City of Manhattan adds “Manhattan’s Got Talent” show to Family Fun Day

With the changing seasons, the city of Manhattan Parks and Recreation department is again offering its Family Fun Day at the Jon and Ruth Ann Wefald Pavilion at 1001 Fremont St. in Manhattan.


Every few months, parks and rec offers a free day of fun for families at the park, beginning last summer with the first event. Sponsored by HyVee, the city provides donated hot dogs and snacks to guests, and a variety of activities for guests to participate in.

The last event, held in July, was water-themed, and before that there was an Easter egg hunt held in the spring.

This fall, the event is taking on a carnival theme — with a special addition, “Manhattan’s Got Talent,” a talent show taking place after the fun day activities.

“There will be fall prizes, a kissing booth — well, really, it’s not an actual kissing booth, just one of those cut-outs where you put your face through the hole — a cake walk with about 25 different desserts, a Plinko board, there will be a ton of things for people to do,” said Ryan McKee, the recreation supervisor for the department.

The event is from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 24, with the talent show following immediately afterward.

Contestants are competing for a cash prize, McKee said, but the idea is for people to get out and interact in their community.

“We have a very transient community here in Manhattan,” McKee said. “With the students, the soldiers at Fort Riley, and everyone else, we just appreciate the fact that they’re here and we can all gather as a community.”

The Manhattan Parks and Recreation department hosted virtual auditions for the talent competition on its Facebook page that concluded Sept. 18. From there, 10 contestants were chosen by a panel to perform in the pavilion for the community.

About 25 auditions were posted to the page, with singers, dancers, whole bands, soloists and comedians posting their videos to be viewed by the judges and the general public.

McKee said they chose finalists based on their stage presence, preparation for the video, poise, video presentation and overall talent or wow factor.

“It’s a fun event, and we’re keeping it local and community based, but it’s still meant to be fun,” McKee said.

For information about the Family Fun Day or talent competition, visit the Manhattan Parks and Rec Facebook page.

Contact reporter Savanna Maue at (785) 295-5621 or @CJFoodFun or @SavannaMaue on Twitter.