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BAK tent town alive with food, drink, entertainment
The tent city that sprung up near the Hoisington Activities Center east parking lot Monday, June 10, accomodated some 800 Biking Across Kansas participants and support staff for an overnight stopover on the third day of their 505-mile route across Kansas

HOISINGTON — With 800 extra invited guests in town, the eating establishments in Hoisington were putting their best fare forward Monday evening.

After the Biking Across Kansas cyclists made their destination stop at the Hoisington Activity Center for check-in sometime after noon, the next logical choice was to check out the local eateries.

Before long, rows of two-wheelers could be observed leaning against buildings like the Grill & Chill, the Dairy Queen and the Tap Room. Tables of bottled water appeared in unlikely places around the business district, staffed by young and old alike.

As the afternoon progressed, the temporary tent city east of the HAC sprung up. In the HAC gym, bedrolls were spread out across the gym floor and air mattresses lined the upper concourse.

Most impressive, however, was the evening meal line that formed in front of a red food truck in the center of the temporary town.

Even the locals were anxiously awaiting for the service window to slide up on Lyles Lashley’s Cajun Connection mobile unit – not the least of which was USD 431 Superintendent Patrick Crowdis, one of the organizers on the Hoisington BAK welcoming committee.

“I’ve been waiting all day for this,” Crowdis said, as he sat down with a full container of crab legs and corn-on-the cob. “You don’t expect to get something like this every day in the middle of Kansas.”

Also on the menu were chicken and sausage jambalaya, shrimp and grits, red beans and rice, Cajun shrimp ceviche, and a smoked brisket sandwich. The ceviche, a recent addition to the menu, went over big.

Great Bend’s Lashley, who learned to cook as a youth in Louisiana, was sold out in an hour and 45 minutes. “I think we were actually sold out of the shrimp in about 45 minutes,” he noted.

A newcomer to the food truck scene was Hoisington native Michelle Moshier, who unveiled her brand of “Can Do Drinks” Ceria nonalcoholic beverages to the over-21 tent city crowd.

Moshier noted that Ceria was founded by legendary brewmaster Keith Villa and his wife Jodi Villa. Keith created Blue Moon beer and served as the brewmaster for Coors Brewing Co. “Ceria Brewing is dedicated to making only alcohol-free craft beverages now,” she said. “Keith created a patented method of providing alcohol-free beer that has body, flavor, and head retention. I’m excited to be part of helping to offer a great experience for the BAK group in their stay in Hoisington.” 

After breakfast early Tuesday morning, the BAK riders were back on the road passing by Claflin and through Ellsworth, to overnight in Lincoln 62 miles away. Tuesday was also BAK Century Day, with a chance to stretch Tuesday’s trek to 100 miles by going around Kanopolis Recreation Area and doubling back to Ellsworth.