March 10, 2022 — WICHITA, Kan.— During a media event and piping-aboard ceremony Wednesday at WAVE, Barry Schwan was revealed as Admiral Windwagon Smith XLVIII, ambassador of Riverfest 2022, the 50th festival.
“Riverfest is fortunate to have Barry at the command this year, as our admiral and official ambassador,” said Nancy Duling, president and CEO of Wichita Festivals, the not-for-profit organization that produces Riverfest. “We’re delighted that Kansas’ largest community celebration is honoring Barry for his years of service to Riverfest and to all of Wichita.”
Schwan is the president and owner of House of Schwan, Inc., a local Anheuser-Busch, craft beer, non-alcoholic beverage, and spirits wholesaler, which was founded in 1960 by his father, Barney. This is the 50th consecutive year House of Schwan has been a major sponsor of Riverfest.
“Community involvement has always been a pillar of House of Schwan’s commitment to this community,” Admiral Schwan said. “We are proud to have been a sponsor throughout the 50 years of the festival’s history. And I am extremely honored to have been chosen to represent the Wichita Riverfest in its 50th year.”
An active member of Wichita’s business and philanthropy communities for decades, Schwan currently serves on the boards of directors of the Wichita State University Foundation and the Sedgwick County Zoological Society. Many area organizations have benefitted from his leadership as board chair, including the Wichita Regional Chamber of Commerce, Kansas Humane Society, Greater Wichita Area Sports Commission, the Wichita Children’s Home, WSU Foundation, Kansas Beer Wholesalers Association, and the Sedgwick County Zoological Society. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Colorado.
The tradition of Admiral Windwagon Smith was established in 1974, when John Bell first wore the red coat during the third Riverfest, then known as Wichitennial River Festival. Schwan is the 48th admiral.
The admiral and his wife, Cindy, have been married for 42 years and have two children, Devon, and Mallory, and one grandchild, Lyric. In his spare time, he enjoys spending time with family and friends, exercising, and travel.
As the official ambassador of Riverfest 2022, Schwan will visit children in local hospitals, speak to Wichita civic organizations and help host dozens of events during the nine days of Riverfest, June 3-11. He will be assisted by the 2022 Prairie Schooner Mates, who were also present at today’s event. These high school juniors are selected by their schools to be youth representatives for Riverfest.
Here are the 2022 Prairie Schooner Mates:
- Francisco Arreola – Wichita Heights High School
- Baxter Berry – Andover Central High School
- Marcus Blackman – Wichita Southeast High School
- April Burnett – Mulvane High School
- Israel Cervantes– Wichita West High School
- Rhian Collins – Bishop Carroll
- Camden Curry– Andover High School
- Piper Eckhart – Sunrise Christian Academy
- Sterling Fanning – Maize High School
- Raena Ford – Wichita Northwest High School
- Brookyln Freund– Eisenhower High School
- Jamillete Garcia – Wichita North High School
- Liyah Huynh – Valley Center High School
- Olivia Kirera – Maize South High School
- Chance Koopmann– Maize South High School
- Joseph Kotkin – Wichita Collegiate
- Peter Mander – Pratt High School
- Elizabeth Maxwable – Wichita East High School
- Mehala Muthukumar – Independent School
- Lisa Nguyen – Wichita South High School
- Samuel Onken – Derby High School
- Jade Simeona – Goddard High School
- Steph Stevens – Andover Central High School
- Addison Swinger – Campus High School
- Ivalea Tien – Circle High School
- Sloan Vazer – Kapaun Mt. Carmel
- Bowe Warner – Trinity Academy
- Gabriel Williams – Northeast Magnet
- Traci Baker – Prairie Schooner Mate “Mom”
The 2022 Admiral Reveal is sponsored by House of Schwan, R&J Liquor, and the Wichita Wagonmasters. The Prairie Schooner Mate program is sponsored by CONCO and Volunteer Kansas with special support by Spots Party Bus and Douglas Photography Imaging.
A digital press kit with a bio and photo of the Admiral and this press release is available on our Digital Media Kits page.