The Kansas Sampler Foundation announced the 8 Wonders of Kansas Commerce finalists Monday. Finalist representatives gathered at the Kansas Sampler Center near Inman to hear the news.
The 24 finalists were picked from a group of more than 100 that the public had nominated. Criteria required that the business be publicly accessible for tours or that their story be on permanent display at a museum. The finalist could be a past or present business.
In alphabetical order the finalists are: Baxter?s Bait & Tackle, Stockton; Big Brutus, West Mineral Bowersock Mills & Power Co., Lawrence; Brant?s Meat Market, Lucas; Brookover Feed Yards, Garden City; Cloud Ceramics, Concordia; Cobalt Boats, Neodesha; Dessin Fournir, Plainville; El Dorado Oil Field; Frontenac Bakery; Hemslojd Inc., Lindsborg; Koerperich Bookbinders Inc., Selden; MarCon Pies, Washing?ton; Mill Creek Antiques, Paxico; Millers of Claflin, Claflin; Moon Marble Co., Bonner Springs; RANS Inc., Hays; Ringneck Ranch, Tipton; Stafford County Flour Mills, Hudson; The Grasshopper Co., Moundridge; Vonada Stone Co., Sylvan Grove; Wichita Aviation Industry; Winter Livestock Inc., Dodge City; Wolf Creek Generating Station, Burlington.
Each finalist had to have a characteristic that made it unique in some aspect of its field and possess some ?wow? traits.
Public vote will determine the top eight. People are encouraged to vote online at 8wonders.org, call 620-585-2374 for a ballot.
Voting opened Jan. 5 and will end Feb. 17 at midnight. The top eight will be announced before the end of March.
Marci Penner, Foundation director, said: ?I bet this list will surprise people. The goal was not to choose the top money-making businesses in Kansas but to select businesses, big or small, that have reached a gold standard in their arena?and that also allowed group tours or are open for retail business.?
The contest Web site provides snapshots of the nominated businesses.
Educating the public about Kansas and encouraging travel in the state are the purposes of the 8 Wonders series organized by the non-profit Kansas Sampler Foundation.
The overall 8 Wonders and contests for architecture and art have been completed. The rural culture elements yet to be showcased are cuisine, customs, geography, history and people.