HUTCHINSON, Kan. – The 55th Kansas Mennonite Relief Sale happens this weekend at the Kansas State Fairgrounds in Hutchinson. Events begin at 4 PM Friday with the Feeding of the Multitudes in the Cottonwood Court.
Long a tradition of the sale, the event will again have two lines where attendees can select foods connected with the various Mennonite traditions. Dine in or carry out.
There will be a wide assortment of other food items available both Friday and Saturday, ranging from Russian pancakes to hamburgers to burritos made by a Mennonite congregation in Newton reflecting their food heritage.
Among the new activities added to this year’s schedule is “The Storm Encounter,” a mobile exhibit developed by Mennonite Disaster Services to help raise awareness about its disaster relief efforts and demonstrate the need for additional relief workers.
Since it debuted at the national convention of Mennonite Church USA in July 2019, more than two thousand people have experienced the exhibit, which allows visitors to “experience” a violent storm, including a close-up look at the 2007 Greensburg tornado and the many MDS volunteers who helped in cleanup and recovery.
“The Storm Encounter” will be open from 4-8 PM Friday and 8-Noon Saturday.
Also new this year is RAWtools, which ties into the peace tradition of the Mennonite faith. This program transforms guns into tools, a process that will be demonstrated Friday afternoon and Saturday morning. A gun-to-garden tool item will be included in the General Auction Saturday morning at 8:45.
Other Friday evening activities will include booths, live music in Sunflower North, and the start of the Silent Auction bidding at 5.
Friday evening from 6-8 at the Pride of Kansas Building there will be a packing of Hygiene Kits for the Mennonite Central Committee. The kits will then be distributed to refugees, displaced individuals, and victims of wars and natural disasters, as well as through schools and orphanages to encourage healthy habits for children.
Saturday events will begin with breakfast from 7-10 AM at the Cottonwood Court, and the Run for Relief 5K at 8 at Rice Park. Booths and activities will open at 8 along with silent auction bidding which continues until 1 PM. The quilt and general auctions will begin at 8:45.
The quilt auction in the Meadowlark Building features over 200 handmade quilts, wall hangings, comforters, and other quilt-related items. You’ll also find a quilters market with a variety of quilting items available for purchase.
The general auction takes place in the Sunflower North building where a wide range of items will be up for sale throughout the day.
Selected items in the general auction will also have an online bidding option available through equipmentfacts.com.
The Kansas Mennonite Relief Sale is one of a number of sales held across the United States and Canada each year to raise funds for the work of the Mennonite Central Committee, which traces its roots to relief efforts for people in Ukraine in the early 1920s, an area MCC is working in even today.
The Kansas event involves approximately 70 Mennonite, Amish, and Brethren in Christ congregations across the state, and is also the second largest event held on the Kansas State Fairgrounds each year, exceeded only by the State Fair itself.
Learn more about the 55th Kansas Mennonite Relief Sale at https://kansas.mccsale.org/.