About Liberal

About Us

On your way through Kansas? Stopping to rest, get something to drink, stretch a bit? Great idea. Liberal has always been a place where travelers – since the 1880’s – took respite from their journey to another place. In fact, the town got its name from visitors who saw a spirit of hospitality and generosity that lives on today. In the 1880’s, water was a rare commodity in Southwest Kansas and often very expensive for those travelers headed West with their families and livestock. S.S. Rogers, who homesteaded in the area, offered water free from his hand dug well. Visitor’s reply of “that’s mighty liberal of you” helped the area become known as “the liberal well.”

Many decided they had traveled far enough, put down roots and made it home and in 1888, the community was incorporated as Liberal, KS. Dorothy, of Oz fame, even left and returned! Today, nearly 21,000 call Liberal “home” and celebrate life on the plains with a number of distinctive events such as International Pancake Day. Join us for airplanes and pancakes and Oz; sunsets and history and art; wide open spaces and all the right places that travelers need.


Dorothy’s House and Land of Oz

Skipping with DorothyYes! You, too, can become a part of the “Wizard of Oz” story at Dorothy’s House – a farm house built in 1907, carefully restored and furnished to replicate the house shown in the movie. (The original model used in the 1939 film is on display in Land of Oz.) Dorothy, Auntie Em or Uncle Henry will join you, answer your questions, and guide you down the Yellow Brick Road as it winds through 5,000 square feet of good witches, bad witches, Munchkins, talking trees, winged monkeys, and of course, Dorothy, Scarecrow, Tin Man, Cowardly Lion, and Toto, too. (The Wizard, he’s often very hard to pin down, will probably be a no-show.) Be sure to take in The Munchkin room – it’s a delight in little dresses and shoes as well as pictorial accounts of the Munchkins and their careers. Afterwards, walk about the grounds. When you find a bronze statue of Dorothy and Toto, a push of a button will start Judy Garland singing “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” or “Follow the Yellow Brick Road.” Phone: 620-624-7624 Address: 567 Cedar Street www.dorothyshouse.com schs@swko.net

Mid-America Air Museum

Be the pilot (OK, pretend to be the pilot) at Mid-America Air Museum, the largest general aviation museum in Kansas; fifth largest in the nation; and home to more than 100 aircraft and related artifacts. (Liberal, once a major Beech Aircraft manufacturing facility and a B-24 Liberator pilot training base during World War II, established the museum to help preserve a proud aviation heritage.) Take a self-guided tour. Guided tours (advance booking required) for school, church, corporate or other tour groups may be arranged (special rates). Two electric carts are available at no charge for use by elderly, disabled, or injured visitors. Phone: 620-624-5263 Address: 2000 W. Second Street www.visitliberal.org jim.bert@cityofliberal.org

Baker Arts Center

You are in luck if it’s November and you are traveling (or just need a destination for the day) as the Baker Arts Center hosts two annual events this month.• French Market (first weekend) offers gift shops featuring handmade and donated items, a large silent auction and two luncheons and Night of Lights (third Saturday) is an evening event where patrons may enjoy food, watch an artist in action and participate in both a silent and live auction which includes paintings created during the evening. National traveling exhibits, local one-artist shows, an annual national juried art show and works from area high schools fill the rest of the year. A Discovery Center for children, an educational studio for classes and workshops, and an extensive art library provide other exciting and vibrant options for the art lover. Phone: 620-624-2810 Address: 624 N. Pershing www.bakerartscenter.org bakerarts@sbcglobal.net

International Pancake Day Hall of Fame

Come to Liberal on Fat Tuesday and you could be an unofficial racer in the International Pancake Race. For over 64 years, Liberal has held a friendly competition with Olney, England bringing the United States of America and the United Kingdom together in a symbol of peace and unity. A tradition since 1950, the women of Liberal and Olney square off in a fun, fast-paced race to the finish line carrying their skillets with pancakes inside. Although the race is always held on Fat or Shrove Tuesday (the day before Lent begins), Liberal’s festival has grown into a four-day event with cooking, eating and flipping contests, Miss Liberal pageant and a talent show in the days leading up to the big race. The International Pancake Day Hall of Fame sits right at the finish line of the race and offers a glimpse of the rich history of the event. Although the Hall of Fame isn’t open on a daily basis, those interested in touring can call to arrange a visit. Phone: 620-624-6423 Address: 318 Lincoln www.pancakeday.net combsja.62@gmail.com

Coronado Museum

An eight-foot bronze statue of Don Francisco Vasquez de Coronado points the way to the Seward County Historical Museum from US Highway 54. A collection of items dating back to 1541, when Coronado and 36 soldiers entered what is now Southwest Kansas, searching for the fabled “Seven Cities of Gold” makes this a must stop for the history buff! The museum is housed in a charming home built in 1918. Featured at the museum is a collection of items used in the settlement of the Kansas territory during its Wild West days, including weapons, an antique organ, quilts, and home furnishings. In addition to this, there is an exhibit that pays tribute to the culture of the Native American Indians who lived on the Kansas land long before Coronado set foot here. Phone: 620-624-7624 Address: 567 Cedar Street www.dorothyshouse.com schs@swko.net

Contact Us

Liberal Convention and Visitors Bureau
1 Yellow Brick Road
Liberal, KS 67901
Phone: 620-626-0170
Fax: 620-626-0540
Email: tourism@cityofliberal.org
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