Secrets Behind the Charm
Population: 12258 (2014 Census)
Source: United States Census Bureau
FUN FACT: Winfield’s cost of living is 20 percent lower than the U.S. average.
From the charm of its downtown, to its “Fortune 500” companies, Winfield has been called “the best kept secret in Kansas.” The community is part of the global economy, but it nurtures a warm, small-town feel.
Winfield’s charms are not much of a secret any more, however. It attracts thousands each September with its famous Walnut Valley Festival, a nationally-renowned music festival and competition. Island Park, with its large playground, scenic moat, and massive Isle of Lights Christmas light display draws visitors from across the region.
Winfield recently won the bid to host the Kansas Sampler Festival in 2016 and 2017, an event hosted through the Kansas Sampler Foundation that showcases everything to see, do, hear, taste, buy, and learn in the state of Kansas.
The county’s seat, with a population of 12,000, has twice been rated as one of “The 100 Best Small Towns in America” in a nationwide guide.
“Winfield’s tree-graced neighborhoods, with children bicycling home from school, seemed a world away from urban life. It’s the kind of place where the independent clothing store on Main Street is busy, local coffee shops offer fresh brew and home-baked pastries, and passers-by greet strangers with a smile.”
-New York Times travel correspondent
Winfield boasts a high performing school district focused on goal-the education of its students. USD 465 accomplishes this goal by creating the conditions for all students to learn and achieve at high standards.
Winfield’s flagship institution is Southwestern College, a four-year private college affiliated with the United Methodist Church. It was founded in 1885 and graduated its first class in 1889. Southwestern’s music, art and academics help shape Winfield into a progressive place that values higher education and helping others.
The community supports two, 18-hole golf courses — Quail Ridge, a public course; and the Winfield Country Clubcourse for members and their guests. The Winfield City Lake is popular for fishing and camping. The nearby aquatic center boasts a 50-meter pool with slide and sloped entrance for toddlers.
Winfield is a Main Street community with a tree-lined downtown graced by colorful flowers arrangements at the street corners. And it doesn’t get much prettier than a springtime drive or walk down Ninth Avenue when the red buds are in bloom. The city’s many outdoor murals have earned Winfield the title “Mural Capital of Kansas.”
A Vietnam Memorial Wall — a replica of the Washington, D. C. monument — with the names of Kansans who died in the war, is the centerpiece of the lush and serene Memorial Park. The Cowley County Historical Society Museum is also located in Winfield. The Cowley County Fairgrounds host events such as the Cowley County Fair and the Walnut Valley Festival throughout the year.
The city of Winfield operates one of the largest municipal electric and gas utilities in the state, as well as water, sewer and refuse services.
The universally known orange Rubbermaid cooler is manufactured in Winfield, at the Newell-Rubbermaid plant. Several key employers, including Silgan (formerly known as WestRock), Galaxy Technology, and Winfield Consumer Products/Husky Liners also produce plastic products. GE Aviation occupies a facility in Winfield as well as a plant at nearby Strother Field.
“The quality of life in Winfield is great, from all of the parks and recreation opportunities to the regional and national shows and festivals … Winfield is where I want to raise my children, conduct my business, and spend my life because my fellow community members have made the same decision I have and are willing to put in the work necessary to call Winfield home.”
— Dennis Clock, owner of Clock’s Medical Supply