Sunflower Field & Silo

It’s sunflower season and thanks to Diana Burress and her husband Walter, who plants these beautiful flowers each year and opens their field to the public for free, many family photos and senior portraits will be taken during the 10 day window that the flowers are in bloom.

Diana Burress points to her favorite sunflower on the silo.

But this year sunflower lovers have a new photo backdrop to enjoy. Last year the Burress’ decided to hire someone to paint an old forty foot silo on their property.

Burress used a scaffold from Kerry Unrein Painting and Signs in Augusta, in order to paint the forty foot silo.

“My husband wanted to see sunflowers from the front porch of our house so he put out a call for painters. While we had many people interested in the project, they wanted to charge a lot of money,” said Burress.

“We couldn’t afford to do it,” she said, “so I thought I can do this’ and voila.”

Burress doesn’t claim to be an artist but the silo says otherwise. Above is the first sunflower she painted.

Burress began painting the silo as soon as sunflower season was over last year and it took her from mid September until the end of October to complete.

“My kids call me the crazy sunflower lady,” said Burress. “I love sunflowers. They are my favorite flower and it is also the state flower,” said Burress, a Realtor located in Augusta, Kansas.

“Over 15 years ago my husband planted a few sunflowers around the house for me to enjoy and I would invite my clients and their families to come and take pictures. “

“After a few years, he started planting out in this field and more people started coming, just by word-of-mouth,” she said.

Burress keeps her clients and the public informed when the field is in bloom through her Facebook page “Diana Burress – B Realty Realtor/Broker.”

“They are almost ready,” said Burress. “I think by [Labor Day Weekend] the field should be in bloom.”

“They are only good for about 10-14 days. By day 10 they start to look raggedy,” she said.

The sunflower field, located Southwest of Augusta off of Thunder Road and 115th Terrace, is free and open to the public.

“This year we have a couple of different things going on as well,” said Burress. “ We will have signs with QR codes that will link you to my site so you can post your pictures on there. We love to share the pictures so we encourage people to do that.”

“We also have a QR that will link you to the Marketplace 67010,” she said. “I have some memorabilia there. Some t-shirts, postcards, and sunflower seeds for birds will be for sale.”

“Last year Walter planted 143 acres of sunflowers,” said Burress. “They are the black oil sunflower seeds for bird feed. The seeds will also be available at Schneider Feed, Lawn & Supply.”

“We want everyone to come on out to the field next weekend,” she said. “We don’t charge people to come and take photos,” said Burress “it’s a goodwill gesture.”

Thankful Thursday

There’s much to be thankful about in downtown El Dorado, and downtown merchants as well as out of district pop up businesses want everyone to know about it.

Artist Vicki Cooper with her pop-up shop in Great Beginnings.

Therefore, on the first Thursday of each month through October, the downtown district is decorated with large sandwich boards and balloons announcing “Thankful Thursday.”

Sandwich boards and balloons decorated the downtown district.

With extended hours, special discounts and exclusive offers, there’s something for everyone to be thankful for.

Coach Al and a friend playing Cornhole in front of Kelly’s ETC.

This month the beautiful, sunny weather provided a perfect backdrop for shoppers as they strolled through downtown.

Shoppers were treated to walking tacos, provided by Trunk2Treasure.

Shoppers were treated to walking tacos, provided by Trunk2Treasure and vendors like Christina Starr Kreations held a drawing for a free candy bouquet.

TCG Services Chaplin Wade Graber shared information about the Kindness Matters campaign.

Wade Graber and Mike Ward with TCG Services greeted people with the “Kindness Matters” campaign. In a partnership with USD490, they want to encourage citizens to take the kindness pledge and help create a summer of kindness.

The next Thankful Thursday will be July 1st.

El Dorado Foodie Tour

“Tour” Showcases Local Restaurants

The City of El Dorado’s Convention and Visitors Bureau has a new name – Experience El Dorado.  In addition to the new name, there are new upcoming events designed to showcase all that El Dorado has to offer.

First on the list of summer activities is the first annual El Dorado Foodie Tour to be held the week of June 21st through June 27th. The El Dorado Foodie Tour is organized by Experience El Dorado along with restaurant partners. 

Event organizers hope to showcase local El Dorado culinary gems to a wider regional audience and encourage visitors to the city. 

Local chefs, restaurants and food trucks are creating specialized dishes and menus for the weeklong event. These dishes range from avocado toast to sushi to a steak dinner for two. 

The weeklong event allows foodie “tourists” to visit multiple restaurants for different meals and support a number of local eateries. Offerings from restaurants include breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert and cocktails. 

The official “Foodie Passport” will highlight each specialized dish and participating location along with hours of operation and pricing. 

Passports will be available at El Dorado City Hall or for digital download on the website beginning June 14th. 

Rock Fest 2021

Butler County Historical Society Home of the Kansas Oil Museum held its annual Rock Fest on Saturday, May 22, 2021.  Rock Fest is a free event hosted by the museum for visitors to learn about the geology of Kansas.  


The rain held off and the cool weather provided the perfect atmosphere for the event.  With more than 20 vendors and activities and 10 acres of outdoor fun, there was something for everyone to enjoy including a fun family Yoga activity.  Participants were entered to win a Fitbit sponsored by Humanities Kansas.  And a scavenger hunt gave visitors the chance to find objects and win prizes.  

Kansas Strong brought their mobile energy education truck.  The truck provides hands-on STEM education on wheels.  

Making pet rocks

Visitors were able to make their own pet rock, learn about geology with fossils found in Kansas, explore Geodes with a Geologist were they were able to break open a geode and find crystals.  

Having fun with fossils.

Wes Hansen with the Kansas Geological Society taught about mineral formation.

“Geodes have a more resistant layer on the outside,” said Hansen.  “But fluid can still pass through the rock and when it does, it crystallizes.  Most often the mineral inside is quartz.” 

Geode smashing

Sierra Marie Bonn, Miss Southwest 2020 and founder of ‘Let’s Go Full STEAM Ahead!’ was glad to be invited to teach an engineering activity using rocks and Play-doh.  

“I love to volunteer in my community for events like Rock Fest,” said Bonn. “Free events like today provide an opportunity for hands-on learning about STEAM and help kids have fun while learning about science, technology, engineering, arts and math.”  

Sierra Marie Bonn teaches how to create like an engineer with rocks and Play-Doh.

Tours of the vintage oil equipment and living history presentations were part of the educational fun. 

Volunteer Dale Wilson demonstrates early oil industry equipment.

Jodi Hoffman, Valley Center resident, came to hear living history presenter John Schuster.   Schuster shared about the use of nitroglycerin in the oil industry. 

John Schuster tells about the use of nitroglycerin in the early days of oil exploration.

“I didn’t realize all this was here,” said Hoffman when referring to the museum.  “What a gem it is!” 

MisFit Kitchen was on hand to serve lunch.