The Kansas Shrine Bowl won't be just about football in 2007.
True, the focus of the two-day event, to be held this year in Hays, will be 68 of the State's best football players that will be on display July 28th at Ft. Hays State's Lewis field in the 34th Annual Shrine Bowl Game. But there will be a lot more going on before the game with events designed to make the event more attractive to fans and families.
"We're adding a number of things that we think will draw more people to Hays on game day," says Shrine Bowl Executive Director Dave Mize. "We have a great day planned before the game even starts, and we'll top it off with one of the best All-Star games in the country."
The Shrine Bowl weekend will officially begin with the annual Shrine Bowl Banquet on Friday night, to be held in air-conditioned comfort at the Ellis County Fair Grounds.
Events will start early on game day with a 5K Run for Charity beginning at 8:00 am, followed by a 1-mile Fun Run/Walk at 11 am. The 5K will feature many top cross country runners in the state. Both events will begin near Municipal Park on the south end of Main Street. Advance registration fee is $20 (before July 1) for each event. Each participant will receive a free tee shirt.
From 9 am to 4 pm, there will be an Arts and Crafts Fair at Municipal Park. Artists and craftsman, along with organizations, clubs, and church groups are being invited to participate. The Fair will be free to the public. Exhibitor space (12’X12”) is available for $45 before June 8 and $55 thereafter as space allows.
A Kid's Fair will also be held from 9 to 4 at Municipal Park. The Kid's Fair will include inflatables, games, and activities geared for the younger set.
At 10 am, the annual Shrine Bowl Parade will roll past onlookers on Main Street between 17th and 4th Streets. It's the largest annual Shrine Parade in Kansas, featuring famous Shrine units from across the Sunflower State, the two All-Star football teams, the Masonic All-State Marching Band, and All-State Cheerleaders.
In addition, at 10 am, a new event will be added that's expected to draw the attention of high school athletes and college coaches from around the Midwest. A High School Combine will feature pro-style testing and measuring of high school football athletes. "This will be a great recruiting tool for players and their prospective colleges," says Mize. "We're very fortunate to have a top-notch staff running the Combine." Heading up the Combine will be Ron Freeman (father of K-State quarterback Josh Freeman) and former K-State and NFL player Paul Coffman, himself a Shrine Bowl Player in 1974.
From 11 am to 4 PM, there will be a "Back to Basics" football coach's clinic that will focus on problems and solutions. Lunch will be included. The clinic will include guest speakers and break out sessions.
For those who enjoy both sightseeing and the current poker craze that's sweeping the nation, there will be a Charity Poker Run from 1 to 4 pm. It will include both bikes and autos in the 100-mile scenic course. Entry fees will be $10 for a hand (3 for $25). A $1,000.00 top award and other prizes will be awarded to the winners.
And, of course, the main event……the Shrine Bowl All-Star Football game that will kickoff at 7 pm at Lewis Field on the Ft. Hays State Campus. "We have something for everyone," says Mize. "I don't think families and fans can find a better way to have a fun and affordable day than spending it in Hays at this year's Shrine Bowl."
Proceeds from the events support the Shriner’s Hospitals for Children, a network of 22 hospitals that provide expert, no-cost orthopedic and burn care to children under 18. Children are admitted totally free to Shriners Hospitals for Children without regard for race, religion, nationality, creed, or relationship to a Shriner.
Advance reserved chairback tickets for the all-star game are $20.00 in advance, $21.00 on game night. Adult general admission tickets are $9.00 in advance, $10.00 on game night. Student tickets (K-12) are