Spend New Year’s Eve with us!

Another New Year’s Eve is upon us! The years sure do fly by fast around here.

Here are the details for this year’s party—we’ll have a $10 cover charge at the door, which includes:

  • Special Sandbar New Year’s Eve pint glass—yours to keep!
  • Party favors and champagne toast at midnight
  • Assorted snacks

It’s Tropical Thursday, but our regular special will be adjusted a little bit because of the holiday. All tropical drinks will be $4 all night with your pint glass.

As usual, we can’t take reservations of any kind—we tried that one year and it just didn’t work out well for us. It’s first come, first serve all night.

We recommend that you get here as early as possible, because the bar will fill up, and once people are here they tend to stick around. There’s not a lot of coming and going on New Year’s Eve, so if you’re stuck in line, you’ll likely be there for awhile. Especially if it’s close to midnight.

However, you are welcome to bring in your own food or order food once you’re here! Lots of people come in early on New Year’s Eve with their dinner and hang out all night.

Dave will be behind the bar at 9 p.m. and he looks forward to seeing you!

Don’t forget: Tipsy Taxi is running again this year! Don’t drink and drive. Call 841-4138 anytime between 11 p.m.-3 a.m. for a free ride home.

It’s back! Rocky Horror Picture Show party bus returns

Rocky Horror Picture Show party bus group in 2009
One of our favorite events is back this year—the infamous Rocky Horror Picture Show party bus!

We started this tradition in 2009, after Peach renovated the movie theater in Ottawa and we had a place to watch the show, yell as much as we wanted and throw things. And get up and dance in the middle of the movie. (We won’t talk about the time that couple tried to ‘shush’ us during the movie.)

The party bus went on hiatus the past couple of years, but this year we’re excited to bring it back.

Here’s the drill: you MUST dress in costume. That’s rule #1, and the most important rule.

Everyone meets at the Sandbar around 8 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 30. FYI, that’s also Homecoming weekend for KU, and a pep rally will be happening on our block that night. It’s also Final Fridays, so downtown Lawrence will be BUSY. Plan accordingly and carpool if possible.

The bus leaves the Sandbar promptly at 9 p.m. and heads south to Ottawa. The bus ride is FUN. Some refreshments will be provided, but you’re welcome to bring your own for the bus.

Once we get to the Plaza Cinema in Ottawa—the oldest operating cinema in the world, in case you didn’t know—you’ll enjoy a tour of the Movie Memorabilia Museum, followed by the main event—the Rocky Horror Picture Show!

After the movie is over, we’ll load the bus back up and head back to Lawrence.

All this for just $36! Sign up in advance at the Sandbar to save your spot.

And in case you need ideas for costumes, check out some of the stories and pictures from past years’ trips, or use our good friend Google to find something. But remember: costumes are required!

ICYMI, this year is the 40th anniversary of Rocky Horror Picture Show. The cast recently reunited on The Today Show. Check out the video here.

Rocky Horror Picture Show 2015 flier

Want to see our float again?

Then you’ll want to get downtown in Baldwin City this weekend!

Several years ago, we decided to buy a new-to-us trailer that could be dedicated to our annual parade float. Before that, we were using one of Ted’s farm trailers, which was fine—except he needed to use it for the farm, so we had to tear down the float right away and give it back.

Now that we have a dedicated float trailer, we can leave the float intact year-round.

That also means we can use it for a stage at our block party—saving ourselves a ton of money on stage rental!—and loan it out to other people in need of a fun stage for a band.

This weekend is Get Downtown Baldwin!, a fun event in downtown Baldwin City with everyone’s favorite cover band, Sellout!, performing once again on our lime-green stage.

The family-friendly event includes a chili feed, beer and wine, and a bounce house (that’s quite the combination!). Dinner starts at 6 p.m. followed by the concert at 8 p.m. And, the event is free! You can also enjoy an art exhibit by Tom Russell.

Stop by the Lumberyard Arts Center for a fun family evening this Saturday!

Thanks to the sponsors: Mid America Bank, Baldwin City Chamber of Commerce, City of Baldwin City, and the Baldwin City EDC.

Throwback Thursday: Cardboard Boat Races

Throwback Thursday: Cardboard Boat Races

We heard that Student Union Activities at KU is holding a Cardboard Boat Regatta at Potter Lake on Saturday, and we got a wee bit nostalgic.

You see, eleven years ago, we built a cardboard boat and sent four of our people onto Clinton Lake in it. They’re all still alive. In fact, we had so much fun, we did it again the next year.

I think it was an event put on by the Chamber of Commerce for a couple of years back in 2004 and 2005. But you all know how much we love building floats, and a cardboard boat didn’t seem all that different.

Here’s to the SandBarge of 2004:

Cardboard Boat Races, 2004
This one paid homage to our St. Patrick’s Day float, the Love Boat, on a much smaller and less-sturdy scale.

Cardboard Boat Races, 2004

Cardboard Boat Races, 2004

Cardboard Boat Races, 2004
You might be wondering about that last photo. Someone thought it would be a good idea to bring along a bunch of water balloons and a giant balloon slingshot, and launch the balloons at the boats on the water.

I’ll let you all decide who that “someone” was.

Most people thought it was funny. But there were a few who didn’t, and we kind of got in trouble. As much trouble as you can get in at a cardboard boat race, anyway.

We built another cardboard boat in 2005:

Cardboard Boat Races 2005

No, Target did not sponsor this creation. Though they should have, for as much money as some of us have spent in their stores.

Cardboard Boat Races 2005
Clearly, we didn’t learn anything the first time, and brought a giant cooler full of water balloons again.

You probably aren’t surprised that Dave is manning the slingshot. He likes pelting people with water balloons. He’s also way too big to be on the cardboard boat, so this was the next best thing.

And finally, our favorite. We wish this was our boat.

Cardboard Boat Races 2005
So, students of KU: do you have what it takes to build a boat out of cardboard that can float on Potter Lake? We can’t wait to see them.

Saddle up your (sea)horses for Ottawa’s Cowboy Days

Ottawa Cowboy Days promotion
Boots? Check. Cowboy hat? Check. Old West spirit? Check.

Aficionados of all things western will celebrate the return of Old West Cowboy Days after a six-year hiatus during a day-long festival Sept. 5 in Ottawa, Kansas.

“The cowboy culture is not dead,” organizer Peach Madl said. “From campfires to cattle drives to concerts, we wanted to bring people together to celebrate the western way of life.”

A kick-off to the event is the Bourbon Train ride on the Kansas Belle Dinner Train at 7 p.m. Sept. 4. Passengers will ride from Baldwin City to Norwood while enjoying five unique bourbon tastings and appetizers. They’ll also experience an old-time wagon ride and a roaring campfire with a Western theme. For more information and to make reservations, contact the Kansas Belle Dinner Train at (785) 594-8505.

Want to see dozens of Longhorn cattle being driven down Ottawa’s Main Street? Don’t miss the cattle drive at 10 a.m. Sept. 5. The drive is sponsored by the Plaza Cinema and Burkdoll Brothers of Garnett, Kansas.

Participants can enjoy many other activities throughout the day in and outside of Ottawa Municipal Auditorium, 301 S. Hickory St., including vendors, Wild Women of the West, local horse breeds, a horse video and a barbecue dinner. Miniature horses will be on display from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. outside of the Ottawa Municipal Auditorium, as well an opportunity to take photos with CoCo Chanel, a live “unicorn.”

Activities around the city of Ottawa include an exhibit at the Old Depot Museum, 135 W. Tecumseh St.; western movies and a Buffalo Bill exhibit at the Plaza Cinema, 209 S. Main St.; a shooting presentation by the Lebo 4-H club at The Gun Guys, 412 S. Main St.; and carriage rides throughout downtown Ottawa.

The night will conclude with performances by the Travis Marvin Band and Rusty Rierson, plus recognition of the Kansas Cowboy of the Year, all at Ottawa Municipal Auditorium.

Don’t forget to follow the festivities on Facebook at Ottawa Cowboy Days and on Twitter @Ottawakscowboy. Use hashtags #ottawaks and #ottawacowboy throughout the day!

For more information and a complete schedule of events, visit www.explorenekansas.com.

Bourbon Train+Cowboy Days

img_cowboy_daysDon’t miss these fun events over Labor Day weekend!

We can’t ever resist a good beer, wine, or other tasting—especially a bourbon tasting. On September 4, board the Kansas Belle Dinner Train bound for Norwood and enjoy a bourbon tasting, appetizers and a real cowboy experience.

The train departs from the Baldwin City Depot at 7 p.m.; guests must be at least 21, of course. The cost is $75 per person—call 785.594.8505 to make your reservation.

Then the next day, on Saturday, head over to Ottawa for the Cowboy Days celebration at the Plaza Theater and Municipal Auditorium. This has something for everyone: educational seminars, shopping, food, horses and more—including a cattle drive downtown!

Local favorite Travis Marvin will also perform a live concert, with an opening performance by Rusty Pierson. And, food and drink will be catered by Sandbar Subs!

Spend your Labor Day weekend doing something unique!

Celebrate Django’s Birthday with us

It’s Django’s 10th birthday! Many in Lawrence don’t know about Django, or that it was created right here, and we want to change that.

Our friends at Revolution Systems are hosting a one-day tech conference in downtown Lawrence, complete with a block party so all of Lawrence can come down and help celebrate, instead of having it just be a small gathering of geeks (their word, not ours!).

Learn more about the conference and the Django birthday celebration here.

We don’t know a lot about Django, but we do know a thing or two about block parties. We’re excited that Frank and company requested our help in throwing a bash for their conference attendees—and the public’s invited, too.

6 p.m. Buskers including balloons and a robot
7:30 p.m. Live music

Live music kicks off with Adrian Holovaty (a co-creator of Django), followed by the Douglas County Quintet at 8:15 p.m., and at 9:15 p.m. Billy Ebeling takes the stage.

The event is free and family-friendly! Kids will enjoy the bounce houses, buskers and snow cones. We’ll also be selling drinks on the street in a beer garden area, and there’s no cover charge.

RSVP on Facebook and invite your friends

P.S. What is Django? “Django is a high-level Python Web framework that encourages rapid development and clean, pragmatic design.” Basically, they make the internet for the rest of us.

Bikes, Trains and Automobiles

It’s time for another bike-and-train expedition!

A few months ago, we told you about a fun excursion Peach put together with the Midland Railway—and several of our friends took us up on the offer. They carted their bikes to Baldwin City, where they caught the train for a ride on the historic Midland Railway, followed by a bike ride on the new Prairie Spirit Trail.

Well, now you have more opportunities to participate! There’s another ride this weekend, June 20.

Join the Midland Railroad at the Baldwin City Depot at 9 a.m. for a 22-mile round trip to Ottawa. Take your bike along, or not—you can hike if you prefer. The train will unload 1/2 mile north of the Prairie Spirit Trail and the Flint Hills Rail Trail. Ride as long as you want, just make sure you’re back at 3 p.m. to catch the train back to Baldwin City.

RSVP to either Peach at peach@thesandbar.com or to director@visitottawakansas.com, or you can call 785.242.1411. The suggested donation is $10 to the Midland Railway Preservation Association.

And if you can’t make it this weekend, don’t worry. There will be opportunities again on July 18, August 15 and September 19, so mark your calendar!

Midland Rail

Lost and Found: Sandbar Shark Board

A few weeks ago, Dave celebrated his birthday with a fun night out on the town, taking in a show at the Lied Center, visiting fellow downtown bar John Brown Underground and then, of course, partying at the Sandbar into the early hours of the morning. He probably even danced on the bar.

It was a great birthday, until he realized that some joker had stolen the shark board photo-opp that resides outside the door.

Even worse, it happened right on our watch: the bar was open at the time, but the doorman (who will remain nameless) had stepped away and it was one of those rare times that no one was in line.

Sandbar shark board
Happy birthday, Dave.

The news spread quickly the next day, thanks to the power of social media. The local paper even covered the theft; our apologies to Sgt. Myrone Grady of the police department, who had the unfortunate task of responding to the LJW’s request for information about the shenanigans. We hope you have a good sense of humor, sir. If it makes you feel any better, I insisted that Dave file a police report; he seemed reluctant to report something seemingly so silly.

We drove the alleys of downtown Lawrence, hoping the thief was lazy enough to drop it off behind a dumpster, but no luck.

We hoped pictures would surface on Facebook; after all, the board’s pretty big and hard to hide, and what are you going to do with it, if not take pictures of it and with it? But nothing turned up.

Time passed, and we thought we’d never see our beloved board again. You probably don’t know this, but Dave and Justin, our art director-turned-bartender, toiled for hours creating that thing.

Then, one day, Phil, our sometimes-Friday bartender, texted Dave a picture and asked if we were missing something. Phil’s been pretty busy with his day job, so he was probably out of the loop on the goings-on at the bar. Apparently someone he knew had found the board on a country road and sent Phil a picture of it. (Minor correction to the LJW article: It wasn’t a friend of Dave’s who discovered it.)

Get this: on a country road near the Outhouse.

So, we’re assuming that thieves went on a joyride that night, looking for different entertainment than our little bar can provide, and the board either flew out of their vehicle on the bumpy road, or they realized they wouldn’t be able to show off their prize to anyone. Or maybe they just hate us, who knows.

But the good news is, we finally have the board back, and while it has some minor damage, it’s nothing that can’t be repaired. And this time, Dave said he’ll make sure it’s locked down whenever it’s on duty.

P.S. The recovery was big enough news that the LJW posted a follow-up story, and a Kansan reporter stopped by the bar to do a story on it, too, so watch for that one.

Bike the Prairie Spirit Trail

Calling all bikers!

Nope, not that kind—the ones of the cycling variety. Peach has a fun new opportunity this Saturday for our bicyclist friends. Looking at you, Bike Beer Wednesday folks.

Load your bike onto the historic Midland Railway at the Baldwin City Depot and take a train ride to Ottawa, where you’ll have the chance to ride to the Prairie Spirit Trail. Meet the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks trail managers and enjoy hot dogs and beer (again, looking at you, BBW’ers) at the Old Depot in Ottawa.

Then, ride your bike to the oldest operating cinema in America—established in 1905—and enjoy a complimentary tour of the Plaza’s Movie Memorabilia Museum.

Finally, you’ll return on the train and arrive in Baldwin City by 2:30 p.m.

This great opportunity is compliments of the Baldwin City EDC Inc.  Bring the whole family for a day of adventure! Email Peach at peach@thesandbar.com to reserve your spot.

Saturday, April 25
9 a.m.
Baldwin City Depot