Downtown Shot Put returns for another year

Downtown Shot Put returns for another year

One of our favorite downtown Lawrence events (okay, EVERY downtown Lawrence event is one of our favorites!) is back for the fifth year: the downtown shot put!

When we first started hearing about the possibility of a downtown shot put five years ago, we thought it sounded crazy. Professional throwers tossing heavy shot puts around in the middle of our downtown? Near buildings with glass windows? And tons of people around? We admit it, we were skeptical.
But then it happened, and it was SO COOL. Of course it was set up so that no one would get hurt and nothing would get broken. The community came out in full force to watch the spectacle, the athletes had a blast and everyone loved it.

Five years later, we still love it! And we’re thrilled that it’s on our block.

Join us on Friday, April 22, for this free event. The competition starts at 6 p.m. Six of the top-10 ranked throwers in the world will be participating this year.

But wait, there’s more!

Along with the shot put competition, there’s all kinds of family fun: prizes and giveaways, inflatables for the kids, and face painting. Food and drinks will be available for sale—including a hot dog topping bar from our friends across the street at Sandbar Subs—and a live music by the Brody Buster Band will follow the competition. (They’re playing on our St. Patrick’s Day float converted into a stage!)

Get downtown this Friday!

Downtown Shot Put 2015

The downtown shot put event is organized by eXplore Lawrence in conjunction with the Kansas Relays.

Girls Night Downtown

Ladies, get your wallets ready!

The popular annual Downtown Lawrence shopping event, Girls Night Downtown, returns on Thursday, Oct. 16.

This year’s shopping bash benefits the Willow Domestic Violence Center, and the ladies of Lawrence (and beyond) are invited downtown to “shop in her shoes.”

How’s it work?

Buy a ticket for $20, or $10 with a student ID. You can buy tickets in advance online or at the Downtown Lawrence, Inc., office or the third floor of Weaver’s. Or, buy your tickets the night of the event at one of two tables: 9th and Mass or 7th and Mass. If you buy tickets in advance, you’ll need to check in at one of the tables the night of the event to get your shopping bag and program.

There’s a list of participating businesses on the DLI website. For the most part, shoppers will get 20% off their purchase in participating stores, with some exclusions.

Bars and restaurants get to enjoy the fun, too!

Sandbar is participating in the event again this year. Thursday night is already home to our best special of the week, Tropical Thursdays, where customers can buy a pint glass for $2.50 (or bring in a pint glass from a previous visit!) and get tropical drinks for $2.50 all night. Tropical drinks are regularly priced at $4.50, so this is a pretty good deal.

So, what does your Girls Night Downtown ticket get you on this particular night? Well, ticketholders will get a FREE pint glass (be sure to let the bartender know you’re a ticket holder; show your shopping bag or program) and enjoy $2.50 tropical drinks, along with our exclusive $1 “Red Shoes” shots.

And, every participating business is also donating a gift certificate and other prizes. Several lucky shoppers will win some awesome prize packages!

What are you waiting for?! Buy your tickets today, and get downtown on Oct. 16 to shop in our beautiful downtown for a great cause!


Zombies in the Sandbar

Sandbar fan Mark sent us this picture he snapped of zombies in the Sandbar:


You might be wondering why zombies were in the Sandbar, especially since it's not Halloween yet. If you're not familiar with the antics that take place in downtown Lawrence, there's a Zombie Walk every year in October. This was the fourth year for the event and an estimated 350 people participated.

Some of the zombies found their way to the Sandbar, where no doubt they enjoyed bloody Shark Attacks.

Thanks for the picture, Mark!

Read the article for more information and pictures.

Foursquare Swarm Badge at The Sandbar

Nerd alert: this post won't make sense to many of you. But it's an interesting account of the activities at the Sandbar last Thursday night when the Free State Social community tweetup took place.

Foursquare is a location-based social networking site. Users "check in" when they go places, and their friends can see where they are. The game aspect is one appeal of Foursquare- check in's accumulate points, which in turn allow the user to earn different badges. One of these badges is the elusive "Swarm Badge," which can only be earned if 50 or more people are checked into the same place at the same time. It's like a Foursquare flash mob.

Our neighbors in Kansas City have organized several events to try to earn the Swarm Badge, and each time they've fallen short by just a few people. Lots of people thought the Swarm Badge would be earned at the Free State Social conference last week- since many of the attendees use Foursquare and 300 people were at the conference- but it didn't happen.

I never thought we'd earn the Swarm Badge at Thursday night's community tweetup- after all, if we didn't get it at the conference where all the attendees were in the same place at the same time, it didn't seem possible to unlock it at the tweetup, where participants were spread all over downtown Lawrence in a million different places.

However, people kept coming to the Sandbar on Thursday night, and our friend Jacinta sent the first tweet about swarming the Sandbar. More tweets and retweets followed, and more people kept coming to the bar and checking in. Suddenly we had 16 people checked in, then 33, then 45. The Swarm Badge seemed like a real possibility. Even people who don't normally use Foursquare checked in to help with the cause, and at 9:50 p.m. the 50th person checked in and unlocked the Swarm Badge for everyone:

Picture 1

A funny irony- our legal capacity is 49, and 50 people are needed to unlock the badge. There may have been more than 49 people in the bar, but the patio was busier than it's ever been too.

I think we're the first place to unlock the Swarm Badge in Kansas, from what I've heard. This might seem trivial, and perhaps it is. But it was a fun activity on Thursday- it encouraged people to network with new people and gave them something to talk about, and it helped add to the sense of community that was already created by Free State Social. 

And, of course, it was great for business on Thursday. I saw several tweets from people who only came to the Sandbar so they could check in and try to get the Swarm Badge- I don't know if they bought anything or not, but at least they were exposed to our crazy little world for a little bit of time. Maybe they'll be back sometime.

If you were there, leave a comment and let us know what you thought. If you want to write a guest post about your experience at the Sandbar, we're up for that too.

Aftermath of the Adult Swim Block Party

What a great night!

Last night was the Adult Swim Block Party in downtown Lawrence, and we were impressed with the crowd that came out on a Monday night! One of the members of the Adult Swim crew told us that their staff estimated attendance of around 4,000. That's amazing, way to go Lawrence!

All day long, downtown Lawrencians watched as giant inflatable characters took over the block of 8th Street between Massachusetts & New Hampshire. The party started around 6 pm with games and prizes and live music to follow.

(Picture below posted on Twitter by Jeff, otherwise known as @webology, friend of the Sandbar)

We were pleased to provide hospitality for The Whigs before their set. They hung out upstairs for awhile, and our fake beach served as their dressing room. They even took a picture of it and posted it on their Twitter account.

A steady stream of customers came through the bar and partied on the patio- it wasn't nearly as crowded as a St. Patrick's Day or our anniversary party last summer, but it was a fantastic crowd for a usually slow Monday night.

I was lame and didn't take any pictures last night, but here's one I found on Twitter that was posted by @johnkary, taken from the patio of the Sandbar:

Adult Swim block party from the Sandbar on Twitpic

The music was over at 10 p.m., the stage was dismantled, and the street cleaned up. These people are professionals- we laughed about how the teardown compared to ours last year after our anniversary party. (Ours took forever. We dawdled and talked and laughed.)

We would love to see this become an annual event. In fact, it would be awesome if downtown Lawrence had a block party every month…

Were you there last night? What was your favorite moment? Email us your pictures or add them to our Facebook fan page


Adult Swim on Twitter

Adult Swim on Facebook

The Whigs on Twitter

The Whigs on Facebook