No time to get to South Padre Island?

No time to get to South Padre Island?
Not interested in going to Florida again?
California is broke, how much fun can that be?
If you are still waiting to sneak in that last minute family vacation or weekend getaway, stop by the Crawford County Convention and Visitors Bureau and grab a state travel guide or regional visitors guide to one of the great getaways and destinations in the Midwest.
Available for free include state travel guides for Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma and Arkansas, visitors guides for destination cities such as Wichita; Kansas City (Kansas and Missouri); St. Louis; Springfield, Mo.; Branson, Mo.; Eureka Springs, Ark.; Tulsa, Okla. and Oklahoma City; visitors guides for recreational destinations such as Table Rock Lake, Grand Lake of the Cherokees and Lake of the Ozarks
One to catch one last baseball game before school starts? The CVB still has baseball pocket schedules for the St. Louis Cardinals, Kansas City Royals, Northwest Arkansas Naturals and Tulsa Drillers.
State maps are available for free for Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma and Arkansas also.
The Crawford County Convention and Visitors Bureau is located inside the Pittsburg Area Chamber of Commerce, 117 West Fourth Street, and is open Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

Agritourism scholarship program
The Kansas Department of Commerce is once again offering scholarships to Kansas agritourism operators who would like to attend education seminars and/or conferences as well as educational based trips to explore other agritourism operations.
The scholarship program has a $25,000 budget and will reimburse Kansas agritourism operators for the following:
• Conference Attendance Scholarships — Will reimburse awardees up to $5,000 per application for all costs related to educational tours, workshops, seminars, registration and one year’s annual organizational dues related to attendance at an approved agritourism, tourism or agricultural direct marketing conference. Each approved application must consist of two representatives from the agritourism operation, both being directly involved in the operations; marketing and development of the business and both must attend the conference. Funds may not be used for travel, lodging, or incidental expenses.
• Best-Practices Educational Trip Scholarships — Will reimburse awardees up to $2,000 per application for costs associated with guided, organized trips to agritourism, tourism or value-added businesses regionally or nationally. Funds may be used to offset the following costs related to the trip: vehicle rental, lodging, airfare, motor coach costs, consultation fees charged by the business being visited, admission fees to model attractions or events, insurance for trip participants for the duration of the trip or shared educational materials purchased for or during the trip.
Applicants must be registered with the Kansas Department of Commerce as a certified agritourism operation. For information, call Sarah Larison at (785) 296-3737 or slarison@kansascommerce.com.

Upcoming events
One last taste of baseball, the county fair continues and one of the best celebrations scheduled for 2009 is on tap in the upcoming week, be sure to get out and about and enjoy:
• Today and continuing through Saturday, the 2009 Kansas American Legion AAA State Baseball Championships is underway at historic Jaycee Ballpark inside of Lincoln Park in Pittsburg. Eight of the Kansas’ best AAA American Legion programs will diverge on Pittsburg to battle for the state championship. For more information, contact the Crawford County Convention and Visitors Bureau at 1-800-879-1112 or chull@pittsburgareachamber.com
• Today and continuing through Saturday, the 93rd annual Crawford County Fair will take place at the Crawford County Fairgrounds east of Girard. For more information, contact the Crawford County Extension Office at (620) 724-8233.
• Sunday, the Mirza Shriners will host its First Sunday Breakfast open to the public the first Sunday of each month at the Mirza Shrine Temple, 110 West Fifth Street in Pittsburg from 7:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. For $6, diners can get all you can eat pancakes, biscuits and gravy, sausage, bacon and much, much more. For more information, contact the Mirza Shriners at 231-4180 or log onto www.mirzashriners.com.
• Next Friday, the 63rd annual Arma V-J Homecoming and Arma Centennial Celebration will get underway and continue through Sunday, Aug. 9. Arma will celebrate 100 years as a community (1909-2009) and the 63rd annual Arma V-J Homecoming will take place as usual during the second full weekend of August.
For a complete schedule of events, log onto www.armakansas.org.

Craig Hull is the director of the Crawford County Convention and Visitors Bureau. It is the purpose of the Crawford County Convention and Visitors Bureau to promote travel and tourism in Crawford County, Southeast Kansas and the Midwest. He can be reached at chull@pittsburgareachamber.com or at 1-800-879-1112.