kansas Wesleyan Chorale     Vocals

October 11     Jerry Barlow     Celtic Fingerstyle Guitar

*If the weather's bad, performances will be held at The Stiefel Theatre

Monday, September 9, 2013

Saving CeCe Huneycutt

Monday Night Book Discussions
(written by Beth Hoffman)
Salina Public Library
Salina, KS
© Lydia Lowe  9/09/2013

     I read this book a while back and didn't completely remember the story, but I remembered that I liked it, a lot.  So, I took this time to re-read the book and I am so glad that I did.

     This book deals briefly, at the beginning, with mental illness and how it affects the individual.  This part of the book wraps up quickly, but the lingering effects last throughout the book as the reader comes to see how this can affect an entire family.  No matter what happens to family members left behind in the wake of the tragedy that occurs early on, mental illness is always with them, even though they are not personally experiencing it within themselves. This is what occurs in real life with folks who have mental illness in their family.

     With that said, though, this book is a treasure.  Once the beginning set up of the book has taken place, CeeCee the main character, finally begins to experience a more normal life with normal circumstances even though she continues to reflect on the mental illness that colored her earlier days.  One of my favorite moments in the book is when CeeCee has moved to Savannah and has begun to realize that her life has taken a complete turn and she makes this observation to herself: "All I knew for sure was this: I had been plunked into a strange, perfumed world that, as far as I could tell, seemed to be run entirely by women."

     Add into this the slug accident, the mysterious traveling bra (with photo's) and the garden party knock down drag out fight that breaks out between well dressed southern ladies in pastel colored dresses who start trash talking one another and this book is far from dull.  I throughly enjoyed reading this book again.  It's definitely a must read.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Concert For The Cause

Concert For The Cause:
Featuring Tall, Hairy & Charming and 12 Years Coming
Avenue A Park
Hutchinson, KS
© Lydia Lowe 2013

     Saturday signaled the final concert of the season for Concert For The Cause.  It ended on a high note with the return of Kaleaha B., who opened the show.  Kaleaha B. caught us up on what had been going on in her life since we last saw her.  Then she treated us to more of her songs and her stage prescence was amazing, as always.  This time Kaleaha B. also shared a special treat with the audience by performing some of her original poetry.  A rare talent, Kaleaha B. is a young lady full of spunk and destined for great things.

     The audience was now warmed up and ready to go as Tall, Hairy and Charming hit the stage.  These guys were polished and professional.  The audience was grooving to the sound of their songs and dancing in their seats, if not also on their feet.  The stage lights came up as the night began to darken and the band played.  If I didn’t know better, I’d have thought I was in an arena watching a professionally signed band.  They are just that good.  I can’t wait to see them perform again.  If you can catch them outside in a festival type setting, please do, they shine in this type of atmosphere.

     The final band of the night was 12 Years Coming.  I unfortunately didn’t get to hear this band play, but there was a lot of pop from the crowd in the park who were eagerly awaiting their turn on stage.  From the comments, I was sorry to have missed it.  I’m sure it was amazing.

     Special Olympics was the non-profit on this night, and from what I could tell, they were doing a rousing business selling drinks, hamburgers, hotdogs, and chips.  Many of the special Olympians were manning the booth and helping out.  It was great for the public to meet these athlete’s one on one, at the concession stand.  Quite of few of the audience members were seen chatting and learning more about the Special Olympics from the athletes.

     As Concert For The Cause draws to a close, I know a lot of you are already starting to feel a little lost now that your Saturday concert fix is going away until next summer.  Don’t fret!  Concert For The Cause will be back with one final concert after the Kansas State Fair.  As a special thank you to all of you who turned out for the music, the food and the fun this past summer, there will be free food and drinks along with a concert in Avenue A Park.  

     Make sure to check out the website: CONCERTSFORTHECAUSE.COM  for the date, the time and the names of the acts that will be performing   And as always, if you miss it, you’ll miss a lot.  There are always a lot of surprises at Concert For The Cause.