Arkansas City

Population: 11,923 (2022 Census)

Source: United States Census Bureau

Contacts:

City of Arkansas City: 118 W. Central Ave. (620) 441-4400
Arkansas City Area Chamber of Commerce: 106 S. Summit St. (620) 442-0230
Arkansas City Convention and Tourism: 106 S. Summit St. (620) 442-0230

FUN FACT: Arkalalah, the biggest festival in Ark City, started in 1928 and has been held annually during the last full weekend in October.

Arkansas City is located at the confluence of the Arkansas and Walnut rivers on the southern-most boundary of the beautiful Flint Hills in south-central Kansas and was the starting line for the Cherokee Strip land rush of 1893.

The youth of Arkansas City attend state-of-the-art schools within USD 470 where math, science, the arts, technology and vocational skills are taught by top-notch teachers. Athletes compete on recently renovated facilities with up-to-date fields and courts for baseball, softball, football, tennis, track and soccer. The tennis and baseball/softball complexes attract statewide and regional tournaments.

Cowley College a two-year educational facility located in the heart of the city, offers quality education at an affordable price and is regularly ranked among the highest junior colleges in academics and athletics in the country. Its award-winning theater, music and art programs not only prepare students for significant advancement in their liberal arts careers, but also add to the culture of the community. The school’s expanding sports complex in south Ark City has transformed a former unsightly industrial strip into a highly functional and impressive arena of athletic activity.

Revitalization of Ark City’s downtown is an expression of the community’s progressive spirit. So is the $4.2 million restoration of the historic Burford Theater into a 900-seat auditorium, accomplished through private fundraising. Restoration of adjoining commercial space is anticipated.

In 2008, voters decided to invest heavily in the town. The town approved a $38.6 million school bond issue to expand and update all of its six elementary schools, make improvements at its high school and middle school, and build brand-new sports facilities for football, tennis and softball. Bulldog Stadium opened in fall 2010. A new, $29 million hospital what is now known as South Central Kansas Medical Center and adjoining medical office building opened in 2011. Voters also approved public funds to upgrade major roads within the city.

With its substantial agribusiness sector, the Arkansas City economy supports several major industrial employers, including Creekstone Farms, a state-of-the-art beef packing plant, and KanPak, a maker of packaged frozen beverages and deserts, Skyline Homes, manufactured housing and Jet AirWerks, jet-engine repair station. Just five minutes to the north is Strother Field, where many Ark City residents work in businesses such as the GE Aviation jet-engine overhaul facility; Western Industries, a plastics blowmolder; and Morton Buildings, maker of prefabricated farm buildings.

Ark City’s largest festival of the year, Arkalalah – an Indian word meaning “good times,” celebrated its 91st year in 2023 and attracts thousands of visitors, school alumni and area residents each year. The largest car show in the region, the Last Run Car Show takes over the entire community the last full weekend in September and often welcomes more than 1,000 antique and styled cars to the streets.


Parks & Facilities

The City of Arkansas City offers a wide range of options when it comes to Parks and Facilities to host your gathering either indoors or out in nature! 

They have nine parks and five walking trails for your outdoor adventure, their longest walking trail is Knebler Pond located off Kansas street just east of the Bypass, this bike and hiking trail is 4.5 miles! Their Parks have a range of amenities from your most rustic with sidewalks to the most elaborate with a Stage, Pickle Ball Court, Play Ground, Shelter, Picnic Tables, Restrooms, and Tennis court. Interested in booking one of these outdoor parks for an event? Call the Parks Office at 620-441-4470.

To top that off there are six public facilities, three of which are available to rent! Visit the City of Arkansas City Parks & Facilities webpage for more information!

Additional Nature Attractions

If you are on the look out for more rural activities around Arkansas City consider visiting the Cowley County State Lake, Kaw Wildlife Area, Camp Horizon and the Chaplin Nature Center provide outdoor adventure and activities for families and students across the region.

Historical Places

Etzanoa: The Lost City, this ancient settlement of the Wichita and may be the largest prehistoric Native American city in the U.S. and Canada. It was situated along the banks of the Walnut River, near its confluence with the Arkansas River in Cowley County. The total population was nearly twice that of today's Arkansas City which is located in the same area. 

The Cherokee Strip Land Rush Museum displays tools, crafts, documents and clothing from the late 1800s. It owns an early copy of the Declaration of Independence, and features a display of Arkansas City’s most famous resident, Robert Docking, who served as Kansas governor from 1967 to 1975.

Below is a link list of services and organizations that you may wish to contact in Arkansas City.

City of Arkansas City

Arkansas City Business Resources

Arkansas City Tourism

Cowley County

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