Reservations open for May 20 program on patio at Finney County Historical Museum


Southwest Kansans can step back in time and hear “The Sounds of History” at the Finney County Historical Society’s upcoming Evening in the Past.

The program is set for 6:30 p.m. May 20 on the patio at the Finney County Museum in Garden City, with a live performance by singer-songwriter Al Miller, featuring musical selections from the bygone days and years of Garden City, Finney County and Southwest Kansas.

The evening will also include an old-fashioned fried chicken picnic dinner, served with side dishes, iced tea and ice cream.

Admission is $16 per person, with proceeds benefitting programs and exhibits at the museum, and seating is by reservation only.  Reservations are open until May 17 or when all 88 seats are sold, whichever comes first.  Reservations and payment may be made 9 a.m.-5 p.m. weekdays at the FCHS offices, accessible through the north door of the museum at 403 S. Fourth in Finnup Park; or 1-5 p.m. seven days weekly at the museum’s front desk, accessible from the exhibit entrance near the Ben Grimsley arches at Lee Richardson Zoo.

The museum is best accessible by taking Finnup Drive east from Main Street until Finnup Park and Lee Richardson Zoo fully re-open after winter storm clean-up.

Information is available at 620-272-3664 and payment is requested by cash or check to the Finney County Historical Society.  The program will move indoors at the museum in case of threatening weather.

The Evening in the Past program, taking place for the third consecutive year, is supported by the Finney County Convention and Visitor’s Bureau.  The 2015 and 2016 gatherings sold out in advance, and reservations for the 2017 event are filling up quickly.

The 2016 program featured Lary Cole, Holcomb, offering a live re-enactment of C.J. “Buffalo” Jones, and in 2015 there was a program by Howard Koehn of Copeland.

In this year’s Evening in the Past, Miller has selected songs representing times as far back as Spanish explorer Francisco de Coronado’s trek through what is now Southwest Kansas in 1541 to the era of the Native Americans, the years of the pioneers, and the days of the Dust Bowl and Great Depression all the way up to the 21st Century.  The music will range from old-time songs to original compositions Miller has written, and his program will be narrated by his wife, Linda.

Those who attend can expect checkered table cloths, lanterns and outdoor seating at round or rectangular tables, much like the arrangements at last year’s dinner.

​“I’m really having some fun with this,” the well-known local musician said.  “I hope everyone who comes out that night will have some fun too.”