What is Symphony in the Flint Hills you ask? Well, every year the Kansas City Symphony travels to a remote location in the Kansas Flint Hills to play a concert consisting of songs that invoke the spirit of the prairie. Every year the location is different, and this year it happened to be at the Doyle Land and Cattle Company near Cedar Point, which is about an hour west of Emporia.
We had a really great time. The weather was absolutely perfect. Besides getting to listen to the symphony, there were many other great activities to participate in such as informational talks, storytelling, guided nature walks, arts and crafts tents, and covered wagon rides.
To help invoke the wild west spirit, all of the workers were dressed up in traditional prairie outfits, as well as native American garb.
We arrived out at the ranch around 3 P.M. and were able to enjoy a nice hayride up to the location (it's about a mile uphill from where we parked). For some reason I really wanted to ride on the covered wagon, so we waited in the long, but quickly moving line, and got to experience the bumpy ride of a horse-drawn covered wagon.
After the ride, we were all starving so we ate an early BBQ dinner provided by Bad 'Ol Burns from Emporia. Once our bellies were full, we walked around a bit more, checked out the arts and crafts, and then had time for a drink before the symphony was scheduled to start.
At 6:45pm, we found our seats (we had staked them out as soon as we arrived, you can bring your own camping chair, or you can rent seats for $2) and the show began.
They played a few songs I was familiar with, and a few I was not, but they all were reminiscent of life on the prairie. Of course, they had to end the concert with the audience joining in and singing Home on the Range.
The show ended at 9 P.M. just as the sun was beginning to set. We had been warned that it would possibly take several hours to leave the event, so we hoofed it back to my mom's car to try and escape before things got too bad. Luckily the traffic wasn't bad at all, and we made it back to Emporia in good time, and then on to Kansas City.
It was a great evening, and it would be fun to do it again next year. It never hurts to have a little culture in our lives.
You can find all of our picture here.