The Secret to this Small Town's Success? Good Food and Rodeos

Apr 4, 2016

A customer makes her way through the salad bar at the Pretty Prairie steakhouse.
Credit Lindsey Bauman / Hutchinson News

You’ve got to make an effort to get to Pretty Prairie, Kansas. It’s not located on a major highway or interstate. But the trip is worth the effort, notes The Hutchinson News.

Since their reopening people from all over central Kansas have been traveling to the Pretty Prairie Steakhouse and Lil' Rascals Lounge for steaks and Saturday night prime rib. As far as tiny Kansas towns go, Pretty Prairie is a survivor. The village might not have a police force or a grocery store, but the town has kept its doors open. The Pretty Prairie school boasts 263 students, ranging from kindergarten through 12th grade. 

How has the town stayed alive? One answer lies in the Pretty Prairie rodeo. The annual event dates back to 1934, when a few farmers got together and hosted a Thanksgiving Day rodeo on the farm of Henry Graber. And the Graber family still helps out with the rodeo, 82 years later. Kim Bontrager, who moved here from Hutchinson 10 years ago. I have loved it ever since," she said. "Everybody takes care of everybody."