The Group Travel Leader

MAR 2017

The online home of The Group Travel Leader, America's leading publication for the group travel industry. Articles on hot destinations, attractions, news and travel trends from across the country and around the world.

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M A R C H 2 0 1 7 4 4 A M E R I C A ' S C R O S S R O A D S Cottonwood Falls, Kansas There are few opportunities to experience symphony music with a panoramic view of sweeping grassland. Every year at the beginning of summer, a nonprofit called Symphony in the Flint Hills organizes a special concert in the tallgrass region of Kansas, which covers around 20 counties. "Our mission is to enhance appreciation for the tallgrass prairie, which is an endangered ecosystem and landscape," said Christy Davis, executive director of the nonprofit. The site is carefully chosen to ensure 360 degrees of untamed land- scape, with no buildings or phone lines in sight. About 700 volunteers work to build a tent city from scratch. Guests can drive to an out-of-sight parking lot and follow a prepared half-mile trail to the site. This year's theme will be the Chisholm Trail, in honor of the famous cattle route's 150th anniversary. Throughout the day, guests can enjoy covered wagon rides, prairie-inspired art and educational programs, as well as food and beverage tents. Many people find a grassy hill where they can sit and relish the view. Later, as the sun sets over the prairie, everyone gathers before the main stage for a performance from the Kansas City Symphony that features Western-themed music and an appearance from cowboy music star Michael Martin Murphey. Known for his hit radio song "Wildfire," Murphey is a major advocate for tallgrass prairie conservation. And the evening fun does not end there. Following the concert, groups can enjoy a com- munity dance, cowboy poetry and star-gazing, along with a discussion led by a local astronomy club. The one-day event takes place in June, when wildf lowers are in bloom and the tallgrass reaches full height. Ticket sales begin in March. w w w . s y m p h o n y i n t h e f li n t h ill s . o r g By Mark Higgins, courtesy Symphony in the Flint Hills Symphony in the Flint Hills is a hit with visitors in lawn chairs or on horseback. " O U R M I S S I O N I S T O E N H A N C E A P P R E C I A TI O N F O R T H E T A LL G R A S S P R A I R I E , W H I C H I S A N E N D A N G E R E D E C O S Y S T E M A N D L A N D S C A P E ." — C h r i s t y D av i s S y m ph ony i n t h e F l i nt H i l l s Groups are always welcome! Group rates available! 1-800-332-1286 www.mobot.org/tourism Nov. 2017–Jan. 2018 Special Exhibition May–Aug. 2017 presented by

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