The past year has been tough on everyone, and who isn’t ready to get outdoors and have fun? On the other hand, when it comes to large-scale events, staying safe is a priority, too. That’s why the producers of Riverfest are presenting Kansas’ biggest community event in a different way than ever before.
Instead of the usual nine-day stretch in early summer, Riverfest will take place over two extended weekends. The first – June 4, 5 and 6 – will be comprised of participatory events that require preregistration. The Fidelity Bank River Run race series, one of Riverfest’s most popular events, is scheduled for June 5 and offers your choice of the Marriott International 10K, WaterWalk presents the Katie Partridge Memorial 5K Run/Wheelchair Race, AccuWeather 2-Mile Family Walk/Jog, and Lane Enterprises Tot Trot, for kids ages 2-7. The races will be staged in waves to add an extra element of socially-distanced safety.
“After months of meeting with our colleagues in the event industry and consulting with health officials, we decided to host exclusively participatory and virtual events this June in order to create a safer environment,” said Teri Mott, director of marketing and communication for Wichita Festivals, producers of Riverfest. “In the fall, we look forward to hosting a more traditional Riverfest.”
Other events that will take place in June and require preregistration include Riverfest Porch Parade, Paddleboard 5K, Riverfest Plein Air: A Painting Competition, a virtual Pet Parade, Xtreme Hip Hop and Xtreme Burn, and Riverfest Relays, an athletic competition with a series of challenges. Many of these events give attendees the chance to compete for prizes, such as the Porch Parade, where Hiland Dairy will host an ice cream social for the neighborhood with the most entrants and the first-place winner of the residential division will receive a $1,000 gift certificate from Star Lumber.
Bike Walk Wichita will host Walking and Biking Tours, and Sunset Yoga will take place each day. These events don’t require registration. During the June portion of Riverfest, there will be no concerts, food court, fireworks or traditional parade. There will not be a gated area. To participate, visit WichitaRiverfest.com for event details and to register.
The fall portion of the festival will take place Sept. 30-Oct. 3 and will include traditional Riverfest favorites: headliner concerts, your favorite festival food, fireworks, Kids Corner, Sundown Parade, and more. The festival area will be gated at that time, and you will need an admission button to enter. Riverfest buttons will go on sale in early September at QuikTrip, $10 for adults (13 years and up) and $5 for children 6-12. Kids 5 and younger get in free.