Producers of Riverfest announce COVID-19 protocol while emphasizing change is inevitable
Sept. 3, 2021—WICHITA, Kan.—Officials of Wichita Festivals, Inc., the not-for-profit organization that produces Riverfest and Autumn & Art at Bradley Fair, today released their current COVID-19 event protocols and announced event changes the public can expect at this fall’s Riverfest, Sept. 30-Oct. 3.
“After nineteen months of carefully monitoring the event industry’s response to COVID and looking to health officials for guidance to keep our attendees safe, we have learned that the most certain thing we can expect is change,” said Ann Keefer, interim president/CEO of WFI. “As the pandemic and community response to it evolve, WFI will respond and adapt its processes. The protocol we are releasing today will inevitably change, as we all learn more and gain new tools to help us safely present large-scale events in our community.”
“So many citizens have reached out to tell us how excited they are to join together again and celebrate our city and each other,” said Teri Mott, director of marketing and communications at WFI. “We are encouraging our neighbors to care for each other and exhibit personal responsibility by masking, vaccinating and socially distancing, both before and during the festival.”
The following COVID-19 protocols have been established by WFI staff with the understanding that details can change at any time. This statement is posted at WichitaRiverfest.com and AutumnandArt.com. Any updates to this document will be posted there as well.
Wichita Festivals, Inc. COVID-19 Protocols
“By entering any Wichita Festivals event (such as Riverfest or Autumn & Art) or venue, you acknowledge and agree to abide by all health-and-safety requirements as provided below.
While we believe vaccinations allow us to do what we are meant to do — bring the community together in celebrations, we understand that not all attendees will be vaccinated. Wichita Festivals, Inc. staff is 100% vaccinated and volunteers are encouraged to be vaccinated.
We ask that all unvaccinated individuals, including children 2 years old and older, wear a mask while attending Riverfest and our other events. If you are sick or are experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms, please stay home. If you or someone you have been in close contact with has been diagnosed or shown symptoms of COVID-19 within 14 days prior to an event, please stay home.
To protect our patrons and volunteers, WFI is following all COVID-19 health and safety protocols, guidelines, and recommendations from Sedgwick County, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, and the CDC. We will continue to update and revise our protocols to reflect the most current safety standards. Due to the nature of events and the spread of variants, COVID-19 restrictions can change rapidly. Please download our mobile app to receive the updates and announcements.
While currently there are no restrictions on social distancing or crowd capacities for outdoor events, we will be monitoring conditions closely and working with local health officials to determine whether to implement capacity limitations. While the nature of events is to create large capacity crowds, we ask that attendees respect and abide by any restriction of movement or reduction in capacities which may be implemented at any event or venue. Guests are expected to comply with all WFI rules and regulations, as well as any safety guidelines of our venue partners, and to act responsibly at all times.
• Unvaccinated attendees are asked to wear a mask at all Riverfest and other WFI events.
• We urge vaccinated attendees to wear a mask in crowded areas.
• For indoor events, masks are encouraged.
• Social distancing is strongly encouraged at both outdoor and indoor event venues.
• Hand sanitizers will be available at several locations across the festival grounds.
• Hands-free refilling stations for water bottles will be available and sanitized regularly.
• Ticket booths, counters and tables will be sanitized regularly.
• The merchandise tent will have masks on hand and will accept cashless payment options.
Guests who cannot or will not conform to all of the above criteria must not enter an event venue. If at any point a guest does not meet all of the above criteria, they and their party may be asked to leave the venue.”
A handful of events that traditionally attract a large number of youngsters 12 and younger, including Kids Corner and Ottaway Carnival, will not take place this fall. The Sundown Parade will take place as “reverse” parade, with viewers driving through a line-up of the parade entries. Headliner concerts, fireworks, river events, food vendors and more are currently scheduled to take place. This fall’s events are listed at WichitaRiverfest.com or download the Wichita Riverfest Mobile App for Android or iPhone.
“Without a doubt, the event schedule for Riverfest will continue to change, so checking WichitaRiverfest.com or downloading the mobile app is the way to keep up-to-date with festival changes,” said Mott.
Riverfest adult admission buttons ($10) will be available at area QuikTrip locations starting Sept. 6. Children’s buttons (for kids 6-12) are $5 and will be available at the festival gates only, during the event. Kids five years old and younger get in free. Those who bought Riverfest 2020 buttons can use them for admission to the fall portion of the festival, which will be gated.
Wichita Festivals, Inc. is a non-profit organization with the purpose of creating diverse celebrations for the Wichita community. The primary events produced by Wichita Festivals, Inc. are Riverfest (June 4-6 and Sept. 30-Oct. 3, 2021), Wichita Festivals Golf Tournament in Memory of Bob Struble (September 10, 2021) and Autumn & Art at Bradley Fair (September 17-19, 2021). For more information about Wichita Festivals or its events, contact Teri Mott at (316) 267-2817 or firstname.lastname@example.org.