Liberal is in the heart of the Great Plains with a trading area covering the corners of five states: Oklahoma, Texas, Colorado, New Mexico and Kansas. It was named for the early day settlers who were "liberal" with the scarce supply of water. The city is positioned at the crossroads of U.S. Highway 54 and U.S. Highway 83.
Seward County Museum, 587 E. Cedar. Features the Coronado Museum, Dorothy's House, Land of Oz and Riverside School. The Coronado Museum is housed in the magnificent old Larabee home built in 1918 that was moved in 1961 from its original location (be sure to see the pictures of the move!) The rooms of the house feature general and local southwestern Kansas history, Native American History relevant to the area and many displays of 'old-time' equipment ranging from farm implements to doctor's utensils to a post office window. On the museum grounds are found native tamarack, sand hill plums, cottonwood trees and wild roses in addition to the famous 'Yellow Brick Road'. Ask to see the cement pancakes created by LeRoy Chance for the Pancake Day race, which used to be at the start of the race, in front of the Liberal Public Library. They are stored in the barn out back along with other larger pieces of farm equipment and an entire turn-of-the-century homestead shack. (updated Nov 2018)
Pancake Day. In Liberal the day before Lent (Shrove Tuesday) means Pancake Day! It is a friendly competition between Liberal, Kansas, and Olney, England, with women running down the streets of each town flipping pancakes. It is still the only race of its kind, and there are smaller races for children of various ages and many other activities.
[dead link]Bazaar Day. Bazaar Day occurs annually on the third Thursday in July. Local businesses offer discounts of up to 75% off, and some open at 6AM. The streets are blocked off for customers and pedestrians.
[dead link]Chili Cook-Off. Occurs every year in September, and in addition to the cooking contest, it features a carnival. Tasting kits available for anyone who wishes to sample the entries.
[dead link]OZFest. Liberal hosts an annual celebration of the Wizard of Oz to accompany its year-round "Dorothy's House Museum". In October, the original Munchkin actors, along with tourists and visitors, come together for arts and crafts, a parade, and even a special event for dogs (remember Toto!) But hurry, there aren't many of the original Munchkins left. (updated Nov 2018)