The 8 Wonders of Kansas Commerce were announced earlier today:
Big Brutus, West Mineral
Brant's Meat Market, Lucas
Frontenac Bakery, Frontenac
Hemslojd, Inc., Lindsborg
MarCon Pies, Washington
Moon Marble Company,
Stafford County Flour Mills, Hudson
Vonada Stone Company, Sylvan Grove
As soon as I hit the send button with the announcement I know there will be recipients on the receiving end shouting in joy. That's exactly what happened in Pittsburg where Craig Hull leaped out of his chair in celebration. He's on the board of Big Brutus and is the biggest fan Frontenac Bakery could ever have. So he was pretty happy.
He called Brian Hite, owner of the Frontenac Bakery, and Brian said something to the effect that this was a big day for not only them but for the whole city of Frontenac!
Of course, that caused my eyes to water.
Maybe this contest means most to small towns. Recognition that they matter.
Doug Brant in Lucas teased that he was going to pull out his magic marker and was ready to give autographs. I called Vonada Stone Company but no answer. They are probably out in the shop or field and don't even know what happened yet.
But you also know that there are finalists that are disappointed. And that's always hard. It's not quite as awful as having to tell cities that they weren't selected to host the Kansas Sampler Festival but it's still hard.
After you research and write about all 24 finalists you start to feel attached to them. I mostly hope the public reads the write-ups. The write-ups are where you find out how impressive each of the finalists are. They are the gold standard in their field and have unbelievable stories. Click on any of the thumbnail pictures at www.8wonders.org and read about them. You'll be proud they are in Kansas!
Contests are gaining in momentum...
The other great thing is that the contests continue to gain momentum. With each contest (architecture, art) we've had an increased number of votes. This time we had 9,805 voters from every state in the union and many foreign countries. Schools, nursing homes, international customers -- all focusing on what our state has to offer.
Next contest is Cuisine. Omigosh! This one is going to be nuts. How the Selection Committee will ever decide is beyond me. It's going to be rowdier than any meeting to date -- and they've all been pretty darn exciting.
Understanding Kansas Commerce is one way to "Get Kansas!"
KE #2 Marci Penner