1. Kansans Will Welcome You With Open Arms
Source: Flickr User zhouxuan12345678
Newcomers to Kansas often report feeling overwhelmed by that Kansas friendliness that gets talked about so much. The rumors are all true, Kansans are ridiculously friendly—especially outside of the larger cities, as everyone is filled with Kansas pride and ready to show it off through homegrown hospitality.
So if Kansas is your new home state, good news… You just made 2.8 million new friends.
2. People In Kansas Have Turned BBQ Into A Mouth Watering Art Form
Source: Flickr User conbon33
Kansas City-style barbecue is huge throughout the entire state of Kansas. It doesn’t matter if you’re from Texas or the Carolinas, even proposing somewhere else is better at BBQ is like asking for a whooping.
What makes this style special is the way it’s slow smoked over a variety of woods before often being topped with a thick tomato and molasses based sauce. For some of the best, head to “The Great Lenexa Barbecue Battle,” where barbecue masterminds from all around come to show off their stuff.
Is anyone else suddenly starving?
3. Jayhawks Or K-State? Folks In Kansas Demand You Pick A Side
Source: Kansas Jayhawks via Facebook
To the rest of the country, Kansas basketball strictly means Kansas Jayhawks. But within the state, there’s a huge rivalry between the aforementioned Jayhawks and K-State Wildcats. People side with one or the other, never both. It’s up to each Kansan to decide who they’ll support.
4. But Don’t Forget About The Shockers!
Source: Go Shockers via Facebook
Aside from the major rivalry, there’s also the Wichita Shockers that seem to steal away a huge number of fans as well. Several recent runs in the NCAA basketball tournament have given them national notoriety, and they can’t be forgotten when the topic of Kansas sports is being discussed.
5. To Folks In Kansas The Second Amendment Comes First
Source: Flickr User Ty Nigh
Kansas is also a pretty great place to hunt, and to fish. As a result, a lot of people in Kansas, especially in the rural parts, are gun owners. Kansans aren’t surprised to see someone driving around with a shotgun in their truck.
6. Kansas Is Home To An Insane Waterslide
Source: Schlitterbahn Kansas City
It’s called Verruckt, which is literally the German word for “insane.” Located in the Schlitterbahn Waterpark on the Kansas side of Kansas City, it’s the tallest waterslide in the world, with 264 steps leading to the top.
Voted the planet’s best waterpark ride, it’s so intense that riders must step on a scale prior to boarding to ensure their total weight isn’t over 550lbs while being read several pages of warnings. Top speeds hit 70 miles per hour, and the insane drop is over in seconds.
7. Kansans Are Full Of Flag Waving, National Anthem Beltin’ Patriotic Pride
Source: Flickr User ebis50
Kansas ranks as one of the most patriotic states in the country, so it’s no surprise that the first Veteran’s Day was held in Emporia, Kan.
Home to the Army’s Fort Riley and Fort Leavenworth and the Air Force’s McConnell AFB, there are tens of thousands of active military members in the state, and the civilians are always right there supporting them.
8. Kansans See Red, White, And… Red
Source: Flickr User ricky_1146
Welcome to the land of the GOP. One of the most solidly red states in the nation, the Kansas political front seems to be pretty uniform.
However, Gallup polls show that while Kansas is one of the most Republican states around, it still doesn’t crack the top 10 for most conservative states, suggesting that Kansas voters are many different shades of red.
9. Folks In Kansas Are Proud To Be From The Land Where The Buffalo Roam
Source: Royalty-free image collection
Well, North American Bison, to be exact. Straight from another famous line of the state song, Kansans aren’t surprised to see a few buffalo running around the plains of Kansas.
After all, the American buffalo is the state animal, able to grow over 6 feet tall and weigh more than 1800 pounds.
10. Thank A Kansan For That Brainfreeze Because The ICEE Was Invented In Kansas
Source: Flickr User pidoubleg
After realizing how popular his partially frozen soft drinks were among his patrons, Omar Knedlik of Barnes, Kan. developed the frozen drink now commonly known as the ICEE in the 1960s. It was instantly a hit, and after 7-11 bought some of his machines, marketing the treat as the “Slurpee”, his idea took off nationwide.
11. Kansas Is Flatter Than A Pancake—No Really, It’s True...
Source: Flickr User MarLeah Joy
Believe it or not, the rumors are true. Actual scientific research has been done to prove that Kansas is in fact flatter than everyone’s favorite breakfast treat. However, despite being flatter than a pancake, Kansas actually ranks seventh among the flattest states in the country.
12. ...But It’s Not All Flat
Source: Flickr User fireboat895
If you look closely at a pancake, you’ll realize that it’s not completely flat, and neither is Kansas. There are a few places like Flint Hills and Smoky Hills that add a little bit of texture to the state and are definitely worth checking out.
13. Everyone Here Has Visited The World’s Biggest Ball Of Twine Once
Source: Get Cawker City via Facebook
Roadside attraction enthusiasts, look no further, you’ve finally found what you’ve been looking for! In a place with so much distance between cities, there are tons of random things along the road that liven up the journey. Head to Cawker City if you want to take your picture with the world’s largest ball of twine.
14. Kansans Are Prepared For Every Kind Of Weather...
Source: Flickr User State Farm
When there’s not a tornado warning, Kansans know to expect anything from scorching heat with high humidity to hail stones larger than their fist. There’s a reason that over 160 degrees of separation exist between the highest temperature ever recorded in Kansas (121 degrees) and the lowest (-40 degrees). Kansas weather can change quickly, and every Kansan knows to be prepared for the worst.
15. ...Even Tornado Weather
Source: Flickr User Landon Taylor
With over 60 tornadoes per year, Kansas ranks second nationally. These storms are very serious in this part of the country, as the state has a history of record-breaking storm taking out entire cities.
It’s no surprise Kansas is home to the windiest city in America, Dodge City, with an average wind speed of almost 15 miles per hour. Some Kansans still prefer to take the lighthearted approach though, joking that the wind blows in their state so strongly is because Nebraska and Oklahoma suck.
16. Yes “The Wizard Of Oz” Was Set Here, And Yes You’re The Millionth Person To Mention It
Source: Flickr User Josh Berglund19
Every Kansan is well aware the movie is set in their state. They’ve heard all the jokes already and they’re used to the film being the first thing out-of-towners bring up. But, if you still need a “Wizard of Oz” fix, there’s a great museum in Wamego, Kan.
17. Kansans Know There Are Basically Two Kansas Cities
Source: Flickr User StuSeeger
Most of Kansas City is actually in Missouri, with the exception of a few suburbs like Olathe and Overland Park in the metropolitan area. You’ll still need to go across state lines to really get to the heart of the town, as the Missouri side is the one with the awesome skylines.
18. Kansans Know To Bring Entertainment For Car Trips
Source: Flickr User baccalabloggala.wordpress.com
Kansas is a very large state, and the farther west you go, the more distance there is in between each town. Kansans know they need to bring something to stay entertained while travelling within the state, preferably something that doesn’t require much of a cell phone connection.
19. There’s A Reason The State Song Is “Home On The Range”
Source: Flickr User One Day Closer
The state has to do something with all of that vast space, right? There’s a ton of farmland in the Sunflower State, so much that only a few short years ago Kansas produced enough wheat to make six loaves for every person on the planet, roughly 33 billion loaves.
After living in Kansas for a few months, anyone will find it easy to see why the song “Home on the Range” is thought to describe the state perfectly.
20. Kansans Are Likely To Survive A Zombie Apocalypse
Source: Flickr User Elena Gatti Photography
According to research looking at the skills necessary for surviving an apocalypse, ranging from athleticism to number of paintball enthusiasts, Kansas was given great odds of surviving if worst comes to worst.
This was largely due to the high number of active military personnel in the state, as well as having a ton of martial arts enthusiasts ready to defend their homes when the bullets run out.
21. Kansans Don’t Go Looking For Superman’s Hometown
Source: Flickr User Digital_Rampage
Outside of the state, Kansas City is known for another star of the silver screen, Clark Kent. While Superman does hail from Kansas, don’t expect to find his house, Smallville isn’t a real place.
However, several places in Kansas are pretty similar in appearance to this tiny farming community, and Hutchinson seems to be acknowledged by the most superhero pros as the Man of Steel’s stomping grounds.
22. Thank Kansas For White Castle, But Get Your Fix Elsewhere
Source: White Castle via Facebook
Known for starting the “slider” movement, which suddenly seems to have spread to more upscale restaurants, White Castle was home grown in Wichita. Unfortunately, there are no longer locations in Kansas, so Kansans know to get their crave case before entering the state.
23. Kansans Are Proud To Be The Very Tip Of The Bible Belt
According to a recent survey by Pew, 86 percent of Kansas residents identify with the Christian religion, which comes as no surprise as the bottom half of Kansas is part of the “bible belt”.
24. Every Kansan Knows What Rural Flight Is And That It Has Nothing To Do With Planes
Source: Flickr User craigCloutier
Over the last 50 years, urban populations in Kansas have been growing rapidly, while rural populations have been in decline. As a result, roughly 90 percent of all rural town have fewer than 3,000 people as several thousand ghost towns exist throughout the state.
Kansans know to fill up with gas before making a long drive out west, as it may be quite some time before they see a gas station that’s still in use.
25. When It Comes To Pro Teams Kansans Cheer For Their Neighbors
Source: Flickr User Mike Morbeck
When the NFL season rolls around, most Kansans back the Kansas City Chiefs. Yes, they know they’re technically a Missouri team, but come on, Kansas is in the name
. The same goes for the Kansas City Royals.
26. Everyone In Kansas Knows, Wichita Is Where It’s At
Source: Flickr User Ty Nigh
The largest city in the state, Wichita is the best place for most Kansans to go for a variety of festivals and performances. Known as the “Air Capital of the World,” the Wichita Flight Festival is a must see.
27. Kansans Really Know How To Dig Deep
Source: The Big Well via Facebook
Built in 1887 as means of providing water for the local railroads, the Big Well in Greensburg is the largest hand dug well in the world, at over 100 feet deep. It doesn’t look like much from the outside, but a visit to its depths is a great way to experience some of Kansas’ history first hand.
28. Whatever You Do, Don’t Call The State Boring To A Kansan
Source: Flickr User greg westfall
We’ve talked about how friendly folks are here in the Sunflower State, but there is one thing you can do to get on thier bad side: Call Kansas boring.
Never call Kansas boring to a Kansan’s face. They’ll take great offense, as every Kansan is oozing with state pride.
29. There’s A Reason It’s Called The Sunflower State
Source: Flickr User benasmith71
Kansas has two main nicknames “the wheat state” and “the sunflower state.” Historically, it’s been known by the latter thanks to the abundance of this yellow flower painting across the state’s plains. These common flowers have been an important source of vegetable oil throughout the years, as well as the ultimate fashion accessory.
30. Nothing And I Mean Nothing Beats A Kansas Sunset
Source: Flickr User kansasphoto
In several lists featuring the top sunset locations around the world, from islands off the coast of Greece, to the snowcapped mountains of Finland, the sunset at the Flint Hills in Kansas always seems to make top five.
It’s the best place in the country to see the sun go down, and every time a Kansan sees this happen, they’re reminded why they’d never want to live anywhere else.