Since 2016, fans of the Wichita flag have been showing off their flag swag in their staycation and vacation photos in the Chamber-sponsored #WichitaFlagSummerTravelContest. We knew this year's entries would look a little different with some travel limitations in place. But restrictions from a worldwide pandemic didn't stop our fabulous flag fans from inspiring more love for our favorite community. Today's Wichita Eagle includes a full page of photos submitted by seventeen contest winners.
We counted 362 entries this year from 106 individuals. Entries came from 45 different zip codes. Residents from 14 states outside of Kansas as well as Germany and Spain showed off their flag swag with the travel contest hashtag. Kansas residents from 8 cities outside of Wichita entered the contest along with Wichita residents representing 19 different zip codes.
And some of our favorite partners and businesses joined in with their posts. Our friends at visit Wichita posted 11 #staycation photos to inspire area residents to support local businesses. Images were also submitted by The Health Connection, Logo Depot, Paint the Towne, Paradocs Brewery and Vogel Design.
WHERE WAS THE FLAG PHOTOGRAPHED?
The contest included flag-themed images from as far away as Australia, Germany, Mexico, the West Indies and Spain and as close as Wichita's own neighborhoods. Even with travel restrictions, the flag was photographed in 42 states across the country.
HOW MANY SUBMISSIONS HAVE THERE BEEN SINCE 2016?
Contest entries have increased every year since 2016. This year's 362 images bring the total number of submissions to 1,196 from 2016-2020. And there are only two spots outside of Kansas where the flag has been photographed every year of the contest. Both are favorite tourist attractions in Colorado Springs--The Garden of the Gods and Pikes Peak.
WHY DOES THE CHAMBER HOLD THIS ANNUAL CONTEST?
A connected community is better equipped to solve challenges together. The #ILoveWichita/#WichitaFlag campaign has consistently ranked as one of the programs our members find most valuable when surveyed. This pride-in-place initiative inspires Wichitans to connect with each other and provides them with a platform to share what they love best about their community. It creates ambassadors for Wichita around the globe and keeps former Wichitans connected to our community. As one 2020 travel contest participant (Michael Hochman from Pennsylvania) posted on Twitter, ..."even though I don't live in #doodah anymore, Wichita will always be with me." Another former Wichitan, Eric Wittman, who relocated to Maine several years ago shared that the contest helped with his homesickness for the ICT. He wrote, "Thanks for all your hard work. It means a lot."
Thank you to all who participated and to Logo Depot for their partnership in providing prizes for our contest winners.