Wichita Riverfest is back after an absence in 2020 due to COVID and a modified but unfulfilling return in 2021. This year, the festival is back with a smaller footprint and lineup, but the planners obviously thought carefully, and invested wisely, to make sure the best of Riverfest returned for this their 50th year.

We’ll take you through the highlights, as we see them.

Festival Dates: Fri., June 3 – Sat., June 11

Festival Hours: 11a.m. – 10 p.m., Sun. – Thurs., and 11 a.m. – 11 p.m., Fri. and Satu

Buttons: They’re a little more expensive this year at $15, but still a great value for nine-days of fun. Children’s tickets, 5 and older are $5. You can buy your buttons in advance at local Quik-Trips or at the gates.

Main stage:

Willie Nelson, Sat., June 4, 5 p.m. He may not be your thing, but he’s a legend.

War, Sun., June 6, 6 p.m. A musical crossover band, this group fuses elements of rock, funk, Latin, Blues and Reggae.

Fred Hammond and Bishop Cortez Vaughn at Gospelfest, Mon., June 6, 6 p.m. What a powerful combination. Fred Hammond is one of the most popular and decorated names in Gospel music and Vaughn, another Gospel star, will open for him.

Rudy Love Jr. and The Family Stone, Sat., June 11, 7:15 p.m. The Love name needs no introduction in Wichita, young Rudy will open for the Family Stone Band, minus Sly, but they’ll deliver on the great funk and psychedelic soul sounds the group made famous in the 1970s

Fireworks: There are fireworks two nights, June 3 and June 11.

Other Events:

Stroll Off Competition, Sun., June 5, 2-3 p.m. Black and multicultural Greek fraternities and sororities compete for $1500 prize.  Part of Downtown Get Down.  

Sundown Parade is Fri., June 3, 6:30 p.m. The parade begins at 2nd Street and goes south on Market to Douglas then west to Main and then back north on Main to 2nd Street.

Artfest at RiverFest, Sat., June 4, 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. and Sun., June 5, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. Art, design and local shopping inside Exhibition Hall, Century II

Classic Car Show, Fri., June 10, 11 a.m. – 8 p.m. and Sat., June 11, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. inside Expo Hall, Century II.

Food Court of course it’s back with all your favorites.

This is just a partial list of events, of course there’s the River Run, bath tub races and more. For more details, go online to wichitariverfest.com or read but Riverfest guide that comes along with your button.

Since 1996, Bonita has served as as Editor-in-Chief of The Community Voice newspaper. As the owner, she has guided the Wichita-based publication’s growth in reach across the state of Kansas and into...