WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – All 28 state parks in Kansas were free to visit on Black Friday.
Mike Winkleman decided to take a camping trip with his wife and their dog.
“Oh, we just had four day weekend, so we decided we’re gonna take advantage of it. We’re staying until Sunday.”
He said the weather is great, but he’s hoping to see fish in the forecast.
“We just throw our poles out and don’t know what’s out there quite yet. We’re gonna probably run over to the bait shop here to maybe grab some more bait.”
The sales clerk at the bait shop says it’s been busy. Mike isn’t surprised.
“Had plenty of Turkey. It’s time for fish.”
The Gainey family is also spending their day at Cheney State Park.
“Oh, we’re just kind of doing a little outing with a family, and her parents are coming up from Florida, and they wanted to see the lake, so check it out,” said Charles & Katrina Gainey, Mount Hope residents
The Gainey’s are originally from the Sunshine State and have visited many state parks since moving to Mount Hope.
“We love the State parks here. Parks here are really nice. They do a good job. Keep them clean.”
Their only planned activity was taking in nature and advantage of the unknown free day.
“We did not. It was a happy accident.”
Outdoor equipment and sporting goods store REI spearheaded the tradition of outdoor excursions on Black Friday in 2015. Instead of participating in the holiday shopping rush, the store closed all of its locations for the day and encouraged employees to spend time outdoors. In the years since, many state parks have followed suit. Some also are hosting free events or other deals to draw in visitors.