Volga-German Heritage

category : Ethnic Heritage
Volga-German Heritage Volga German settlers began arriving in Ellis County in the mid-1870's. These frontier settlers were so named because prior to coming to the United States they had settled along the Volga River in Russia. Coming from a harsh climate, the Volga Germans were able to adapt and thrive in their new home. They learned to use what nature provided. A good example of this is their use of limestone in the absence of lumber. This can still be seen today in their homes, churches and fence posts. Being a very religious people, they expressed creativity in the construction of beautiful churches, many of which are still in use in the communities surrounding Hays. The most famous of the churches is the magnificent St. Fidelis Church, more commonly referred to as "the Cathedral of the Plains", which stands today as a monument to the Volga German immigrants and their enduring lifestyle. Starting in the month of February and continuing through November there is a German celebration nearly every month, with either a polkafest, Oktoberfest or church fundraiser with tasty German food and a polka mass. Although many of the German celebrations highlight the local Volga German food, polka music, beer and family gathering time, each event emphasizes their own traditions and unique activities. For a complete listing of the German celebrations in Ellis County go to

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Address: 2700 Vine-Hays, KS 67601
Phone: 785-628-8202
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Attractions and Upcoming Events

Rolling Plains Motor Speedway - RPM'S

Rolling Plains Motor Speedway - RPM'S Ellis County Fairgrounds 1344 Fairground Road Hays, KS 67601 785-639-RACE (7223) Promoter, Rod Bencken, 785-672-0123 Track email Hours: Varies - Races generally start at 7:30 pm Admission: Call for gate fees.

Hays, KS Racing

Hays Arts Center Gallery

The Center is the home of the Hays Arts Council, Kansas'

Hays, KS Arts

Sternberg Museum of Natural History

Within the four story domed museum, you will find a recreated day 88 million years ago when the mighty Tyrannosaurus haunted the land and Kansas was covered by an inland sea.

Hays, KS Museums

Thomas More Prep-Marian

"Give us four years and we'll give you a lifetime!" Fully accredited Catholic High School that offers both a boarder and day program. Small student-teacher ratio and family atmosphere. Excellent educational and extra-curricular opportunities. 86% of our graduates receive college scholarships.

Hays, KS Education Centers

Downtown Historical Walking Tour

The famous and infamous walked the streets of Old Hays City during the 1860's to 1880's including Wild Bill Hickok, Buffalo Bill Cody and General George Armstrong Custer. Twenty five bronze plaques mark the route and explain the historical significance of each site. Begin the tour near 13

Hays, KS Tours

Things to do Ethnic Heritage near Hays, KS