*Another* amazing weekend in Lindsborg? Why, yes. Yes, indeed.
It takes willing people and some risk taking to sustain the energy that makes Lindsborg stand out. We thank every person on our mailing list — and many, many more beyond. Your positive words and encouragements. Contributions of time and money. Connections. Ideas. Good vibe. These make a very real difference.
Examples of this energy?
• Mark and Marty Schupbach, both Bethany College alumni who live in Texas but who have become part-time residents of Lindsborg. In June, the Schupbachs will become the new owners of the Swedish County Inn. Mark and Marty take the inn’s baton from Becky Anderson who, with support from her late husband B Anderson, warmly welcomed many thousands of guests and told our story so vividly for more than 22 years. Before Becky and B was the inn’s founder and visionary — the late Quentin Applequist and his talented family — who was bold enough to turn a worn old hotel and college dorm into a beloved overnight destination. (The Applequist family continues its tradition of innovation today at The Swedish Crown, Renaissance Cafe, The Courtyard Gallery and Cafe, and in many other ways.) We are so fortunate that the Schupbachs are willing to take the Swedish Country Inn to the next generation of overnight guests, and we look forward to working with them. Thank you.
• Tara Killingsworth and Carla Wilson, who have researched and designed a folk costume inspired by Swedish, American, Kansan and Smoky Valley influences. Tara and Carla, neither of Swedish heritage by birth but both who have embraced all that is Lindsborg, wanted to offer a design that is specific to Lindsborg — just as Sweden’s provinces and some towns and church groups have their own folk costumes. Could this be America’s first folk costume keyed to a community? Perhaps. Tara and Carla have been working on this project since November 2017. Their designs are for men and women, boys and girls. It has been a labor of love for Carla and Tara, and their combined skills are so well suited to a project that has been discussed here for decades. A photograph of the costumes’ look is attached, and we encourage you to drop by The Ivory Thimble downtown to see the costumes in person. With the start of Lindsborg’s 150th anniversary year just a few months away, the Lindsborg Svensk Folkdräkt (Swedish folk costume) is a well-timed creative accomplishment. Next steps? The costly hurdle of making patterns that can be shared. With all of us. With the world. It’s one for the books, we say.
• Bethany College’s student athletes, who turned out 80 strong to make possible last weekend’s Lindsborg in Bloom’s fun for kids. Lindsborg in Bloom organizers (seen in photo below) were grateful for this help — and so were all the families who came in contact with good-natured Bethany student-athletes as they did crafts and played games on Main Street. Smiles.
• Historic redeveloper Jim Prugh, who was in town to help open another historically renovated house to fill the increasing demand for home-like long-term stays, both by visiting families and professionals working in the area. More to come...
Looking ahead to Saturday, May 5:
• Citywide Garage Sale. Deadline is Tuesday to be on the map. Contact Liz Lahodny at Lindsborg Realty, pls. Maps should be available Friday afternoon via Facebook postings.
• Biscuits and Gravy breakfast starts at 6:30 a.m. at the First Bank Kansas drive-through. Food donated by Farley’s Bar and Grill, staffed by Kiwanis Club of Lindsborg, all proceeds go to Community Fireworks in July.
• Millfest at the McPherson County Old Mill. Be there, everybody!
• Lindsborg Landmark Concert for/with kids on Bethany College's Presser Hall stage starting at 3 p.m. Features the chance to sit near the college-community orchestra as it plays — plus for kids to create art or dance in designated locations on stage as music is being made. Then move around 5 p.m. to Swensson Park for complimentary hot dog supper, then at 6 p.m. Drum Safari with Brandon Draper. Percussion for all!
• The opening of new shows at the Sandzen Gallery from 2-4 p.m.
One last item: Please think about how we can use the Lindsborg CVB's Instagram frames to encourage photo fun this summer. Ideas? Contact Holly Lofton at firstname.lastname@example.org.
May our temps (and attitudes) be mellow and Kansas sunshine abundant for Lindsborg in Bloom, Saturday, 4.28, 10-4. Families are celebrated this day! Check out the Lindsborg Community Library book sale, as well as activities at Scott’s Hometown Foods. Warm thanks to everyone who is helping make Lindsborg an ever-more attractive place to live, learn and visit.
From 2-4 p.m. Sunday 4.29, plan to tour Lindsborg’s newest vacation rental property, Skönhuset, at 124 S 3rd. Thanks, investor Jim Prugh, construction manager Brian Freeman and the incredible array of craftspeople and artisans who make local historic buildings into new economic engines and the envy of our region.
Need more reasons to celebrate?
• New construction starts soon at Lindsborg Community Hospital. It will accommodate a new clinic physician and patient-centered renovations for both the hospital and clinic. There’ll be a reception late afternoon Wednesday, 5.2, with ground breaking at 5:30 p.m. Please take a moment to thank the late David J. Nutt, who made the expansion possible because of long-past kindnesses to him and his family. The ripples continue.
• A free one-time arts experience for children on Saturday, 5.5, starting at 3 p.m. You’ll want to say you were at the Lindsborg Landmark Concert that invites children and families to *step onto the Presser Hall stage* to listen and do art projects — up close — as the Bethany College-Community Orchestra does its thing. Then at 5ish, everyone will gather for hot dogs at Swensson Park, then at 6 p.m. stay for the crazy- popular Drum Safari with our own pied piper, Bethany College alum Brandon Draper of Kansas City and the world. No cost to families because of generous sponsors. Mike Dreier of the Fuqua Agency, please take a bow for organizing.
• Don’t forget that May 5 also is Millfest and the City-Wide Garage Sale with its early morning kick-off biscuits and gravy breakfast at First Bank Kansas drive-through. And it’s Cinco de Mayo, everybody. Put some salsa on the menu, as well.
This morning we pondered the musical question “What are parts of you/your business/Lindsborg that must change but you/we have avoided it?”
Fairly quickly out of the gate came this nugget: store hours.
Lindsborg seeks to further cultivate as customers its own residents as well as visitors. What are we doing to serve them when they need/want us?
We talked about the time it takes for people to get into habits and how easily those habits are broken.
We talked about Memorial Day-to-Labor Day opportunities with travelers leaving town earlier than stores are open — or arriving late afternoon to find that store closing hours are just past.
We talked about possibly committing to consistently keeping longer hours and ways to drive traffic to Lindsborg because of it — such as creating incentives for browsing in partnership with our restaurants and coffee shops.
In a world ever in search of five-star satisfactions, how can we respond to this challenge?
Another nugget: demographics.
We see distinctly different buying and participation patterns in younger people. They seek more experiences, less stuff. What seven-day-a-week experiences does Lindsborg offer? How do we keep this experiences affordable and doable?
Younger audiences shop on line for commonplace items; what about prospects for buying one-of-a-kind items there, too? Are we prepared?
Younger audiences use the corners of their days, especially those with children. What does this mean for our future?
So we ask you: What do we know needs to change but we've been avoiding it?
We’ll keep talking and thinking, and we hope you do, too. Here’s to a productive and satisfying week, everyone!
• Bethany College kindly alerts us to two groups, one new and one returning, it will host in coming days. The first arrives Wednesday, April 25. The Ward Law Office of Wichita will hold a meeting for 17. It is coordinated by Stephanie Brock, daughter of Ken and the late Virginia Swisher. The second is on Saturday, April 28, during Lindsborg in Bloom. The Kansas RV Travel Association will hold a meeting for 50-60 people. Warm thanks go to the college’s director of campus activities Roxie Sjogren for working with us.
• Speaking of Lindsborg in Bloom on Saturday, April 28: It should be a busy day in many realms. A Topeka-area group of 30 from KTWU will be touring from 10-4 with the guidance of the Lindsborg CVB. At 10 a.m. see Lindsborg’s new flag unfurled in ceremonies at the intersection of Main and Lincoln streets. The Lindsborg Community Library book sale is from 10-4 and Raymer Society consignment art auction starts at 1 p.m. Reminder:: the 100 block of South Main is slated to be barricaded; however, the large lot on the south end of the block will be available for parking. We encourage all Lindsborg locations to put on their spring finery in advance with clean-ups, fresh decor and planted annuals. We also encourage everyone to take to the sidewalks that day with sales, games and activities that invoke spring (a one-day license has been arranged with the City). Volunteers will be using fabric to decorate downtown trees and arranging for music, performances and more. It takes just a little effort to create valuable engagement with residents and visitors.
BC's alumni relations and annual giving coordinator Erica Kruckenberg and the aforementioned Roxie Sjogren shared this morning preliminary thoughts for an exciting new phone for Bethany College students. It’s a bucket list of traditions and experiences both on campus and in the community. Students will be encouraged to knock these experiences off their bucket list and receive Bethany swag and other incentives for levels of participation. Photos of participation will be captured and shared. The app is in its infancy; if you’d like to suggest bucket list activities to Erica and Roxie, either on campus or off, we invite you to do so. email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org More to come on this topic….
Ad Hockers also heard more about a planned dog park to be situated immediately west of the recycling area off Union St. on City of Lindsborg property that the Council has designated for this effort. The Lindsborg Dog Park Team has been working to raise the $30,000- $35,000 to fence and minimally appoint the dog park. Several fundraising efforts already have been mounted, including the first end-of-season “Doggie Dip” at the Lindsborg Municipal Pool. More efforts are ramping up. Suggestions are being sought through Facebook for a name for the park, which is to be decided by the Dog Park Team. (An amazing 91 options already have already been offered.) Mayor Anderson said donations to the cause will be tax exempt, with receipts provided by the City of Lindsborg, and grant ideas are being actively sorted and pursued. Plus, it just so happens that the Sept. 14 Makers Street art walk will be themed “Pet-tember.” More mojo. If there are questions about the dog park or you’d like to offer possible connections, please funnel them through Danyel Patterson (email@example.com) and her Dog Park Team colleagues.
Also in infancy are discussions about the next life/lives for the 15-acre McPherson County Old Mill Museum property. After 40+ years of ownership, McPherson County has said it will transition away from its ownership role, possibly beginning next year. Other museums in McPherson County have asked commissioners why their locations are not funded equally with the Old Mill operations — about $250,000 a year. Thus, the commissioners have launched conversations with the City of Lindsborg about the future of the property, which includes: 1.) the Old Mill itself, one of only a few restored roller mills in the US; 2.) the museum and its 30,000 cataloged holdings of McPherson County and Lindsborg history; 3.) river-front acreage on the south side of the Smoky; and 4.) the Heritage Park area north of the Mill and Museum, including the Swedish Pavillion designed by famed architect Ferdinand Boberg for the 1904 World's Fair in St. Louis.
The City and County are jointly looking for a consultant to help frame and focus a bigger picture for all of us. There is no question of the many personal sacrifices made to launch and complete the Old Mill's restoration in the 1970s. Likewise, there is no question about the many thousands of attachments children and adults have made with Lindsborg because of the Old Mill that have benefitted us through the years. No question, either, about the emergence of immigrant history and research as a source of connection to our area. Still, a new vision is needed now.
So the discussion begins: Does Lindsborg care what happens to this 15 acres, the buildings, and museum collection? If we want it to remain, what are we as a community willing and able to do? What public and private partners could we enlist? What entity might hold ownership in all or part of this property? What is the untapped economic, historic and community development potential of the Old Mill area?
What do you think? What fresh concepts for the Old Mill area springs to mind?
We’re coming off yet another great weekend (SVHS prom at the J.O Sundstrom Center, The Good Merchant’s reopening, soft opening of Hands of Time Gallery, and a well-earned spring break at Bethany College — among many others). Three cheers to all these and more.
After that, we dug in to several questions about what makes attractions, businesses of all types, and communities distinctive. The questions were culled from material that was presented several years ago to seven Lindsborg representatives who attended a destination business bootcamp by former Hallmark Card exec and national marketing advisor Jon Schallert. A joint contingent of Lindsborg Ad Hoc and McPherson Chamber of Commerce representatives traveled to Colorado to participate and were partially funded for the bootcamp through NetWork Kansas.
Schallert’s approach: Professional practices, service businesses, retailers, food/bev destinations and communities of any size can profitably focus on what does (or can) make them distinctive, thus attracting interest from beyond expected service areas. Entities must be willing to focus on (or invent, then focus on) this distinction through products, customer experiences, exteriors, interiors and more. In Schallert’s world complacency means losing the edge -- and the slide to irrelevance can be quick. We must constistently invent, refine, and repeat.
We discussed five of seven key questions that Schallert posed during the bootcamp:
1. What are the main differences that separate us from competitors?
2. What is a success story that is worth re-telling? What’s our individual and collective mindset and narrative?
3. What are the basic things that most people expect from your business/institution/community? Do we deliver?
4. What are “ultra services” that can be offered to create distinction? (Hint: Ultra services might well not cost much…)
5. If visitors make judgments about locations in just seven seconds, what are visitors not getting about what they see in our locations/community? How well do we lead people to what we want them to see? How well do we communicate what we are about?
We’ll continue the discussion next week with two more Schallert questions — plus hear about a couple of other 2018-2019 agenda items for Lindsborg.
It’s an interesting time to put heads together. Take a seat in the Ad Hoc Roundtable circle any time. It's open to all. Just keep it forward-looking and positive in tone, please. That's 8 to 9 a.m. Mondays in City Council chambers.
Have you heard? Lindsborg has a new flag.
The flag was designed by Lindsborg Convention and Visitors Bureau director Holly Lofton and approved by the Lindsborg City Council. It will be first unfurled by Mayor Becky Anderson at the corner of Lincoln and Main streets at 10 a.m. Saturday, April 28, as a kick-off to Lindsborg in Bloom.
The new Lindsborg flag is part of an effort spearheaded by former Mayor Bill Taylor, who has long wanted to see the an installation of the US, Swedish and Kansas flags in a prominent place along Main Street. In focusing in on the intersection of Main and Lincoln, Bill could see that a fourth flag, a Lindsborg flag, would be important. Meanwhile, at Bill’s request and on Bill's dime, Dauer Welding designed and manufactured a test bracket that could be mounted on our new spun concrete light poles at an adequate height, would meet flag etiquette for a 24-hour installation, and in a way that would blend nicely. Then Bill raised money from local businesses and institutions to pay for the project. Ta-da!
Please take a look at the flag design and its meaning at the bottom of this note. We hope you’ll like it — and the colorful and meaningful effect that the new flags will have. Warm thanks to Bill and everyone who helped make this project possible.
PS: The City Council adopted *both* designs shown here -- one with kurbits on the Dala horse mane and one without. In doing so, the council was looking toward future possible uses. Some applications may be clearer to the viewer with less detail and more block color, as in the version on the left. Other applications, including the flag to be flown in the Main and Lincoln project, will be able to use the kurbit finery.
After cheering for a good weekend past, we looked forward to April. Among the items on our radar:
• A new art gallery called Hands of Time will open downtown later this month. Owners Brandon and Dawn Sherwood invite all Ad Hockers to join with their friends and family at a preview from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. this Saturday, April 7, at 118 S. Main St. See your invitation below and RSVP. The gallery’s public grand opening will be the following weekend. In any case, please plan to drop by and thank Brandon and Dawn for bringing the beautiful Hands of Time to Lindsborg.
• Lindsborg in Bloom is Ad Hoc’s next event — from 10-4 Saturday, April 28. It’s a send-up of the ‘60s that brings out the flower child in all of us. The 100 block of South Main will be blocked off for live music and performances, arts and games for children, bouncy houses, and more. Lindsborg in Bloom is one part of our town's growing reputation for liveliness and reinvention in rural America — *especially* as a friendly place for families. If you or your organization can chip in $50 to help us continue our work of community building, please do it now. Checks to Lindsborg At Work Association in care of David Hay at First Bank Kansas.
• From 2-4 p.m. Sunday, April 29, the public is invited to tour Skonhuset, the newest project of historic redeveloper Jim Prugh and his team of ace artisans orchestrated by construction manager Brian Freeman. Jim and his spouse Diane Fatheree will travel from their home in Colorado to take part in Lindsborg in Bloom the day before, then be on hand for the open house. Skonhuset is an historic house relocated from a lot on Harrison-Cole Street onto a lot on S. Third St. Skonhuset will be available as a vacation rental by owner that is also handy for corporate stays in our area. Let's celebrate all Lindsborg's redevelopment in the past decade.thousands These investments are the envy of other communities. And they prepare interesting, solid buildings to be used and enjoyed for the next century.
• Friday, April 13, is Lindsborg's next Maker’s Street with arts activities and displays scheduled throughout the town. To recognize Earth Day in April, Makers Street will celebrate eco-friendliness and creativity. Please invite friends, family and customers to join in the art walk. A printed lineup will be shared on the Facebook page “Maker’s Street — The Lindsborg Arts Walk” as well as in print at local businesses. Future Makers Street themes: May is for art without borders, June is for printmaking, July is for pie, and August is for busking.
• April 22 will wrap up the Birger Sandzen Memorial Art Gallery’s current lineup of exhibits, including contemporary artists working in encaustics and fiber, acrylics and oils, and printmaking — as well as art by our own Smoky Valley High School students. On Sunday, April 15, at 2 p.m., the gallery's chamber music concert series continues with a performance by the Konza Wind Quintet.
Today we also talked about ideas and events for the future:
• Hemslojd owner Corey Peterson has been lobbied by organizers of the Estes Park Midsummer’s event to do a booth in 2018. Headlining the Estes Park event are our own Forlkdanslag and Lindsborg Swedish Folk Dancers. If there are other organizations or businesses who would like to join with the Hemslojd in Estes Park, please contact Corey soonest.
• What party/cover band would you like to suggest for a summer Landmark Concert series event? The venue: The Old Mill Bridge. Your recommendations pls to Mike Dreier at firstname.lastname@example.org.
• Could there be a Lindsborg Restaurant Week (or Weekend) in our future? Over the past three decades, an increasing number of cities nationally have scheduled designated their own restaurant weeks, usually in January or February, with each participating location offering an attractive price-fixed menu — three courses, say, for one price. The purpose is to generate business during a traditionally slow period and introducelocations and food to new customers. Could this work for Lindsborg? McPherson County?
• Would anyone want to help plan and coordinate a first-quarter 2019 seminar to refresh and learn new retail skills? Corey Peterson is thinking that a presenter he heard at a recent conference might be able to bring valuable reminders and new ideas to area retailers as on-line sales continue to increase.
• Circles of Lindsborg will hold a Monday, June 11, supper at The Swedish Crown — its first fundraiser here. Proceeds benefit the organization, which connects families with education and social capital that can help them step out of poverty for good. This supper will be served by well-known locals who will put on aprons to bring some fun along with the food to diners. Whether you are a diner or a helper that night, Circles will be encouraged. It wants to continue its growing and already positive affect on Lindsborg residents, schools, churches and social service network.
• Lindsborg Midsummer’s Festival just around the corner. The third Saturday in June is the 16th. The Volvo Car Club will again be Lindsborg’s guest. Svensk Hyllninsgfest organizers are planning a non-traditional smorgasbord for the club and the public from 11-2 at the Methodist Church, and Volvos will again be parked throughout the downtown area for celebration and inspection. The festival itself starts at 4 p.m. in Riverside Park, including a kubb tournament, maypole raising and Swedish dancing. Later in the evening, the event will conclude with a street dance.