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What's there to do
One of Pawnee Rock's oldest buildings is the former Knights of Pythias hall, which started out as an opera house and was one of the first buildings erected in Pawnee Rock after the railroad came through in 1872. The sandstone walls were made of stone taken from the outcrop north of town -- the real Pawnee Rock. Until the early 1960s a diner with a pressed-tin ceiling and jars of pickled pigs knuckles on the counter, the building now houses an antique shop.
Pawnee Rock, for which the city was named, sits a half-mile north of U.S. 156 on Centre Street. As you drive in from the east or west, you'll see the Rock north of town. You can climb the rock face, picnic under the cedars or ascend the pavilion's spiral staircase for a grand view of Barton, Pawnee, Rush, and Stafford counties.
Pawnee Rockin' Days
This festival usually occurs on the second weekend of August.
A tennis court and basketball court sit in the city park along Centre Street. Adjacent to the courts are a swingset and teeter-totter. In the summer, there might be a dance or two here.
This is wide-open country with paved and packed-dirt roads. Ride to your heart's content. After a rain, however, the dirt roads can be a mess. The southwest wind rises in the late morning during the warm months; plan your longer trips accordingly.
The Arkansas River and Ash Creek used to be good for fishing, but that was before the river dried up. Now, look for farm ponds and sandpits for catfish and bass (get permission first). Cedar Bluff, Kanopolis, and Wilson reservoirs are a little more than an hour's drive away to the northwest and northeast.
Pheasant, doves and deer are hunted in the fields and wooded areas. Turkeys and quail also live in the neighborhood.
Larned (8 miles) and Great Bend (12 miles) have municipal swimming pools. They're open only during the summer.
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