Kansas University teams have won a lot of awards, but now even KU’s chant is a winner.
Chanting Rock Chalk Jayhawk was elected Friday as one of the top “8 Wonders of Kansas Customs.”
The contest, conducted by the Kansas Sampler Foundation, follows in the footsteps of the 8 Wonders of Kansas Art, 8 Wonders of Kansas Commerce and 8 Wonders of Kansas Cuisine.
Kansans feel pretty strongly about their customs, and this contest was the closest with 12,000 people casting votes, said Marci Penner, executive director of the Kansas Sampler Foundation, which encourages travel and interest in the state.
But there has to be a winner, and here are the “8 Wonders of Kansas Customs” as listed by Penner in alphabetical order:
• Bringing musicians together: For a decade there’s been a lively jam session at the Emma Chase Cafe in Cottonwood Falls almost every Friday night.
• Chanting a school fight song: KU’s (Lawrence) Rock Chalk Jayhawk cheer is one of the best in the nation.
• Clicking your heels three times and saying “There’s no place like home”: Oz attractions in Wamego and Liberal tell the beloved story of the Wizard of Oz.
• Commemorating Veterans Day: An Emporia man helped change Armistice Day into Veterans Day and made Emporia the Founding City of Veterans Day.
• Displaying an ethnic handicraft: Traditional and pop-art Dala Horses can be seen throughout Lindsborg.
• Ordering a soda fountain treat: Go while you can to one of the 38 operating soda fountains left in Kansas.
• Riding a carousel: Ride and learn about the famous C.W. Parker carousels in Abilene and Leavenworth.
• Using natural material for fencing: Learn the story of these hardy fence posts at the Post Rock Museum in Lacrosse and see them throughout the Smoky Hills.
Jack Martin, a spokesman for KU, said he was thrilled to see voters naming the Rock Chalk Jayhawk chant one of the customs that best represents Kansas.
“The Rock Chalk Chant is recognized the world over as a symbol of the Kansas Jayhawks. Anyone who has heard it echo through Allen Fieldhouse would have to agree with Teddy Roosevelt, who called it the greatest college chant he’d ever heard,” Martin said.
Penner said the contest was difficult to set up because she had to match a general custom, such as chanting a school fight song, with a specific example, such as Rock Chalk.
She said she had no doubt that voters were selecting Rock Chalk when voting.
“This was about the Rock Chalk chant and not just any school song,” she said.