[GARDEN CITY, Kan.]
Ticket sales for the Eighth Annual Historic Walking Tours of Valley View Cemetery in Garden City, Kan. will open Sept. 27.
The cemetery tours are scheduled at 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. Oct. 7, 8 and 9, offering a trove of historical information, as well as the chance to meet a few figures from the community’s 142-year past.
The tours are geared for adults, and each group is limited in size to enhance the experience. Tickets are sold first come-first served and have quickly sold out each previous year.
Each tour will run approximately 90 minutes, including stops at 10 to 12 gravesites and memorials, though the route changes annually.
Volunteer re-enactors will emerge at certain points to portray figures from the 19th and early 20th Centuries.
Ticket holders should gather at the cemetery office. Parking will be available east of the office, inside the cemetery off north Third Street.
Those who attend are welcome to bring flashlights and should be dressed and prepared for the weather and for a vigorous walk.
Face masks are welcome but not required. Those attending should exercise their own best judgement about precautions and virus immunity.
Established 138 years ago in 1883, the cemetery includes approximately 14,000 graves and serves as the final resting place for many of the community’s founders, early leaders, and citizens.
The tours are hosted in partnership by the cemetery and the Ford County Historical Society. Sponsored by Aaron and Chris Kucharik., the tours will be led by Johnetta Hebrlee, Finney County Museum education coordinator.
“There are a lot of stories to tell about the people who have made our community what it is today,” the guide said. “You might not realize it, but a visit to the cemetery is a great way to discover some of those stories.”
The cemetery has been operated by Garden City since about 1940. While not the first or only site for graves in Finney County, it is the largest, covering 40 acres with 40 more in reserve.
Tickets are $15 per person, with cash or checks accepted. Tickets will be sold in advance only and not at the site.
Sales will be open seven days weekly at the Finney County Historical Museum located at 403 S. Fourth Street in Finnup Park, while they last.
Exhibit hours are 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. seven days weekly, via the front entrance: with office hours 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays, via the north door.
Tickets won’t be sold prior to Sept. 29.
While the tours take place in October, they have nothing to do with Halloween, with the emphasis is on history. No ghost and goblins and such.