Small Market Meetings

MAY 2017

The Newspaper for Smaller Cities, Facilities and Planners.

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C . W . P a r k e r C a r o u s e l M u s e u m L e a v e n w o r t h F l i n t H i l l s D i s c o v e r y C e n t e r M a n h a t t a n 30 Kansas Meeting Guide Kansas Museum Meetings Courtesy C.W. Parker Carousel Museum Groups can ride a historic merry-go-round at the C.W. Parker Carousel Museum in Leavenworth. In Kansas, groups can take a spin on a century-old carousel, explore a pollinator garden or go on a scaven- ger hunt — and see a shrunken head — at these muse- ums that cater to meetings. C.W. Parker Carousel Museum Leavenworth Carnival and carousel magnate C.W. Parker wanted to expand his factory in Abilene, so when city officials denied his proposal, Parker moved his factory to Leavenworth in 1911. Today, the C.W. Parker Carousel Museum in Leavenworth houses three carousels, including a working 1913 Carry-Us-All model that came out of the Parker factory two years after it started operating in its new hometown. "It's about 104 years old and running strong," said Tony Baker, head of the steering committee for the museum, which is run by volunteers. The Parker Room can seat about 100 guests for a meal, and groups can also use the adjoining patio. The museum also hosts events with tables for up to 130 people arranged around the perimeter of the 1913 car- ousel. Another small room is most often used for birth- day parties but could be used for a meeting for about 25 people. Groups can also reserve the museum during non-operating hours, either after-hours Thursday through Sunday or during off hours Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. A highlight of any event is a ride on the fully opera- H aving daytime or after- hours meetings at museums allows groups to gather in places that offer attendees all sorts of educa- tional exhibits and hands-on activities. tional 1913 carousel, which has 31 unique, hand-carved wooden features, most of which are horses but also include two bunnies, a sleigh and a teacup. The muse- um also houses a primitive wooden carousel that dates to the 1850s that is too delicate to ride. Flint Hills Discovery Center Manhattan Tallgrass prairie once covered 170 million acres of North America. Today, less than 4 percent remains and nearly all of it is in the Kansas Flint Hills. The mission of the Flint Hills Discovery Center in the town of Manhattan is to educate and promote the stewardship of the Flint Hills eco-region, including the remaining tallgrass prairie. "It's a celebration of this very rare and very unique ecosystem," said Jonathan Mertz, event supervisor for the Flint Hills Discovery Center as well as the city- owned Union Pacific Depot and Blue Earth Plaza. For smaller, daytime meetings, the center has two private rooms that can each accommodate 40 people and are only steps from the rooftop terrace. Groups of 150 can reserve the terrace, which has green-roof areas planted with wildflowers and grasses and offers views of downtown Manhattan and the Kansas River Valley. Larger gatherings or after-hours events move into the exhibit space, which can accommodate seated meals for 120 or receptions for up to 400 people. Guests will By Rachel Carter

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