As it is the time for fall celebrations, Big Brutus is joining in for the fun. The Big Brutus Fall Fest and McCune Fire Department Fundraiser will take place Saturday, October 24 at Big Brutus in West Mineral, Kansas.
The Fall Fest will act as a fundraiser for the McCune Volunteer Fire Department and as a way to draw the public out to Big Brutus. The Fall Fest will feature self-guided Big Brutus tours, live music, concessions, hayrides, and more. Entry fees are adults $8, seniors 64 and up $7.50, kids 6-12 $5, kids 5 and under free.
“Well, it actually all came from the Tailwind Cycle people, (they) do a 100-mile bike ride and they normally come to Brutus—we’re one of their stopping points,” said Joe Manns, Big Brutus manager. “Luckily, they’re still doing their bike ride, and so one thing and another we normally have Polka Fest, which it got canceled earlier this summer, so I said we need to do something. So, we’re already having the bicycles come in, we’re right at Halloween and fall, so why not just make it an all-day festival. So, that’s where it came from.”
The Fall Fest will begin with the Tailwind Cyclists come through Big Brutus from early in the morning until about 1 p.m. The firefighters will serve concessions during the day in order to help raise funds, serving drinks and snacks to the cyclists, and hot dogs and burgers later in the day. Hayrides will start at 2 p.m.
“… The idea behind the fall festival is, A, to get people out here—I mean, there’s people that live a mile from this place that have never been here,” Manns said. “So, our idea, especially when we’re focused on the Osage McCune fire department—they just built a new fire station, and it’s a volunteer fire department, so they’re doing stuff to raise money for finishing the building out and whatever stuff they need. So, we looked at that and we said, ‘well, that would be a good thing, we can get people out here maybe that have never been out here before to see Big Brutus, and if they’re protected by the fire district they might want to come out and just help the fire district, too.’”
Big Brutus will be open to the public at 9 a.m. and will close at 5 p.m. for live music performed in front of Big Brutus. Live music from Christian and country artist Dustin Treiber will start at 5 p.m., followed by the Grits and Grass String Band at 6:15 p.m.
“… That’s one thing that people absolutely love and I think they’re hungry for is live music,” Manns said. “Tired of being cooped up at home.”
Manns said he thought the Fall Fest would be a good opportunity to not only draw the public to visit Big Brutus but also to help out a local fire department. In order to stay safe in the current COVID-19 pandemic, Manns said social distancing will be enforced and facial coverings are encouraged. Since most of the Fall Fest will take place outside, Manns said there is plenty of space to social distance.
“So, we are a nonprofit organization ourselves, but we are going to share half of our gate receipts with the fire department as part of the fundraiser,” Manns said. “And then of course we’re hoping to have a lot of people here and maybe they’ll sell a lot of burgers and dogs to also help them out. And I think we have enough going on that I think people will want to come out. All you have to say to a kid is ‘hayride’ and they light up.”