NEW RIVERFEST HEADLINER, VIP EVENTS ANNOUNCED

ATTENTION MEDIA!

Wichita Festivals today announced that with the addition of Darryl Worley as a country concert headliner on Wednesday, June 7 at the RedGuard Stage, the Riverfest 2017 concert line-up is now complete.
Also today, ticket sales began for new VIP events open to the public for select concerts at this year’s festival, which takes place June 2-10.

Fans of The Flaming Lips, LoCash, Mavis Staples, Common, and OK Go will be able to purchase VIP passes that include special viewing and seating options, a private cash bar and other amenities for $25 per show.
Details and ticket information is available at WichitaRiverfest.com.

Questions?
Email [email protected] or call Teri at (316) 267-2817, ext. 22

RIVERFEST EARLY-BIRD BUTTONS NOW ON SALE

Discounted admission buttons available through May 4 at Cox Solutions Stores; Mobile app, powered by Westar, announced

April 11, 2017 – WICHITA, Kan. – Wichita Festivals, along with partner Cox Communications, today celebrated the sales of discounted Riverfest early-bird buttons and announced details of a new Riverfest mobile app, sponsored by Westar Energy.

“Let’s sell some buttons!” said Admiral Windwagon Smith XLIV Wendy Johnson as she joined Mayor Jeff Longwell in purchasing buttons for the largest community event in Kansas. Riverfest 2017 will take place June 2-10 in and around the Arkansas River in downtown Wichita.

“We strive to make Riverfest accessible to everyone, regardless of their interests or resources,” said Mary Beth Jarvis, president and CEO of WFI. “Discounted pricing makes it easier for everyone to join the party, and our new mobile app will help our attendees find where and when their favorite events take place, and even inspire them to explore aspects of the festival they’ve never experienced before.”

During the early-bird sales period, April 10-May 4, buttons are available at an early bird discount price of $7 for adults and $3 for children at Cox Solutions stores: 2240 N. Rock Road, 446 S. Ridge Road and 2556 N. Maize at New Market Square in Wichita; and 1636 N. Rock Road in Derby. Starting May 5, full-price buttons ($10 for adults and $5 for children) will be available at major button retailors. Admission for kids five and younger is free.

“Cox is committed to supporting our local communities, and celebrating partnerships just like this one with Wichita Riverfest,” said Mark Greatrex, executive vice president, chief marketing and sales officer for Cox Communications. “Our employees take great pride in serving the communities where they live and work.”

Those present enjoyed a preview of the colorful mobile app, designed to coordinate with Riverfest 2017’s official artwork. The app, developed by Clutch Studios, will provide attendees with maps, event and concert schedules, notifications of festival updates, and even a scavenger hunt game that encourages Riverfest fans to explore the festival and identify locations with a series of clues.

“This handy and fun app will energize the festival experience for attendees,” said Ebony Clemons, Community Relations Manager for Westar Energy. “We are excited to support this upgrade in technology for one of Kansas’ most beloved events.”

The Riverfest Mobile App will be available to download for iPhone and Android, starting later this month.

Riverfest 2017 Official Sponsors include: Barefoot Wine, Bud Light, Decker Electric, Metro Courier, Parr Sound & Lighting, PrairieLand Partners, RedGuard SiteBox, Spot’s Party Bus, Standard Beverage Corporation, Van Horn Promotion & Marketing, and Visit Wichita.

About Wichita Festivals, Inc.: Wichita Festivals, Inc. is a non-profit corporation with the purpose of creating diverse community celebrations within the Wichita community. The primary events produced by Wichita Festivals, Inc. are Riverfest (June 2-10, 2017), Wichita Vortex Music Festival (August 4-5, 2017), Bob Struble Memorial Golf Tournament (September 8, 2017) and Autumn & Art at Bradley Fair (September 15-17, 2017). For more information about Wichita Festivals, Inc. or its events, contact Teri Mott at (316) 267-2817 or [email protected]

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RIVERFEST HOSTS MAJOR EVENT TO SHOWCASE, BENEFIT STUDENT ENTREPRENEURS

First-ever event includes e2e FuturEpreneurship Expo at Wichita Boathouse, Bonus Randy Newman Concert

April 7, 2017 – WICHITA, Kan . – Wichita’s growing array of entrepreneurship education programs will be showcased June 9 at Riverfest at the first-ever e2e FuturEpreneurship Expo and a new headliner concert with Randy Newman, sponsored by the Grumpy Old Men and Leslie Rudd Investment Co./Standard Beverage Corporation.

“Wichita has become a national leader in fostering entrepreneurial spirit and enabling real-world entrepreneurship by students,” said Mary Beth Jarvis, President and CEO of Wichita Festivals, Inc. “Thanks to support from the Greater Wichita Partnership’s Entrepreneurial Task Force and the e2e staff, as well as generous sponsorship by the Grumpy Old Men and Mr. Rudd and Standard Beverage Corp., we get to provide a giant stage – literally – to help recognize the progress being created for our city by these programs and the amazing young people excelling in them.”

The e2e FuturEpreneurship Expo, scheduled for 5:30-8 p.m. at the Wichita Boathouse, will feature hands-on, interactive activities for youth, offered by representatives of Camp Destination Innovation, DECA, EmpowerHer, the K-8 Do Entrepreneurship initiative, Youth Entrepreneurs and Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge, among other programs.

“Wichita has a long adult history of entrepreneurship,” said Gary Oborny, co-chair of the Greater Wichita Partnership’s Entrepreneurship Task Force, “but it’s also imperative that entrepreneurship becomes systemic to the DNA of our youth.”

“The e2e FuturEpreneurship Expo is the product of e2e’s commitment to be a collaborative and inclusive organization acting as the center of gravity to accelerate the Wichita entrepreneurial ecosystem,” said John F. Dascher, president and CEO of the e2e Accelerator. “Although e2e’s flagship product, the e2e Accelerator, serves growing entrepreneurial companies, without a constant flow of new entrepreneurs there will be no companies to serve. e2e is therefore particularly grateful to Wichita Festivals, the Grumpy Old Men and Mr. Rudd for enabling this event for us all to celebrate Wichita as a trailblazer in fostering youth entrepreneurship and to inspire more young people to lead our city’s legacy of entrepreneurship for the next half century.”

After the Expo, attention will shift to the RedGuard Stage, where exemplary young leaders in the Wichita entrepreneurial community will be recognized, followed by Randy Newman’s headliner performance.

“I am ecstatic to be able to perpetuate my father’s legacy of the Grumpy Old Men in supporting the Randy Newman Concert,” said Doug Stark, chief operations officer of Grumpy Old Men. “I have wanted to bring Mr. Newman to Wichita for a number of years. So to be able to fold this in as a ‘top shelf’ event for Riverfest, in conjunction with the incredible energy of the e2e organization, is a ‘win-win’ for this community.”

Newman rose to fame in the 1970s, known for distinctive, often satirical, pop songs, such as “Short People.” For nearly 30 years, he has been among the world’s most prolific film composers, captivating multiple generations with works such as Toy Story’s “You’ve Got a Friend in Me.” Newman was inducted into the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame in 2002, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2013, and has won two Oscars, three Emmys and six Grammy Awards. KEYN is the media partner for the concert.

“Leslie Rudd and his family have long been supporters of Wichita and of driving the entrepreneurial spirit through youth and future generations of Kansans,” said Angie Wilhelm, chief financial officer of Standard Beverage Corp. “From Leslie’s early experience with his family’s start-up business in 1949, which has now evolved into Standard Beverage, and Leslie Rudd Investment Company, he developed the passion for instilling this entrepreneurship spirit into our community at an early age. To help build future Kansas entrepreneurs, Leslie Rudd Investment Company and Standard Beverage are excited to partner with e2e FuturEpreneurship and Riverfest to showcase and benefit student entrepreneurs.”

Admission to all Riverfest concerts is free with a Riverfest button. Adult buttons are $10, and children’s buttons (available while supplies last for kids ages 6-12) are $5. Buttons are available at an early-bird discount price of $7 for adults and $3 for children via preorder at SelectASeat.com, and in person April 10-May 4 at Cox Solutions stores: 2240 N. Rock Road, 446 S. Ridge Road and 2556 N. Maize at New Market Square in Wichita; and 1636 N. Rock Road in Derby. Full-price buttons will be available at major button retailors (Dillons and QuikTrip) starting May 5.

Riverfest 2017 Official Sponsors include: Barefoot Wine, Bud Light, Decker Electric, Metro Courier, Parr Sound & Lighting, PrairieLand Partners, RedGuard SiteBox, Spot’s Party Bus, Standard Beverage Corporation, Van Horn Promotion & Marketing, and Visit Wichita.

About Wichita Festivals, Inc.: Wichita Festivals, Inc. is a non-profit corporation with the purpose of creating diverse community celebrations within the Wichita community. The primary events produced by Wichita Festivals, Inc. are Riverfest (June 2-10, 2017), Wichita Vortex Music Festival (August 4-5, 2017), Bob Struble Memorial Golf Tournament (September 8, 2017) and Autumn & Art at Bradley Fair (September 15-17, 2017). For more information about Wichita Festivals, Inc. or its events, contact Teri Mott at (316) 267-2817 or [email protected]

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WENDY JOHNSON TO SERVE AS ADMIRAL WINDWAGON SMITH XLIV

March 8, 2017 — WICHITA, Kan.— During a press conference today at the Drury Plaza Hotel Broadview , Wichita Festivals, Inc. revealed Wendy Johnson as Admiral Windwagon Smith XLIV, ambassador of Riverfest 2017.

“Once again, we’ve got an Admiral that is ‘all in’ for Wichita and Riverfest,” said Mary Beth Jarvis, president and CEO of Wichita Festivals. “Wendy has filled a million roles, visible and behind the scenes, to make what we do a huge, wonderful gift to this community, and I look forward to seeing her serve as the festival’s ambassador and representative of her fellow volunteers.”

Wendy Johnson, division director of marketing and communications for the Wichita Public Schools, grew up in Wichita and graduated from Wichita High School East. The recipient of Wichita Festivals’ Galaxy Award in 2013 recognizing more than 20 years of outstanding volunteer service, Johnson served on the WFI Board of Directors for six years and was its chair in 2006. She has been a proud member of the WFI operations committee since 2003, including serving as Riverfest general chairperson (lead volunteer) in 2011.

“When I was a kid rolling down the hillside in A. Price Woodard Park during Riverfest, I never thought I would experience this amazing community event as Admiral Windwagon Smith,” said Johnson. “I am honored to represent more than 7,000 dedicated volunteers, and I hope to help Wichita families build their own life-long memories of Riverfest.”

The tradition of Admiral Windwagon Smith was established in 1974, when John Bell first wore the red coat and represented the third Riverfest, then known as Wichitennial River Festival. Johnson is the 44th Admiral and the second woman. The first was Linda Davidson, Admiral Windwagon Smith XXVI, in 1999.

Johnson’s commitment to the community includes service to organizations such as Tallgrass Film Association, Girls on the Run, Boy Scouts of America Quivira Council and the American Red Cross. She has received numerous honors for her volunteer and professional achievements including the Alumni Award for Outstanding Public Service from the Hugo Wall School of Urban and Public Affairs at WSU, Distinguished Service Award from the Kansas School Public Relations Association and Excellence in Public Service Award from the DeVore Foundation.

As the official ambassador of Riverfest 2017, Johnson will visit children in local hospitals, speak to Wichita civic organizations and help host dozens of events during the nine days of Riverfest, June 2-10. She will be assisted by the 2017 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.

In addition to revealing the admiral’s identity, Jarvis also shared information about Riverfest 2017:
• A reminder about early-bird button sales, when Adult buttons will be available at an early-bird discount price of $7 for adult buttons and $3 for children’s buttons via preorder at SelectASeat.com, and in person April 10-May 4 at Cox Solutions stores: 2240 N. Rock Road, 446 S. Ridge Road and 2556 N. Maize at New Market Square in Wichita; and 1636 N. Rock Road in Derby. Full-price buttons will be available at major button retailors (Dillons and QuikTrip) beginning May 5.

• More than 120 events with many that are new to Riverfest, including Wichicon, Save A Life: Hands-Only CPR Training; New Advanced Learning Library (a virtual tour of the new Wichita Public Library), The Crate Escape, Riverfest Health Fair, Kids Days, Tech Midwest, 1 Million Cups, Startup Grind, and many others.

Here are this year’s Prairie Schooner Mates:
Lauren Agpoon, The Independent School
Baylee Bloom, Andover High School
Tyler Boone, Valley Center High School
Kaedora Brenner, Wichita East High School
Evan Byers, Andover Central High School
Zach Bynum, Derby High School
Ivan Castillo, Wichita North High School
Hailey Colborn, Wichita Northwest High School
Kaitlyn Cooper, Campus High School
Gerry Dinh, Wichita Southeast High School
Rhett Enders, Trinity Academy
Claire Goenner, Bishop Carroll
Maddie Hardesty, Maize High School
Beckett Hegler, Kingman High School
Sophie Mason, Eisenhower High School
Evelyn Nguyen, Kapaun Mt. Carmel
Vanessa Osorio, Maize South High School
Bishop Rice, Northeast Magnet
Tiffany Ruan, Wichita Collegiate
Natalie Scheer, Goddard High School
Cameron Tims, Wichita Heights High School
Ngoc Vuong, Wichita South High School
Paige Wade, Maize High School
Azhai Williams, Wichita West High School

New Riverfest partners include: Active Age, Aero Plains Brewery, American Exteriors, BNSF, CheckNSafe Lockers, Credit Union of America, Fleet Feet, Girl Scouts of the Heartland, Metro PCS, Papa John’s Pizza, Radio Kansas, Sheetmetal Workers Union, Local 29, Smithfield Foods, Standard Beverage, Tallgrass Country Club, UCI, Volunteer Kansas, WATC, Wichita Brewing Company, and Wichita Public Library Foundation.

Riverfest 2017 Official Sponsors include: Barefoot Wine, Bud Light, Decker Electric, Metro Courier, Parr Sound & Lighting, PrairieLand Partners, RedGuard SiteBox, Spot’s Party Bus, Standard Beverage Corp., Van Horn Promotion & Marketing, and Visit Wichita.

A digital press kit with a bio and photo of the Admiral and this press release is available at WichitaRiverfest.com.

Wichita Festivals, Inc. is a non-profit corporation with the purpose of creating diverse community celebrations within the Wichita community. The primary events produced by Wichita Festivals, Inc. are Riverfest (June 2-10, 2017), Wichita Vortex Music Festival (August 4-5, 2017), Bob Struble Memorial Golf Tournament (September 8, 2017) and Autumn & Art at Bradley Fair (September 15-17, 2017). For more information about Wichita Festivals, Inc. or its events, contact Teri Mott at (316) 267-2817 or [email protected]

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RIVERFEST 2017 CONCERT LINE-UP ANNOUNCED

Nine days of concerts and more than one hundred events are all free with a Riverfest button

March 1, 2017 – WICHITA, Kan . – Riverfest 2017’s concert headliners include four Grammy Award winners, an Academy Award recipient, a Golden Globe winner and a Kennedy Center Honoree. These entertainers have a combined 500 million-plus YouTube views, 250 years of performance experience and more than 60 appearances in film and television, ranging from major motion pictures to Sesame Street.

Wichita Festivals, Inc., along with partner radio stations, announced the headliners today, emphasizing that all Riverfest concerts are included in the price of a festival admission button.

“Huge entertainment value. Great community event,” said Mary Beth Jarvis, Wichita Festivals’ President and CEO. “That’s what you get, thanks to our many Riverfest sponsors and partners. Nowhere else can you attend nine days of high-caliber, diverse performances for such an accessible price.”

Riverfest’s entertainment kicks off Friday, June 2 with Riverfest Corporate Hosts presenting the traditional Twilight Pops Concert featuring the Wichita Symphony Orchestra. That Kennedy Plaza concert follows the Safelite® AutoGlass Sundown Parade, while the Chroma Paint Party – a colorful combo of paint cannons, a light show and EDM provided by a team of DJs – will take place in the RedGuard Stage area. The evening will end with the Textron Aviation Opening Night Fireworks.

On Saturday, June 3, California indie rock nine-piece band Foxygen, will open for cult favorites Flaming Lips on the Kennedy Plaza Stage. Prolific alternative music legends, the Lips have released fourteen studio albums, one soundtrack, fifteen singles, and fifteen EPs. The Oklahoma City-based rockers – hailed by Rolling Stone magazine as a “must-see concert” – have won three Grammy Awards since releasing their first album in 1983. La Raza Fest will bring a Latin-flavored dance party to the RedGuard Stage area that night.

Sunday, June 4 LoCash will perform on the Kennedy Plaza Stage. Known as LoCash Cowboys when they released the feel-good song, “Here Comes Summer,” the duo reached number two on the Billboard Country Charts with hit single, “I Love This Life,” and are enjoying continued success with their current release, “I Know Somebody.” Also that evening, the RedGuard Stage will play host to Magic Giant from Los Angeles, and regional favorites, Carrie Nation & the Speakeasy.

Gospelfest welcomes Stellar Award winner and Dove Award nominee Jonathan Nelson to the Kennedy Plaza Stage on Monday, June 5 and will include performances by local groups and choir members. The event is sponsored by Cox Business, Spirit AeroSystems and Westar Energy.
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Wichita’s talented theater community will strut their stuff when “Festival of Broadway” returns to Kennedy Plaza on Tuesday, June 6, featuring performances by Music Theatre Wichita, Roxy’s Downtown, Mosley Street Melodrama and Laughing Feet Performers. On the RedGuard Stage, popular local singer-songwriter-musician Jenny Wood will host the “Don’t Let Them Get in Your Head” Concert, a special performance inspired by her anti-bullying anthem which has become a rally cry in area schools to stand up and speak out.  Students will join Wood onstage for this unique evening that will feature music, art, courage and encouragement.

The driving pop punk of Less Than Jake will keep everyone moving at the Wet & Wild Dance Party Wednesday, June 7 on the Kennedy Plaza Stage. Opening act The Toasters will bring old-school, NYC ska to the party. Meanwhile, the Wichita Wagonmasters will dish up free ice cream at the Hiland Dairy Ice Cream Social. Brett Young, known for his West-Coast-meets-Southern “Caliville” country style, will play the RedGuard Stage that night, co-sponsored by Coleman Company and Aero Plains Brewery. Mountain Deer Revival will open. CNH Industrial Buckaroo/Buckarette Rodeo will take place in Cox Kids Corner.

Soul, R&B and Gospel superstar Mavis Staples, a two-time Grammy winner who was recognized for lifetime achievement at the Kennedy Center Honors in December 2016 and will be inducted this spring into the Blues Hall of Fame, will perform on the Kennedy Plaza Stage on Thursday, June 8. The Goodwill Industries Cajun Food Fest will be offering a taste of New Orleans, and roots rocker J.D. McPherson will be the opening act.

June 9, Koch Industries presents Common, on Kennedy Plaza. Rapper, actor and writer, Common has received awards for excellence in all facets of his career, including an Academy Award, a Golden Globe, an NAACP Image Award, a Critics Choice Award and a number of BET awards. He has been nominated for 19 Grammy Awards and won three. Denver hip-hop artists Flobots, will open. The RedGuard Stage will play host to Lousiana-raised blues pianist and singer, Marcia Ball.

The closing celebration of Riverfest 2017 kicks off at Kennedy Plaza on Saturday, June 10 with Spirit AeroSystems Rockin’ on the River starring OK Go. Famous for their creative music videos, these Grammy winners are perhaps best known for “Here It Goes Again,” a video that has received more than 50 million views on YouTube. Experimental pop duo Lewis Del Mar will also perform. Fiesta del Rio, featuring a variety of Hispanic bands, will take place on the RedGuard Stage that night and is sponsored by Radio Lobo and Rusty Eck Ford. The Capitol Federal Fireworks Finale will close the festival with a bang following the concerts.

A number of local and regional acts also will perform at Riverfest 2017, including DJ Carbon, Sunshine Trucking, The Travel Guide, Mountain Deer Revival, Herd of the Huntress, Sloan Moon, Keen Kutter, Marrque Nunley and many others. In addition to the Kennedy Plaza and RedGuard stages, Ackerman’s Backyard will play host to a variety of DJs – and sounds – each night of the festival.

Admission to all Riverfest concerts is free with a Riverfest button. Adult buttons are $10, and children’s buttons (available while supplies last for kids ages 6-12) are $5. Buttons are available at an early bird discount price of $7 for adults and $3 for children via preorder at SelectASeat.com, and in person April 10-May 4 at Cox Solutions stores: 2240 N. Rock Road, 446 S. Ridge Road and 2556 N. Maize at New Market Square in Wichita; and 1636 N. Rock Road in Derby. Full-price buttons will be available at major button retailors (Dillons and QuikTrip) beginning May 5.

Media partners for Riverfest 2017 include 104.5 The Fox, Active Age, Alt 107.3, Ashby Street Outdoor, B98FM, The Bull, The Buzz, Channel 963, The Community Voice, Cox Communications, East Wichita News, FOX Kansas, Great Plains TV, Intake Studios, KAKEland, KCTU, KEYN, KFDI, KFH, KGSO, KMUW, KNSS, KQAM, KSN, KWCH, La Raza, Liberty Press, POWER 93.5, Radio Kansas, Radio Lobo, Splurge!, T95, VIP Wichita, VYPE, West Side Story, Wichita Eagle/Kansas.com, Wichita magazine, and WSU Sunflower.

Riverfest 2017 Official Sponsors include: Barefoot Wine, Bud Light, Decker Electric, Metro Courier, Parr Sound & Lighting, PrairieLand Partners, RedGuard SiteBox, Spot’s Party Bus, Standard Beverage Corporation, Van Horn Promotion & Marketing, and Visit Wichita.

About Wichita Festivals, Inc.: Wichita Festivals, Inc. is a non-profit corporation with the purpose of creating diverse community celebrations within the Wichita community. The primary events produced by Wichita Festivals, Inc. are Riverfest (June 2-10, 2017), Wichita Vortex Music Festival (August 4-5, 2017), Bob Struble Memorial Golf Tournament (September 8, 2017) and Autumn & Art at Bradley Fair (September 15-17, 2017). For more information about Wichita Festivals, Inc. or its events, contact Teri Mott at (316) 267-2817 or [email protected]

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‘RIVER MADNESS’ DRIVES ARTISTS TO DESIGN WINNING POSTER

Art-filled presentation at Emprise Bank includes announcement of the Riverfest 2017 Artist-in-Residence

January 27, 2017—WICHITA, Kan.—Wichita Festivals, Inc. unveiled the signature artwork for the 46th Riverfest, introduced the team of artists who designed it and offered a preview of Riverfest 2017 at a press event today at Emprise Bank, sponsor of the artwork contest.

“We are excited to continue our involvement with the Riverfest poster artwork contest,” said Matt Michaelis, Chairman of Emprise Bank. “So many iconic images for our city have resulted from the contest, and it’s always great to see the winning design when we host the artwork reveal. We have such a talented community of artists, and I think the quality of design surrounding Riverfest confirms that each year.”

Inspired by “River Madness,” the theme of this year’s festival, Wichita-based artists Rebekah Lewis and Josh Tripoli collected a check for $3,500 for their winning design, which includes many elements of a retro comic-book cover.

“From the beginning, we loved the idea of hand-drawn, ‘cut and paste’ illustration merging with more modern methods of graphic design,” said Tripoli. “So we began researching old pulp movie posters which eventually led to ‘The Golden Age of Comics’ and our final design. Bold text-based solutions and simple ‘light and shadow’ illustrations became the perfect way to capture the energy and spirit of Riverfest.”

The design includes characters crossing the Arkansas in the Waterwagon, a nod to Emanuel Leutze’s classic painting, “Washington Crossing the Delaware.” The poster, sponsored by Docuplex, serves as an invitation to the largest community celebration in the state of Kansas: Riverfest, set for June 2-10, and will be featured on advertisements and on the adult button. The child’s button, for kids 6-12, will feature a cheerful moon with sunglasses and headphones, an element of the poster.

A Riverfest button allows admission for all nine days of the festival. Adult buttons for Riverfest are $10, with an early-bird price of $7 when purchased by online presale now at SelectaSeat.com or in person April 10-May 4 at area Cox Solutions stores, INTRUST Bank Arena box office or Wichita Festivals, Inc. The price for the popular child’s button will be $3 through May 4 and $5, starting May 5.

“Today, we kick-start the fanfare of Riverfest 2017 with news about some of the artistic, charitable and flat-out fun elements in store for our community at the festival,” said Mary Beth Jarvis, Wichita Festivals’ president and CEO.

While in the art-filled atrium of Emprise Bank, Riverfest organizers also announced this year’s Artist-in-Residence, James Marshall, aka DALEK. “This world-renowned muralist and street artist rose to fame in the late 90s and early 2000s. We are so excited that he will bring his masterful sense of color and energy to Ackerman’s Backyard during Riverfest,” said Kate Van Steenhuyse, CEO and co-founder of Harvester Arts, which has partnered with WFI on the artist-in-residence program since 2015.

Jarvis revealed other festival highlights at today’s event. “Fans of the Festival Food Court – which includes pretty much everyone, right? – will enjoy free admission from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on weekdays. Also, businesses and organizations that purchase buttons will have the opportunity to reserve group seating at the food court on weekdays. Plus, there will be two fireworks shows again this year with the larger of the two, the Capitol Federal Fireworks Finale, planned for closing night after Spirit AeroSystems Rockin’ on the River concert,” she said.

Tech Midwest, which debuted last year as Hackathon ICT, will expand offerings to include speakers, vendors and other features for those interested in the tech industry. STEAM City, also established in 2016, will grow to give even more young people a peek into the vast variety of careers available in Wichita. Attendees were reminded to fit the planning and building of parade floats and decorating of bicycles into their spring plans for the Safelite AutoGlass Sundown Parade and Pedal Parade. New festival elements include a virtual tour of the new Wichita Public Library; large, jumbotron-style LED screens and a Riverfest mobile app, sponsored by Westar Energy.

Riverfest will partner with a number of fellow not-for-profit organizations in 2017, including an initiative to train citizens in “hands-only” CPR with the American Heart Association, a Hole in One competition hosted by Kansas Sports Hall of Fame and a Pink Fire Truck Pull for Victory in the Valley. The Celebrations for a Cause program will return, giving people the chance to buy $5 buttons, which Festivals donates to service organizations, so that more of our neighbors can be included in Riverfest.

The winning artists of this year’s poster design competition, who are life partners as well as business partners, are the founders and owners of Lupoli Collective, a design company.

Lewis, a graduate of Maize High School and University of Kansas, grew up with a habit of doodling on every handout ever given to her. The artist studied abroad at Lorenzo de’ Medici in Florence, Italy, where she completed her minor in Art History and honed her skills via design internships at the Spencer Museum of Art and Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City. She currently works in-house on the marketing team for Dean & DeLuca focusing on branding and design. In her spare time, she pursues her other creative passions of illustration, drawing and printmaking. She is inspired by the creativity of children and strives to keep playfulness and joy at the forefront of her work.

“It is an honor and a blessing to represent this celebrated Wichita tradition so early on in our careers,” said Lewis, who is 26. “We love this city and the hard-working people that make it and we hope our design gives back some of the happiness and joy that Wichita has inspired in us.”

Tripoli, 25, lettered in art at Wichita Northeast Magnet and was named National Scholastic Gold Key Medalist in Painting in 2009. Formerly an apprentice under renowned Wichita artist Steve Murillo, Tripoli is an established muralist. Working with the Douglas Design District, Tripoli designs and executes public murals to encourage tourism and interest in local merchants. He is a teaching artist and muralist for Arts Partners Wichita, and a gallery assistant and artist at Reuben Saunders Gallery. The artist progressively works toward a universal language for visual arts in the community.

A team of design professionals judged the competition on Dec. 16 and selected the winning design from twenty-six submissions. Representatives from Emprise Bank and WFI presented Lewis and Tripoli with the $3,500 cash award for their winning design.

The much-anticipated Riverfest 2017 concert line-up will be released on March 1 via Facebook, Twitter and Riverfest’s many media partners. Discounted early-bird registration for the Kansas Health Foundation River Run races has begun and will continue through Feb. 28.

Wichita Festivals, Inc. is a non-profit organization with the purpose of creating diverse community celebrations for the Wichita community. The primary events produced by Wichita Festivals, Inc. are Riverfest (June 2-10, 2017) and Autumn & Art at Bradley Fair (September 15-17, 2017). For more information about Wichita Festivals or its events, contact Teri Mott.

 

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Strong Attendance, Increased Support Mean a Successful Year for Wichita Festivals 

Not-for-profit that produces Riverfest, Autumn & Art recaps 2016’s successes

Dec. 27, 2016 - WICHITA, Kan. – Wichita Festivals, Inc. today shared with sponsors, supporters, volunteers and the public an overview of the organization’s successes in 2016.

Wichita Festivals, a 501(c)(3) charitable organization with the mission of community celebration, produced a safe, well-attended Riverfest that united the community for nine days in June and the largest-ever Autumn & Art at Bradley Fair, held over a beautiful weekend in September. Annual financial results were positive, which will allow the organization to rebuild its reserves and organize high-quality programs in 2017.

“So many great supporters and partners enabled us to produce amazing festivals this year, and we had hundreds of thousands of attendees that got to enjoy their generosity,” said Mary Beth Jarvis, president and CEO of Wichita Festivals. “We are so grateful for everyone who helps us enhance Wichita’s quality of life through our events. Our sponsors, donors, collaborators and volunteers – they are 100 percent dedicated to making this community great.”

Here is a “WFI by the Numbers” review of 2016:

Riverfest 2016, June 3-11:
* Total attendance was 455,000, an 11 percent increase from 2015.
* More than 250 partners (including sponsors and Corporate Hosts) representing $820,000 in cash sponsorships plus nearly $700,000 of in-kind contributions, provided support for the festival. Sponsor support is up more than 40 percent in four years.
* With more than 103,000 admission buttons and pins sold, Riverfest is poised to, once again, rank among the 40 largest outdoor festivals in the world, according to Pollstar.
* More than 7,200 volunteers assisted at Riverfest, including 702 new volunteers, putting in more than 35,000 work-hours.
* Nearly 2,500 buttons were distributed to worthy citizens through 29 social service organizations, thanks to the Celebrations for a Cause program.
* The Safelite® AutoGlass Sundown Parade drew more than 40,000 attendees and saw a significant increase in creative presentation as well as number of entries: 116.
* Kennedy Plaza and the banks of the Arkansas River played host to a crowd of more than 60,000 for the Capitol Federal Fireworks Finale.
* National headliners continued to be a major draw for the festival, with the largest audience – 35,000 fans – gathered for Spirit AeroSystems Rockin’ on the River with The Roots. Other popular concerts included Elle King Presented by Koch Industries (25,000), Violent Femmes (20,000), the Coleman Country Concert with co-headliners A Thousand Horses and Brothers Osborne (19,000) and two Hispanic-themed line-ups that drew audiences of 10,000 and 17,000 on Saturday, June 4 and Saturday, June 11, respectively.

Autumn & Art at Bradley Fair 2016, Sept. 16-18:
* The region’s largest fine-art fair, Autumn & Art hosted 99 artists from 23 states.
* Nearly 30,000 art lovers attended the event.
* Thirty-nine sponsors, including presenting sponsor Fidelity Bank, provided nearly $200,000 in cash and in-kind support for this event.
* More than 700 sponsors and patrons, whose financial support enables the public to have free admission to the festival, attended the Opening Night Patron Party.
* Award-winning artists, including two from Kansas, received a total of $7,500 in cash prizes.

More information about Wichita Festivals, Inc. and the events it produces is available at WichitaFestivals.com.
Wichita Festivals, Inc. is a non-profit corporation with the purpose of creating diverse community celebrations. The primary events produced by Wichita Festivals, Inc. are Riverfest (June 2-10, 2017) and Autumn & Art at Bradley Fair (September 15-17, 2017). For more information, contact Teri Mott at (316) 267-2817 or [email protected]

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RIVERFEST 2017 NEEDS YOU!

Open now: Emprise Bank Poster-Art Contest and calls for festival entertainers, event organizers and food vendors

October 12, 2016 - WICHITA, Kan. – Wichita Festivals, Inc. today invited citizens to take part in the biggest event in Kansas – Riverfest. Planning season for Riverfest 2017 has officially begun with the release of the Call for Entries for the Riverfest Poster & Button Artwork Contest sponsored by Emprise Bank, as well as applications for food vendors, entertainers and event organizers.

“Riverfest is a team effort,” said Ann Keefer, vice president of program development for WFI. “And the citizens of Wichita make up that team. No matter what position you play, so to speak, whether you’re a musician or other performer; a hobbyist or company who wants to create an event; a vendor with fun and unique food products; or an artist who can tell the story of Riverfest with a creative poster design, we need you to help build a winning festival.”

Designs are sought for Riverfest 2017 based on the theme, “River Madness!” The winning artist will receive a $3,500 cash prize. All artists 18 or older are invited to participate and no fee is required to enter. Entries must be received by 5 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 14 to be eligible.

“It’s so exciting to see the wide variety of ways that artists and designers interpret the festival,” said Teri Mott, director of marketing and communication at WFI. “Selecting a winner is always a wonderful challenge for the judging team, because so many talented people submit designs.”

The winning artwork will be featured on the Riverfest 2017 poster, buttons, official T-shirt and other items, and will be used as the central artwork in promotional campaigns for the nine-day annual celebration, scheduled for June 2-10 in downtown Wichita.

Original Wichitennial and Wichita River Festival designs dating back to 1970 were created by local artists. Conducted periodically throughout the 46-year history of the festival, the annual contest was reestablished by popular demand in 2011. Release of the artwork is much anticipated and collectors value the pins, posters and buttons based on the artwork.

Local and regional entertainers also have an important place in Riverfest history. While national headline acts are much anticipated, favorite area bands and other performers have always been fundamental to the diverse flavor of Riverfest. Plus, iconic Riverfest events such as the bathtub races have sprung from the minds of local hobbyists and civic groups.

Those interested in contributing their talents to Riverfest can find New Event, Entertainment, and Food Vendor applications, as well as the Poster & Button Artwork Contest rules and application at WichitaRiverfest.com.

Wichita Festivals, Inc. is a non-profit corporation with the purpose of creating diverse community celebrations within the Wichita community. The primary events produced by Wichita Festivals, Inc. are Riverfest (June 2-10, 2017) and Autumn & Art at Bradley Fair (September 15-17, 2017). For more information about Wichita Festivals, Inc. or its events, contact Teri Mott at (316) 267-2817 or [email protected]
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WICHITA FESTIVALS ANNOUNCES NEW BOARD MEMBERS AND OFFICERS

Oct. 4, 2016 – WICHITA, Kan. – New officers and directors began terms this week for Wichita Festivals, Inc., a non-profit that enhances Wichita’s quality of life through large-scale events, including Riverfest and Autumn & Art at Bradley Fair. 

Don Grant of Carey, Thomas, Hoover and Breault will chair the organization’s board for the 2016-2017 board year. D.J. Fulton of Grene Vision Group is chair-elect. The board secretary is Capt. Gavin Seiler of Wichita Police Department. Alan Howarter, of Vess Oil Corporation, is the organization’s treasurer. Esther Headley, of The Research Partnership, is the board’s immediate past chair.

New board members elected to their first three-year terms as directors include Deb Haifleigh, retired, Koch Industries; Shaun Isham, Isham Builders, Inc.; Ty Patton, McCurdy Auction, LLC; and Alysha Phillips, Grant Thornton LLP. Directors elected to their second term include Gary Austerman, Klenda, Austerman LLC and Barry Schwan, House of Schwan.

The officers and directors were elected at the Wichita Festivals, Inc. annual meeting on Sept. 27. Retiring from the Wichita Festivals board were Prisca Barnes, Storytime Village; and Brock Beren, Beren Companies.

Other members of the board include Craig Burns of Security 1st Title Company; Rigby Carey of Carey, Thomas, Hoover and Breault; Chris Goebel of Star Lumber & Supply Co., Inc.; Teketa Harding of Capitol Federal Savings Bank; Jennifer Magaña of the City of Wichita; Ron Ryan; Denise Sherman of Southwestern College Professional Studies; Van Williams of the City of Wichita; and Carol E. Wilson, accountant.

Wichita Festivals, Inc. is a non-profit corporation with the purpose of creating diverse community celebrations within the Wichita community.  The primary events produced by Wichita Festivals, Inc. Riverfest (June 2-10, 2017) and Autumn & Art at Bradley Fair (Sept. 15-17, 2017).

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ATTENDANCE, SALES, SUPPORT AND SAFETY MAKE RIVERFEST 2016 A SUCCESS

July 26, 2016 - WICHITA, Kan. – Wichita Festivals, Inc. today confirmed that an increase in overall attendance, button sales and food and beverage sales – combined with an exceptionally strong safety record, increased community support and a leap in volunteer numbers – have ranked Riverfest 2016 as one of the most successful for the organization in recent years.

Crowds totaling 455,000 attended the 45th Riverfest June 3-11, up from 410,000 in 2015. More than 101,000 admission buttons were sold, up from 97,000 for last year’s festival. During the early-bird sales period ending May 6, more than 25,000 adult and child buttons were sold, with adult buttons at the discount price of $7. Food and beverage sales were also up, with an increase of seventeen percent over 2015.

As reported in June, According to the Wichita Police Department, there were only five arrests on or near the festival grounds, a new record for the festival and a result of securely gating the event. This safe and inviting environment, along with cooperative weather and new events designed to draw a wider variety of attendees, contributed to the attendance and sales increases.

Community support for the festival continued to rise as well. Nearly 250 partners contributed $850,000 in cash sponsorships plus a similar amount of in-kind support. Cash sponsorships are up thirteen percent since 2015 and a total of 48 percent since 2012.

Thirty-two donors supported the Riverfest Corporate Host program – a way for small and medium-sized companies to support large-scale festival activities – with a total of $41,000 in donations that covered the cost of the opening-night Twilight Pops concert. Celebrations for a Cause, an initiative to ensure that those in need are able to attend Riverfest, provided 2,405 buttons to 29 area non-profit charitable organizations that distributed them to those they serve, thanks to leading donors Greene Vision Group, King Arthur Flour, Rotary Club of East Wichita, Ron Ryan and Safelite AutoGlass.

Volunteer involvement continued to grow, with more than 7,000 people donating more than 35,000 hours of time before, during and after the festival, including 702 new volunteers and volunteer groups from 140 companies and organizations.

“Coming from the volunteer ranks myself, the participation by the thousands of volunteers at this year’s festival was inspiring,” said Admiral Windwagon Smith XLIII, Steve Dillard. “It was an honor to represent so many dedicated and caring volunteers who continue to make this festival possible and like no other.”

The growth of arts and culture-focused programs at Riverfest continued this year with the installation of “Sun Sails,” by artist Rachel B. Hayes. This colorful fabric-art piece will re-appear alongside the river, south of the Hyatt Regency, for future Riverfests and other city events. The 2016 Safelite AutoGlass Sundown Parade expanded to 116 entries that were packed with “Party in ICT” and Wichita flag-inspired creativity and enjoyed by a crowd of more than 40,000 on opening night.

Headliner concerts continued to be a major draw, with 25,000 fans gathering for Elle King, presented by Koch Industries; 20,000 in attendance at the Violent Femmes concert; and 19,000 at the Coleman Country Concert with co-headliners Brothers Osborne and A Thousand Horses. Two Hispanic-themed concerts on Saturday, June 4 and Saturday, June 11 drew crowds of 10,000 and 17,000, respectively.

The largest concert crowd of the festival – 35,000 fans – gathered on closing night for the Spirit AeroSystems Rockin’ on the River with The Roots, and 60,000 enjoyed that night’s Capitol Federal Fireworks Finale.

The highest-attended festival days were Friday, June 3 and Saturday, June 4 (both 75,000) and Saturday, June 11 (70,000).

New events in 2016 included Blacktop Nationals Presented by Midwest Ford Dealers, previously a stand-alone event that was incorporated into Riverfest 2016, and Riverfest Hackathon with support from the Knight Foundation. STEAM City was a focal point for Riverfest’s day-long Salute to Aviation and Manufacturing on Sunday, June 5.

“Our community continues to showcase a fantastic spirit of hospitality and unity when it comes to supporting Riverfest,” said Mary Beth Jarvis, President and CEO of Wichita Festivals, Inc. “Thousands of dedicated volunteers and hundreds of sponsors and partners roll out the red carpet, and diverse attendees came out, were on their best behavior, and enjoyed the concerts, river activities and other events together with their friends, neighbors and families.

“With everyone’s help, in just nine days each summer, we energize downtown, bring people together, and help add $25 to $30 million to our local economy,” said Jarvis. “The great participation we saw this year will allow us to make our community’s signature event even better in 2017.”

Riverfest 2017 is scheduled for June 2-10.

Riverfest 2016 Official Sponsors include Barefoot Wine & Bubbly, Bud Light, Decker Electric, Metro Courier, Parr Sound & Lighting, Prairieland Partners, RedGuard Site Box Storage, Spot’s Party Bus, Van Horn Promotion and Marketing, and Visit Wichita.

Wichita Festivals, Inc. is a non-profit corporation with the purpose of creating diverse community celebrations within the Wichita community. The primary events produced by Wichita Festivals, Inc. are Riverfest (June 2-10, 2017) and Autumn & Art at Bradley Fair (September 16-18, 2016).


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RIVERFEST SEES CONTINUED RISE IN ATTENDENCE, SPONSORSHIPS, SALES

Early numbers and safety, security record very positive; button sales and complete financial results still being calculated

June 15, 2016 - WICHITA, Kan. – Wichita Festivals, Inc. reported today Riverfest 2016 had total attendance of 455,000 and the festival had continued improvement in its safety and security record, sponsorship support and volunteerism.

“While some figures are not clear yet, our attendance and food sales were great, we got amazing support from growing numbers of volunteers and sponsorship contributions are up,” said Mary Beth Jarvis, president and CEO of Wichita Festivals, the 501(c)(3) charitable organization that produces Riverfest.

“In addition, thanks to great work by our police and private-security partners, we achieved an excellent safety and security record. We had exciting new events and partnerships – such as the Blacktop Nationals car show and a Habitat for Humanity blitz build right on site! Overall, we were excited to have so many festivalgoers engage in our events and enjoy the entertainment, all while behaving respectfully and staying safe in the sun and heat,” Jarvis said.

Here are Riverfest 2016 results in to date:
• 455,000 total attendees is an 11 percent increase from 2015, which was up 8 percent over 2014.
          > The largest-drawing events within the festival included a crowd of 60,000 for the Capitol Federal Fireworks Finale, 40,000-plus people for the Safelite® AutoGlass Sundown Parade (which also saw an increase in entries to 116) and some very large concerts, including the Spirit AeroSystems Rockin’ on the River with The Roots (35,000), Koch Industries Presents Elle King (25,000) and Violent Femmes (20,000).
          > The highest-attended festival days were June 3 and 4, with 75,000 people each day, and June 11, which had 70,000 attendees.
• Nearly 250 partners contributed $850,000 in cash sponsorships plus a similar amount of in-kind support. Cash sponsorships are up 13 percent since 2015 and a total of 48 percent since 2012. Non-cash donations ranged from trucks, heavy equipment and air-conditioned RedGuard Site Boxes to media advertising space and broadcast time to publicize the festival.
• Food and beverage sales are estimated to be up 17 percent from good results in 2015.
• More than 7,200 volunteers assisted with the festival (up from 6,000 in 2015), including 702 new volunteers and volunteer groups from 140 companies and organizations. Festival officials expect work-hours for these volunteers to total more than 35,000 hours.
• In its inaugural year, STEAM City welcomed 4,500 attendees who explored a variety of companies and careers based on Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics.
• According to the Wichita Police Department, there were only five arrests on or near the festival grounds, continuing the stellar security record achieved in recent years by gating the event. As recently as 2012, there were more than 100 law-enforcement issues associated with the event.
• Participatory event involvement was up overall, with Cardboard Regatta and Human Foosball gaining popularity and Kickball, the Pedal Parade and the Beard and Mustache Contest debuting with a large number of participants.
• More than 22,000 buttons were sold during the early-bird sales period, when adult buttons were available at $7. In addition, more than 23,000 buttons were sold at the festival gates, up about 10 percent from 2015. Total retail sales figures for the $10 adult buttons, as well as total sales for the $3 children’s buttons, will be available by mid-July.
• There were 30 new events at Riverfest 2016, including the Blacktop Nationals car show, which was incorporated into the festival this year.

The 45th Riverfest took place June 3-11 and offered a wide range of entertainment for all ages. 2016 official Riverfest sponsors include Bud Light, Spot’s Party Bus, Barefoot Wine & Bubbly, Decker Electric, RedGuard Site Box Storage, Prairieland Partners, Parr Sound & Lighting, Metro Courier, Van Horn Promotion and Marketing, and Visit Wichita.

About Wichita Festivals, Inc.: Wichita Festivals, Inc. is a non-profit corporation with the purpose of creating diverse community celebrations within the Wichita community. The primary events produced by Wichita Festivals, Inc. are Riverfest (June 2-10, 2017) and Autumn & Art at Bradley Fair (September 16-18, 2016). For more information, contact Teri Mott at (316) 267-2817 or [email protected]

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FINAL RIVERFEST DAYS PACKED WITH RIVER EVENTS, MUSIC, FAMILY FUN

Spirit AeroSystems Rockin’ on the River, Fiesta del Rio and Capitol Federal Fireworks Finale to close week of fun

WICHITA, Kan., June 9, 2016 – Riverfest, Kansas’ largest community event, wraps up Saturday with a huge fireworks display, major concerts, a car show, great river events, family activities, contests and competitions, all free with a $10 admission button for adults or $3 button for kids ages 6 to 12.

“So far, we’ve had a fantastic Riverfest. Crowds have been steady and well-behaved, and the events have engaged people young and old, including Wichita neighbors and visitors from surrounding areas and states,” said Mary Beth Jarvis, President and CEO of Wichita Festivals, Inc. “We hit 250,000 attendees in the first five days, with big events – from Blacktop Nationals to the Capitol Federal Fireworks Finale – still ahead of us. We also expect lots of folks to enjoy concerts like Elle King, who is being presented by Koch Industries Friday night, and the Spirit AeroSystems Rockin’ On the River Concert with The Roots. All we ask is that people come prepared to not only have fun but be safe. The sun is great, but everyone needs to be smart: stay hydrated, bring sunscreen, and take care of each other in the heat and the crowds.” 

EVENTS FOR FRIDAY, June 10:
• Ford Ride-and-Drive Experience and Hot Laps, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., South Main St., between William and English
• Ford Dyno Drag and Indoor Display, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Century II Expo Hall
• Admiral’s Collection, exclusive car display, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. in Century II Expo Hall.
• Display Your Ride, judged and non-judged car and motorcycle show, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. in Century II Expo Hall
• Blacktop Nationals Autocross, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the parking lot north of Mid-America All Indian Center
• ReStore Upcycle Challenge: Cast Your Vote, noon to 2 p.m., Habitat for Humanity Build
• Human Bowling: 5-9 p.m., Ackerman’s Backyard, sponsored by The Alley
• Koch Industries Presents Elle King w/Fishbone 5-10 p.m. at Kennedy Plaza Stage
• William Clark Green w/ Rob Baird, 5:30-10:30 p.m. at RedGuard Stage
• Sunset Stand-Up Paddleboard Tour, 7-8:30 p.m. at Cox Kids Corner, presented by Flatwater Fitness

EVENTS FOR SATURDAY, June 11:
• Ford Ride-and-Drive Experience and Hot Laps, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., South Main St., between William and English
• Ford Dyno Drag and Indoor Display, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Century II Expo Hall
• Admiral’s Collection, exclusive car display, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. in Century II Expo Hall
• Display Your Ride, judged and non-judged car and motorcycle show, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. in Century II Expo Hall
• Blacktop Nationals Autocross, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the parking lot north of Mid-America All Indian Center
• Blacktop Nationals Display Your Ride Awards Ceremony at 5 p.m. in Century II Expo Hall
• Riverfest Softball Tournament Co-ed Slow Pitch, 9 a.m., Westside Athletic Field – 571 N. McLean Blvd, presented by City of Wichita
• Hope in the Valley Horse Rides, 11 a.m.-8 p.m. at Cox Kids Corner
• Riverfest Kickball Tournament at 11 a.m., Westside Athletic Field – 571 N. McLean Blvd, presented by City of Wichita
• Stand-Up Paddleboard Race on the River, 11a.m. at Cox Kids Corner, presented by Flatwater Fitness
• I Bike ICT Tours: Hometown Heroes, 11 a.m. to noon, Bike Valet at Ackerman’s Backyard, sponsored by New Belgium Brewing
• Human Foosball: Open Play, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. at Ackerman’s Backyard, sponsored by Chilton Billiards and Spas
• Arkansas River Coalition River Rides: Canoes & Kayaks, noon to 5 p.m. at Cox Kids Corner
• Riverfest Beard & Mustache Contest, 12-2 p.m., Star Lumber Stage at Century II Food Court, sponsored by Admiral’s Pennant and presented by Wichita Beard & Mustache Club
• Riverfest Pedal Parade, noon to 1 p.m., RedGuard Stage, sponsored by New Belgium Brewing Company
• Spirit AeroSystems Rockin’ on the River concert featuring The Roots, opening acts start at 3 p.m., Kennedy Plaza Stage
• Demo Skate Shop Exhibition, 3-5 p.m., Douglas Ave.
• 7th Annual Funnel Cake Eating Contest, 3-3:30 p.m. at the Star Lumber Stage, Century II Food Court, sponsored by KQAM/KGSO
• Speedy Cash Golden Ticket, 3-8 p.m. at Expo Hall, Century II
• Fiesta Del Rio, 4-10 p.m. at RedGuard Stage, sponsored by Rusty Eck Ford
• Riverfest Recyclable Raft Race, 5-6 p.m. at Douglas Street Bridge, sponsored by Convergys
• Wichita Habitat For Humanity Riverfest Build: Home Dedication Ceremony, 5-6p.m, RedGuard Stage Area
• Kansas Lottery Second Chance Drawings, 5:45 p.m.  -Star Lumber Stage , 6 p.m. Kennedy Plaza Stage
• Paddle Battle Kayak Races, 6-8 p.m., Douglas Street Bridge
• New Belgium Bike Giveaway at 7:15, Kennedy Plaza Stage
• Starlight Flotilla - 10:15 p.m. on the Arkansas River , presented by Clean Streams
• Capitol Federal Fireworks Finale – 10:30 p.m. on the Arkansas River


SELECTED DAILY EVENTS:
• Cox Kids Corner with kid-friendly rides, games, projects and activities
• Ackerman’s Backyard performances, weekday happy hour specials, and activities, all with an unbeatable view of river events
• Full STEAM Ahead tent with fun Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math projects for kids – organized by Make ICT and USD 259, located in the Cox Kids Corner
• Zipline ride, sponsored by Westar Energy, across the Arkansas River. Enter in Ackerman’s Backyard on the east side of river
• Paddle Boats and Kayaks, on the Arkansas River beginning from the Hyatt Lawn
• Kansas Lottery – Get your Tickets and Win! at the Festival Food Court
• Wagonmasters River Tour, on the Arkansas River north of the Douglas Street Bridge
• Helicopter Rides from the West Bank of the Arkansas River, north of the Douglas St. bridge
• Bike valet services, brought to you by Bike Walk Wichita and Kansas Turnpike Authority, located in Ackerman’s Backyard. Ride to the fest and park your bike for free.

The 45th Riverfest takes place through June 11th and offers a wide range of entertainment for all ages. Riverfest admission buttons are available – $10 for adults and $3 for children ages 6-12 – at Dillons and QuikTrip stores, the INTRUST Bank Arena box office and other local retailers. 2016 official Riverfest sponsors include Bud Light, Spot’s Party Bus, Barefoot Wine & Bubbly, Decker Electric, RedGuard Site Box Storage, Prairieland Partners, Parr Sound & Lighting, Metro Courier, Van Horn Promotion and Marketing, and Visit Wichita.

About Wichita Festivals, Inc.: Wichita Festivals, Inc. is a non-profit corporation with the purpose of creating diverse community celebrations within the Wichita community. The primary events produced by Wichita Festivals, Inc. are Riverfest (June 3rd – June 11th, 2016) and Autumn & Art at Bradley Fair (September 16th – 18th, 2016). For more information, contact Teri Mott at (316) 267-2817 or [email protected]

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SUNNY, BUSY FIRST WEEKEND SETS UP WEEKDAY FUN AT RIVERFEST 2016

WICHITA, Kan., June 6, 2016 – Riverfest welcomed nearly 200,000 attendees in its first three days, as sunshine and dozens of events helped festivalgoers enjoy Kansas’ largest community celebration.

Riverfest continues this week with more engaging events and concerts for all tastes, free with a $10 admission button for adults or $3 button for kids ages 6 to 12.

“Great weather and well-behaved crowds made Riverfest’s first three days spectacular,” said Mary Beth Jarvis, president/CEO of Wichita Festivals, Inc. “They cheered at our ‘Party in ICT’-themed parade, dove into STEAM City and Cox Kids Corner activities, heard great concerts, and enjoyed our river. Participatory events were huge, such as the Kansas Health Foundation River Run, dodgeball and the Cardboard Regatta. And more than 1,000 people took a Wagonmasters’ River Tour – a weekend record!”

“We look forward to more beautiful days, classic and new festival events, and performances that appeal to people of all ages and interests,” said Jarvis. “And remember, come to Riverfest prepared to have fun but also be safe – bring your sunscreen, drink lots of liquids and keep an eye on your friends and family members. We want a great event, and that starts with being safe!”

Riverfest’s events and attractions are outlined on wichitariverfest.com. Festival attendees can also access a full daily event schedule on their mobile devices.

EVENTS FOR MONDAY, June 6:
• DJ Takeover Karaoke, 5 – 9:30 p.m. , Ackerman’s Backyard
• Gospelfest featuring Zacardi Cortez and Kierra Sheard begins at 5:30 p.m. at Kennedy Plaza Stage, sponsored by Spirit Aerosystems, Cox Business and Westar Energy.
• Brave Combo, 5:30 – 9 p.m., RedGuard Stage

EVENTS FOR TUESDAY, June 7: Military Salute Day
We invite all military members to join us for free admission to the festival on Tuesday. Simply present your military ID at any gate.
• Wichita Children’s Theatre Presents The Three Little Pigs, 11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. and 2 p.m., Century II – Mary Jane Teal Theater, sponsored by American Family Care Urgent Care
• Festival of Broadway, 6:30 – 9:30 p.m. at Kennedy Plaza Stage
• Wichitalks, 5 p.m. at the Wichita Boathouse
• Pickelball  6 – 8 p.m., behind the Wichita Library
• School of Rock, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. at RedGuard Stage
• Military Salute at 7:45 p.m., RedGuard Stage
• Rudy Love and the Love Family at 8:30 p.m., RedGuard Stage

EVENTS FOR WEDNESDAY, June 8:
• Ford Ride and Drive Experience, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., on Main St. between William and English
• CNH Industrial Buckaroo Buckarette Rodeo, 5 - 9 p.m. at Cox Kids Corner
• Horse Rides by Hope in the Valley Equine Rescue, 5 – 8 p.m. at Cox Kids Corner, sponsored by CNH Industrial
• Wet n’ Wild Dance Party featuring Naughty by Nature, 5 – 10 p.m., Kennedy Plaza Stage
• Moreland & Arbuckle w/ Wild Adriatic, 5 – 10 p.m. at RedGuard Stage
• Riverfest Paddleboat Races, 6 – 7 p.m. at Cox Kids Corner
• Portrait with the Admiral, 6 – 7 p.m. at Kennedy Plaza
• Hiland Dairy Ice Cream Social, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. at Douglas and Water streets

EVENTS FOR THURSDAY, June 9: Throwback Thursday!
Wear any official Riverfest button from the past for free admission. We will randomly award prizes to attendees wearing their best Riverfest flair!
• Ford Ride and Drive Experience, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., on Main St. between William and English
• Goodwill Cajun Food Fest, 5:30 – 8:30 p.m., Kennedy Plaza Stage, sponsored by Westar Energy
• Blacktop Nationals indoor activities – Ford Dyno Drag, Ford vehicle display, The Admiral’s Collection car displays, and automotive vendors, 6-9 p.m., Century II Expo Hall
• Pickelball  6 – 8 p.m., behind the Wichita Library
• Human Bowling, 5 – 9 p.m., Ackerman’s Backyard, sponsored by The Alley
• Pink Firetruck Pull, 5 – 7 p.m., Douglas Ave.
• KAKEland Touch-A-Truck, 5 – 8:30 p.m. at Waterman St.
• Sedgwick County Salute to Public Safety Heroes, 8:30 p.m. at Waterman St.
• Reel Big Fish w/ The Suffers, 5:30 – 10:30 p.m. at Kennedy Plaza Stage
• Wichita Magazine Throwback Theater featuring “E.T.” – 9 p.m. at RedGuard Stage

SELECTED DAILY EVENTS:
• Riverfest Farmers Market 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Kennedy Plaza
• Cox Kids Corner with kid-friendly rides, games, projects and activities
• Ackerman’s Backyard: weekday happy hour specials and great activities, all with an unbeatable view of river events
• Ackerman’s Backyard DJ Takeover: Every night starting at 5 p.m. enjoy various music genres and dance parties
• Wichita Habitat for Humanity Riverfest Build featuring ReStore Upcycle Challenges, hands on activities and a close-up look at building a new home for a Wichita family.
• Full STEAM Ahead tent with fun Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math projects for kids, organized by Make ICT, located in the Cox Kids Corner
• Zipline ride, sponsored by Channel 963, across the Arkansas River. Enter in Ackerman’s Backyard on the east side of river
• Kansas Lottery – Get your Tickets and Win! at the Festival Food Court
• Wagonmasters River Tours, free with a festival button, starting under the Douglas Street Bridge
• Helicopter Rides from the West Bank of the Arkansas River, north of the Douglas St. bridge
• Bike Walk Wichita valet services, brought to you by the Kansas Turnpike Authority, located in Ackerman’s Backyard. Ride to the fest and park your bike for free.

The 45th Riverfest takes place Friday, June 3rd through June 11th and offers a wide range of entertainment for all ages. Riverfest admission buttons are available – $10 for adults and $3 for children ages 6-12 – at Dillons, QuikTrip and AAA locations.
- more -

2016 official Riverfest sponsors include Bud Light, Spot’s Party Bus, Barefoot Wine & Bubbly, Decker Electric, RedGuard Site Box Storage, PrairieLand Partners, Parr Sound & Lighting, Metro Courier, Visit Wichita and Van Horn Promotion and Marketing.

About Wichita Festivals, Inc.: Wichita Festivals, Inc. is a non-profit corporation with the purpose of creating diverse community celebrations within the Wichita community. The primary events produced by Wichita Festivals, Inc. are Riverfest (June 3rd – June 11th, 2016) and Autumn & Art at Bradley Fair (September 16th – 18th, 2016). For more information, contact Teri Mott at (316) 267-2817 or [email protected]

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RIVERFEST CELEBRATES 20th GOSPELFEST

Local Performers Join Headliners Zacardi Cortez, Kierra Sheard for Inspiring Evening

WICHITA, Kan., June 4, 2016 – Riverfest, Kansas’ largest community event, hosts its highly anticipated Gospelfest event Monday evening, featuring Houston-based gospel musician and Christian R&B artist Zacardi Cortez and Grammy-nominated and Stellar Award-winning gospel singer and radio host Kierra Sheard.

Gospelfest, which begins at 5:30 p.m. on Riverfest’s Kennedy Plaza stage, brings together local musicians, choirs, performing groups and national talent for an inspiring evening of celebration.

Sheard, from Detroit, Mich., saw her latest full-length album, “Graceland,” hit #1 on the Top Gospel charts. In 2013 Sheard was nominated for the Stellar Awards Artist of the Year. In 2009 she performed on the Grammy-winning track “God In Me” with the group Mary Mary. The artist is featured on Tasha Cobb’s “Put a Praise On It,” currently number two on the Billboard Hot Gospel Songs chart. With family roots in the gospel scene, Sheard began her career at seventeen with her album, “I Owe You.” Her talent has since diverged into other venues such as clothing design, youth activism, reality television and the part of Litha in the 2010 Christian film, “Preacher’s Kid.”

With a full-bodied voice and a funky ‘80s throwback attitude, gospel singer Zacardi Cortez was a member of James Fortune’s FIYA project before launching his solo career in 2012 with “The Introduction.” Having grown up touring the gospel circuit with the Cortez Family, Zacardi was mentored on the road by John P. Kee. After an appearance on Kee’s 2005 release, “Live at the Fellowship,” Cortez joined FIYA, singing lead on their 2007 album, “The Transformation,” and its Top 20 single, “The Blood.” With Cortez up-front, FIYA would top the gospel charts in 2010 with the single “I Believe.”

“We’re so pleased to host the 20th Gospelfest,” said Mary Beth Jarvis, president and CEO of Wichita Festivals, Inc. “So many organizations and people have made this event inspiring and amazing over the years, and it’s appropriate to celebrate and salute that this year. We are proud to showcase exceptional talent – not only Mr. Cortez and Ms. Sheard, but also every local musician and performer gracing our stage. We hope the whole community comes out for this special night.”

The Gospelfest Community Choir – organized by Cameo Profit, music director for St. Mark Cathedral Church of God In Christ – will kick off the event at 5:30 p.m.

“Gospelfest is a longstanding tradition at Riverfest with so many great contributors who’ve helped to make this event what it is today,” said Prisca Barnes, a member of the WFI board of directors and the Gospelfest 2016 planning committee. “We’re truly excited to welcome award-winning artists Kierra Sheard and Zacardi Cortez to the main stage this year. Wichita should pull out their dancing shoes. We’re in for a great praise party!”

Presenting sponsors for the event include Spirit AeroSystems, Westar Energy and Cox Business. Other event sponsors include the Greater Wichita Ministerial League, HealthCore Clinic, St. Mark’s United Methodist Church, and other area churches and service organizations.

Promotional partners KMUW, Q92 The Beat, Great Plains TV and The Community Voice have also helped make both Gospel enthusiasts and all community members aware of the event. Follow the Riverfest Gospelfest page on Facebook.

The 2016 Gospelfest planning committee included Profit; Pastor Ronda Kingwood of St. Mark’s United Methodist Church; Kaye Monk-Morgan; Barnes; Dr. Rachel Norwood; and Wichita Festivals staff members.

Additional support for the 2016 event came from Kingdom Harvest, Progressive Missionary Baptist Church, Real Men Real Heroes, Tabernacle Bible - the Church without Walls, Ebony S. Clemons Piano Studio, Greater Wichita Pan-Hellenic Council, Beta Kappa Omega chapter of AKA Sorority, Gamma Chi Sigma Chapter of Sigma Gamma Ro Sorority, Wichita Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Darren and LaWanda Fields and Drs. Evies & Sharon Cranford.

The 45th Riverfest takes place Friday, June 3rd through June 11th and offers a wide range of entertainment for all ages. Riverfest admission buttons are available – $10 for adults and $3 for children ages 6-12 – at Dillons and QuikTrip stores, the INTRUST Bank Arena box office and other local retailers. 2016 official Riverfest sponsors include Bud Light, Spot’s Party Bus, Barefoot Wine & Bubbly, Decker Electric, RedGuard Site Box Storage, PrairieLand Partners, Parr Sound & Lighting, Metro Courier, Van Horn Promotion and Marketing and Visit Wichita.

About Wichita Festivals, Inc.: Wichita Festivals, Inc. is a non-profit corporation with the purpose of creating diverse community celebrations within the Wichita community. The primary events produced by Wichita Festivals, Inc. are Riverfest (June 3rd – June 11th, 2016) and Autumn & Art at Bradley Fair (September 16th – 18th, 2016). For more information, contact Teri Mott at (316) 267-2817 or [email protected]

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THE 45TH WICHITA RIVERFEST IS A PARTY IN ICT!

WICHITA, Kan., June 2, 2016 – Riverfest, Kansas’ largest community event, kicks off Friday with nine days of exhilarating concerts and activities designed to unite the community and celebrate Wichita’s rich history and talent. All this fun is available with a $10 admission button for adults. Children under five are admitted free to the festival; buttons for kids ages 6 to 12 are $3.

“With more than 100 diverse activities, events and performances, Riverfest truly has something for everyone,” said Mary Beth Jarvis, CEO of Wichita Festivals, Inc. “Hang out with your friends and neighbors along the river or at the two large concert stages, bring the kids or grandkids down to Cox Kids Corner, grab great festival treats at the Food Court, or jump into one of our many participatory events. No matter what you do, you’ll be enjoying the great hospitality of our volunteers and benefiting from the support we get from nearly 250 sponsors, which helps us throw one of the top 50 outdoor events in the world but keep it affordable and welcoming to all.”

The 45th Riverfest – themed “Party in ICT” – features 115 events and attractions, including 30 new events, all outlined on wichitariverfest.com. Festival attendees can also access a full daily event schedule and festival map on their mobile devices.

EVENTS RUNNING DAILY:
• Sparkling Ice Food Court and Bud Light Beer Garden, on and near Century II Drive
• Cox Kids Corner with family-oriented activities, inflatables, games and projects at Hyatt Lawn
• Ackerman’s Backyard at A. Price Woodard Park features happy hour, local DJs and games brought to you by PrairieFire Coffee
• Bike Walk Wichita Bike Valet offers secured bicycle parking at Ackerman’s Backyard provided by the Kansas Turnpike Authority
• Full STEAM Ahead tent in Cox Kids Corner with Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math projects sponsored by MakeICT and USD 259
• Riverfest Zipline, sponsored by Channel 963 in Ackerman’s Backyard.
• Paddle Boats and Kayaks on the Arkansas River beginning from the Hyatt Lawn
• Riverfest Photography Contest sponsored by DPI. Cash prizes are up for grabs during the 10th annual Riverfest Photography Contest.
• New Belgium Bike Giveaway by the Bike Valet at Ackerman’s Backyard. One lucky festival attendee will pedal home on a custom cruiser.
• Wichita Habitat for Humanity Riverfest Build, south of RedGuard stage and sponsored by KSN. Watch as volunteers build an energy efficient home in only 8 days!
• Family Front Yard Fun part of Wichita Habitat for Humanity’s Riverfest Build at RedGuard Stage area – Enjoy fun activities and hands-on projects!
• FireShark Gaming at the RedGuard Stage Area. Visit the world’s first immersive gaming truck.
• Laser Tag, west of Kennedy Plaza, brought to you by Brad Pistotnik Law• King of the Ring, west of Kennedy Plaza. Challenge your friends or qualify for finals and a chance to win the $500 prize!
• Kansas Lottery at the Century II Food Court – Get your Tickets and Win!
• Wagonmasters River Tours, on the Arkansas River by the Douglas Street Bridge
• Helicopter Rides from the West Bank of the Arkansas River, north of Lawrence Dumont Stadium.
• The Eagle Medallion Hunt, with daily clues in the Wichita Eagle, sponsored by Eddy’s
• Bike valet services, brought to you by Bike Walk Wichita and Kansas Turnpike Authority, located in
Ackerman’s Backyard. Ride to the fest and park your bike for free!

EVENTS FOR FRIDAY, June 3:
• Admiral’s Breakfast, the official opening of Riverfest, presented by Hyatt Regency Wichita and sponsored by Legacy Bank, 7:30 – 9 a.m. at Hyatt Regency, 400 W. Waterman
• Wichita Habitat for Humanity Riverfest Build Wall-Raising with the Admiral, RedGuard Stage Area 9:15 - 9:45 a. m.,
• Fancyfoam Indoor Fly-In, sponsored by Rans Designs and Matrix Wand, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Century II Exhibition Hall
• DJ Takeover: Disco/Soul/Funk Dance Party at Ackerman’s Backyard 5 -10 p. m.
• Hot Air Balloon Glow, 6 p.m., sponsored by Textron Aviation
• Safelite AutoGlass Sundown Parade, 6:30 – 8 p.m. in downtown Wichita
• Andy Frasco & The U. N. sponsored by KMUW 8 – 10 p.m. at the Redguard Stage
• Twilight Pops Concert featuring the Wichita Symphony Orchestra, 8:30 – 9:30 p. m. at Kennedy Plaza Stage sponsored by Riverfest Corporate Hosts
• Opening Night Fireworks – 10 p. m along the Arkansas River from Lewis to 1st Street sponsored by AccuWeather


EVENTS FOR SATURDAY, June 4:
• Kansas Health Foundation River Run, beginning at Waterman and Wichita streets sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas, IBEW, Starwood Hotels & Resorts, KSN, B98-FM, Hall’s Culligan, 102.1 The BULL,  PrairieFire Coffee & Roasters, Meineke Car Care Center, ALT 107.3, Hiland Dairy Foods, Channel 963, Wichita Federal Credit Union, Meritrust Credit Union and the YMCA:
o Starwood Hotels & Resorts 10k, 7 a.m.
o YMCA 2-mile Family Fun Walk, 8:30 a.m.
o Meineke 2-mile Wheelchair, 9:25 a.m.
o Meineke presents the Katie Partridge Memorial 2-mile race, 9:30 a.m.
o Meritrust Tot Trot, 10:45 a.m.
o Awards Ceremonies following each race

• Hot Air Balloon Launch, 6 a.m., south of RedGuard Stage, sponsored by Textron Aviation
• PaddleFit Class 8 – 8:30 a. m., Cox Kids Corner presented by Flatwater Fitness
• Admiral’s Pancake Feed 8 – 11:30 a.m., RedGuard Stage Area
• Stand-Up Paddleboard Yoga 9 – 9:30 a.m. , Cox Kids corner presented by Flatwater Fitness
• Over the Edge 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. Ambassador Hotel presented by Boy Scouts of America/Quivira Council
• Riverfest Softball Tournament – Men’s Slow-pitch at 9 a.m., Southlakes Softball Complex 5301 S. Meridian
-more-

• ReStore Upcycle Challenge Kick-Off, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Wichita Habitat for Humanity Build/RedGuard Stage Area
• Stand-Up Paddleboard Demos, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Cox Kids Corner presented by Flatwater Fitness
• Riverfest Hackathon , Exhibition Hall Century II– Registration at 10 a.m. Judging at 1 p. m. presented by the Knight Foundation, sponsored by Butler Community College, SNT Media, Wichita Downtown Development Corporation, Cox, devICT, Women Who Code Wichita, and Koch Industries, Inc.
• Human Foosball – Open Play 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., $80 registration for teams of 6, Ackerman’s Backyard sponsored by Chilton Billiards & Spas and presented by Rotaract of Wichita
• Riverfest Horseshoes, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., Linwood Park, 1901 S. Kansas St
• Wings of the Wind Kite Festival, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. RedGuard Stage Area
• Horse Rides by Hope in the Valley Equine Rescue, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., Cox Kids Corner
• Into the Darkness, 11 a.m.- 3 p m. behind the Wichita Public Library, presented by Guiding Paws, sponsored by Sparking Ice
• I Bike ICT Tours: Art and Architecture - 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Bike Valet at Ackerman’s Backyard, presented by Bike Walk Wichita, sponsored by New Belgium Brewing and brought to you by KMUW
• Fancyfoam Indoor Fly-In – 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Century II Exhibition Hall, sponsored by Rans Designs, Matrix Wand and AMETEK
• Toy Train Display, 11 a. m to 5 p.m., Cox Kids Corner presented by Wichita Toy Train Museum
• Riverfest Marketplace, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Douglas and Main
• Dodgeball, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., RedGuard Stage Area, sponsored by Rusty Eck Ford
• Hoop Art, noon to 2 p.m. & 3 – 5 p.m., Ackerman’s Backyard, presented by Half Moon Hoops
• Tennis Fun Day, noon to 3 p.m., Ralph Wulz Riverside Tennis Center, 551 Nims St. Sponsored by Mo Connolly Brinker Tennis Foundation & UTSA
• Jet Ski Racing: IJSBA Mid-America Watercross Championships, 3 – 9 p.m., Arkansas River, sponsored by The Wichita Eagle
• Lucha Libre Wrestling, 3 – 7p.m., RedGuard Stage Area, sponsored by McDonald’s Mid-KS Co-op
• Violent Femmes w/ Meat Puppets, 3:15 – 10 p.m., Kennedy Plaza Stage. Sponsored by Don Hattan Chevrolet
• Speedy Cash Golden Ticket, 3 – 8 p.m., RedGuard Stage Area
• DJ Takeover: 90’s Dance Party/EDM, 5 – 10 p.m. Ackerman’s Backyard
• Hot Air Ballons 6pm Glow by Textron Aviation, South of RedGuard Stage
• Carnaval Del Rio: Dia de la Familia featuring Grupo Picante and Conjunto Atardecer, 7 – 10 p.m., RedGuard Stage. Sponsored by Wichita Hispanic Chamber of Commerce


EVENTS FOR SUNDAY, June 5:  A Salute to Aviation and Manufacturing
Join us as we celebrate our neighbors who work in the aviation and manufacturing industries that help make Wichita a great place to live, work and play!
• STEAM City, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Main and William
• Take Flight Butterfly Fest, 1- 5 p.m. at Botanica, 701 N. Amidon
• Riverfest Horseshoes, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m, Linwood Park, 1901 S. Kansas St
• Riverfest Sandcastle Competition, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Main and William sponsored by A/A Wichita and Beran Concrete

-more-
• Into the Darkness, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. behind the Wichita Public Library sponsored by Sparkling Ice and presented by Guiding Paws
• Jet Ski Races: IJSBA Mid-America Watercross Championships, 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on the Arkansas River, sponsored by The Wichita Eagle
• Wings of the Wind Kite Festival, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., RedGuard Stage Area
• Toy Trains, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Cox Kids Corner presented by Wichita Toy Train Museum
• Riverfest Marketplace 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., at Douglas and Main
• Horse Rides by Hope in the Valley Equine Rescue, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. at Cox Kids Corner
• Fancyfoam Indoor Fly-in, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m, at Century II Exhibition Hall sponsored by Rans Designs, Matrix Wand and AMETEK
• Fly Like an Eagle, 11 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. at Main and William presented by Nu-Tek Aircraft Instruments Inc.
• Human Foosball: Open Play, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. at Ackerman’s Backyard sponsored by Chilton Billiards & Spas presented by Rotaract of Wichita
• I Bike Ict Tours: Urban Photography, 11 a.m. – noon, sponsored by New Belgium Brewing
• Hoop Art, noon to 2, and 3 – 5 p.m. at Ackerman’s Backyard presented by Half Moon Hoops
• Celebrity Egg Toss at noon, Star Lumber Stage at Century II Food Court
• ReStore Upcycle Challenge, noon to 6 p.m. RedGuard Stage Area
• Riverfest Hackathon Finish, noon. Judging at 1 p.m. Century II Exhibition Hall
• Admirals Armada, 1 – 5p.m., at the Wichita-Sedgwick County Historical Museum
• Kansas Sports Hall of Fame Hole-In-One Shootout, registration begins at 1 p.m. Shootout 5-6 p.m., Kansas Sports Hall of Fame at the Wichita Boat House, 515 S. Wichita sponsored by Divots Golf Shop and Insurance Professionals Inc.
• Cardboard Regatta, 1:30-3 p.m. vessel construction, 3-3:30 vessel launch at the Douglas Street Bridge, sponsored by The Wichita Eagle
• Coleman Country Concert featuring A Thousand Horses with Brothers Osborne, 3:45 – 10 p.m at Kennedy Plaza Stage. Sponsored by Coleman & GOM
• Flag, 5-10 p.m. at RedGuard Stage
• DJ Takeover: Dance Party 5 - 7 p.m. Country Two Step, 8-10:30 p m. EDM at Ackerman’s Backyard
• Paper Airplane Drop, 6-7 p.m. at Century II Exhibition Hall, sponsored by Fancy Foam and SPEEA Wichita
• Hot Air Balloon Glow, 6 p.m. South of RedGuard Stage
• Riverfest Wing-Eating Contest, 7 – 8 p.m., Star Lumber Stage at Century II Food Court, sponsored by KQAM/KGSO


The 45th Riverfest takes place Friday through June 11 and offers a wide range of entertainment for all ages. Riverfest admission buttons are available – $10 for adults and $3 for children ages 6-12 – at Dillons and QuikTrip locations, and at the festival. 2016 official Riverfest sponsors include Bud Light, Spot’s Party Bus, Barefoot Wine & Bubbly, Decker Electric, RedGuard SiteBox, PraireLand Partners, Parr Sound & Lighting, Metro Courier, Van Horn Promotion and Marketing, and Visit Wichita.

About Wichita Festivals, Inc.: Wichita Festivals, Inc. is a non-profit corporation with the purpose of creating diverse community celebrations within the Wichita community. The primary events produced by Wichita Festivals, Inc. are Riverfest (June 3 – June 11, 2016) and Autumn & Art at Bradley Fair (September 16th – 18th, 2016). For more information, contact Teri Mott at (316) 267-2817 or [email protected]

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WICHITA FESTIVALS SEEKS DONORS TO HELP BRING EVERYONE TO RIVERFEST

WICHITA, Kan., May 28, 2016 – Wichita Festivals put out a call today for donations to the Celebrations for a Cause program, which provides buttons to citizens who might not otherwise be able to attend Wichita’s annual community celebration. 

Reintroduced in 2013, Celebrations for a Cause is part of an effort to ensure Riverfest is an inclusive community event. Businesses and individuals can purchase $5 Riverfest buttons to be donated to local nonprofits for distribution to those they serve.

“We’ve had tremendous support from donors this year,” said Mary Beth Jarvis, president and CEO of Wichita Festivals, Inc. “But the need has grown and we want to be able to provide buttons to as many requesting organizations as possible.”

Donors may give online at wichitariverfest.com or wichitafestivals.com or by calling Wichita Festivals at 267-2817. The price for Celebrations for a Cause buttons is $5, and Wichita Festivals will give the charitable organizations the mix of adult and child buttons that they need.

Celebrations for a Cause leading donors for Riverfest 2016 are Grene Vision Group, King Arthur Flour, Rotary Club of East Wichita, Ron Ryan and Safelite AutoGlass.

Additional donors include Belden Mills, Belford Electric, Rigby Carey, CNH Industrial, Cold Control Refrigeration Inc., Dan Demott, DES Employment Group, Tom Devlin, Steve & Gena Dillard, Disciples Woman Hillside Christian Church, Great Harvest Bread Co., Bryan Green, Ben Grisanore, Legend Senior Living, Mary Beth Jarvis, Mechanical Systems, Inc., Murdock Companies, Shine Salon, SJCF Architecture, West Hills Capital, Wichita Federal Credit Union, Wichita Vet Center and Wells Fargo Advisors.

So far this year, these organizations have received buttons for distribution: The Arc of Sedgwick County, Boys & Girls Club of South Central Kansas, Breakthrough Club, Catholic Charities Inc. - Diocese of Wichita, Carpenter Place, Inc., Episcopal Social Services, Inc., Goodwill Industries of Kansas, Inc., Greater Wichita YMCA, Heartspring, The International Rescue Committee in Wichita, Kansas Army National Guard, Kansas Big Brothers Big Sisters , Kansas DUI Impact Center, KETCH, McConnell Air Force Base, Mental Health Association, Progressive Baptist Church, Rainbows United, Rise Up for Youth, Inc., Ronald McDonald House Charities of Wichita, Senior Services, Inc. of Wichita, Starkey, Survivor Outreach Services - Families of Our Military Fallen, Trust Women, United Cerebral Palsy of Kansas, Wichita Children's Home and Youth Horizons.

The nine-day festival takes place June 3-11 in downtown Wichita. Celebrating its 45th year, the festival offers a wide range of entertainment for all ages, including concerts, sports activities, fireworks, contests, the Cox Kids’ Corner and much more. Riverfest admission buttons are available now at area QuikTrip and Dillons locations, INTRUST Bank Arena box office and Wichita Festivals’ office at 444 E. William. Buttons are $10 for adults and $3 for children ages 6-12. Children 5 and younger are admitted free.

Special thanks to official Riverfest sponsors: Barefoot Wine & Bubbly, Bud Light, Decker Electric, Metro Courier, Parr Sound & Lighting, PrairieLand Partners, RedGuard SiteBox, Spot’s Party Bus, Visit Wichita and Van Horn Promotion & Marketing.

About Wichita Festivals, Inc.: Wichita Festivals, Inc. is a non-profit corporation with the purpose of creating diverse community celebrations within the Wichita community. The primary events produced by Wichita Festivals, Inc. are Riverfest (June 3-11, 2016) and Autumn & Art at Bradley Fair (September 16-18, 2016). For more information, contact Teri Mott at (316) 267-2817 or [email protected]

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MERITRUST TOT TROT 2016 ARTWORK COMPETITION WINNER ANNOUNCED

May 6, 2016 - WICHITA, Kan. - Wichita Festivals, Inc. (WFI), parent organization of Riverfest, announced the winner of the Meritrust Tot Trot Artwork Competition today at an assembly held at Seltzer Elementary School. Second grader Carlie Hernandez from Seltzer was named overall winner of the competition and was also the recipient of the 2nd Grade 1st Place award.

Nearly 2,000 contest entries were received from Kindergartners, 1st and 2nd graders representing nine area public and parochial schools. Carlie’s design will be featured on the T-shirt provided to each Meritrust Tot Trot entrant. The Meritrust Tot Trot is a component of the Kansas Health Foundation River Run, a signature event of Riverfest.

Carlie received two $50 gift certificates as well as a framed t-shirt of her winning design. Art instructor Marcia Scurfield received a $100 gift certificate as well as a framed T-shirt. Each of Carlie’s classmates received a complimentary Meritrust Tot Trot entry. Colvin Elementary won a $400 prize for most entries in the competition (Amy Lawson/Shannon Bohm). Second place winner was Seltzer Elementary (Marcia Scurfield), and third place went to St. Francis of Assisi (Lisa Lang). 

Individual winners in each grade division also win prizes; 1st place winners won a $50 gift certificate, 2nd place winners received a $25 gift certificate, and 3rd place winners received a $10 gift certificate. Division competition winners are as follows:

2nd Grade
• 1st Place – Carlie Hernandez (Seltzer)
• 2nd Place – Henry Nguyen  (Seltzer)
• 3rd Place – Kolbe Engel (St. Francis of Assisi)

1st Grade
• 1st Place – Jayla Maloney (Seltzer)
• 2nd Place – Gabby Rettig (Seltzer)
• 3rd Place – Amanda McDaniel (St. Francis of Assisi)

Kindergarten
• 1st Place – Sienna Dean (Seltzer)
• 2nd Place – Madelyn Seiler (St. Francis of Assisi)
• 3rd Place – Tish Nguyen (Seltzer)

Tot Trot, an official Riverfest event, is sponsored by Meritrust Credit Union. The event is a fun run for children aged two to seven, where everyone who crosses the finish line receives a medallion. The Meritrust Tot Trot will begin at 10:45 a.m., Saturday, June 4 on the Maple Street Bridge in downtown Wichita. Registrants receive an event T-shirt and Riverfest button. Registration is currently taking place online at RiverRunWichita.com and is available onsite the day of the event.

Special thanks to official Riverfest sponsors: Barefoot Wine & Bubbly, Bud Light, Decker Electric, Metro Courier, Parr Sound & Lighting, PrairieLand Partners, RedGuard SiteBox, Spot’s Party Bus, Van Horn Promotion & Marketing and Visit Wichita.


About Wichita Festivals, Inc.: Wichita Festivals, Inc. is a non-profit corporation with the purpose of creating diverse community celebrations within the Wichita community. The primary events produced by Wichita Festivals, Inc. are Riverfest (June 3-11, 2016) and Autumn & Art at Bradley Fair (September 16-18, 2016). For more information about Wichita Festivals, Inc. or its events, contact Teri Mott at (316) 267-2817 or [email protected]

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DILLARD REVEALED AS ADMIRAL WINDWAGON SMITH XLIII, AMBASSADOR FOR RIVERFEST 2016

Early-bird discount buttons go on sale at Cox Solutions Stores April 11

March 9, 2016 — WICHITA, Kan.— During a press conference today at the Ruffin Building, Wichita Festivals, Inc. announced Steve Dillard as Admiral Windwagon Smith XLIII, ambassador of Riverfest 2016.
“With Steve at the helm of the Windwagon this year, it’s going to be a great ride!” said Mary Beth Jarvis president and CEO of Wichita Festivals. “He’s been a volunteer leader for Riverfest and Wichita Festivals for so many years; he’ll be a great ambassador, representing all the volunteers whose love and hard work have made Riverfest what it is.”

Dillard, president and a co-owner of Pickrell Drilling Company, Inc., has been actively involved with Riverfest and Wichita Festivals for 22 years. He was a member of the WFI Board of Directors and presided as chair during the 2004-05 season. Dillard joined the Operations Committee in 2006 and has contributed his talents in a number of areas, including button sales, food service, River Run, and in recent years, the Safelite AutoGlass Sundown Parade. A member of the Wichita Wagonmasters since 1994, he has served as Captain, as well as in many other roles for the organization.

“I am honored and humbled to be selected as this year’s Admiral,” Dillard said. “It’s a tremendous privilege to be chosen. I look forward to the opportunity to represent the festival and our community, and to the challenge of living up to the example set by so many excellent Admirals who have preceded me.”

As the official ambassador of Riverfest 2016, Dillard will visit children in local hospitals, speak to Wichita civic organizations and help host dozens of events during the nine days of Riverfest, June 6-11. He will be assisted by the 2016 Prairie Schooner Mates, who were also present at today’s event. These high school juniors are selected by their schools to be youth ambassadors for Riverfest.
In addition to revealing the admiral’s identity, Jarvis also shared some news items for Riverfest 2016:
     • A reminder about early-bird button sales, when Adult buttons will be available at an early-bird discount price of $7 via preorder at SelectASeat.com, and in person April 11-May 5 at Cox Solutions stores: 2240 N. Rock Road, 446 S. Ridge Road and 2556 N. Maize at New Market Square in Wichita; 1636 N. Rock Road in Derby; 101 E. 12th Avenue in El Dorado and 417 N. Windward in Newton. Full-price buttons will be available at major button retailors (Dillons and QuikTrip) beginning May 6.
     • More than 120 events with 15 events that are new to Riverfest, including STEAM City, Blacktop Nationals, an attempt to break the World’s Record for Longest UTV Jump, Hackathon and many others.
     • Riverfest will again embrace the arts by welcoming a 2016 Artist-in-Residence who will be announced in the near future.
     • The festival will continue a tradition of welcoming all citizens to the party. The Celebrations for a Cause program allows businesses and individuals to purchase buttons for local service organizations who distribute them to worthy citizens. In addition, active military are invited to attend the festival for free on Tuesday, June 7.

Here are this year’s Prairie Schooner Mates:
Kensey Arlt: Eisenhower High School
Hannah Arneson: Valley Center High School
Josephine Beaver: Andover High School
Jayde Byrd: Maize High School
Margarita Borunda: Wichita North High School
Paulina Castaneda: Wichita Southeast High School
Maya Daniels: Wichita West High School
Katherine Darnell: Wichita Northwest High School
Abigail Faflick: Wichita East High School
August Farmer: Metro Meridian
Avary Finch: Campus High School
Juston Flowers: Wichita Collegiate
Scarlett Green: Northeast Magnet
Sydney Lashley: Bishop Carroll
Caleb Leivian: Kapaun Mt. Carmel
Ryan Loesing: Wichita South High School
Tania Lowe: Wichita Heights High School
Dani McEwen: Maize South High School
Brynnan Norris: Andover Central High School
Sarah Onken: Derby High School
Tyler Treat: The Independent School
Bethany Warner: Trinity Academy

New Riverfest partners include: AARP of Kansas, Accuweather, Alenco, AMETEK, Barefoot Wines, Butler Community College, Cargill, Convergys, Fidelity Bank, Kansas Strong, KIOGA, The Knight Foundation, McDonald’s Mid-KS Co-op, Mennonite Press, New Belgium Brewing, SNT Media, SPEEA, Suburban Landscape, VA Outreach Center, White Castle, The Wichita Eagle and Wichita Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.
A digital press kit with a bio and photo of the Admiral and this press release is available at WichitaRiverfest.com.

Wichita Festivals, Inc. is a non-profit corporation with the purpose of creating diverse community celebrations within the Wichita community. The primary events produced by Wichita Festivals, Inc. are Riverfest (June 3-11, 2016) and Autumn & Art at Bradley Fair (September 16-18, 2016). For more information about Wichita Festivals, Inc. or its events, contact Teri Mott at (316) 267-2817 or [email protected]

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CONCERT HEADLINERS RELEASED FOR RIVERFEST 2016

Nine days of concerts and more than one hundred events are all free with a Riverfest button

February 17, 2016 – WICHITA, Kan . – Wichita Festivals, Inc. today announced Riverfest concert headliners, a line-up covering a wide variety of genres and featuring many popular national acts festivalgoers can enjoy just for the price of a Riverfest button.

“Talk about bang for your buck!” said Mary Beth Jarvis, Wichita Festivals’ President and CEO. “We are amazed and proud that thanks to our many festival sponsors and partners, we can present nine days of high-caliber, diverse entertainment for such an accessible price.”

Tradition rules on Friday, June 3 when the Twilight Pops Concert featuring the Wichita Symphony Orchestra will perform on the Kennedy Plaza Stage, directly following the Safelite™ AutoGlass Sundown Parade. Los Angeles blues-rockers Andy Frasco & The U.N. will perform on the RedGuard Stage, southeast of the Hyatt Regency Wichita.

On Saturday, June 4, the Meat Puppets, themselves old school alternative rock legends, will open for the original Violent Femmes on the Kennedy Plaza Stage. An alternative music powerhouse, the band has released eight studio albums and fifteen singles. Their self-titled first album, which featured “Blister in the Sun” and “Kiss Off” among many other hit singles, is certified platinum.

The Coleman Country Concert is scheduled for Sunday, June 5, and co-stars A Thousand Horses and Brothers Osborne on the Kennedy Plaza Stage. Those who prefer rock or punk over country can mosh to Flag, featuring original members of Black Flag and the Descendents.

The twentieth Gospelfest, with duel headliners, Grammy Award-winner Tasha Cobb and the dynamic Zacardi Cortez, will take place Monday, June 6 and will include performances by local groups and choir members on the Kennedy Plaza Stage. The high-energy and versatile Brave Combo, from Denton, Texas, will perform on the RedGuard Stage that evening.

The popular “Festival of Broadway” will return to Kennedy Plaza on Tuesday, June 7, featuring performances by Music Theatre Wichita, Roxy’s Downtown and Mosley Street Melodrama. On the RedGuard Stage, Wichita’s own, internationally-known R&B artist Rudy Love will play with The Love Family.

New Jersey trio Naughty By Nature will bring on the classic hip-hop dance grooves on Wednesday, June 8 at Kennedy Plaza. The award-winning band who first hit it big in 1991 with “O.P.P.” will keep this multi-generational dance party moving. At the RedGuard Stage, Moreland & Arbuckle will bring their special brand of rocking roots-blues.

At the Indie Showcase on June 9, The Suffers will open for Reel Big Fish, a rock-fueled, Caribbean-inspired ska band, on Kennedy Plaza.

Elle King, presented by Koch Industries, will perform on the Kennedy Plaza Stage on Friday, June 10. King was nominated for two Grammy awards for her smash hit, “Ex’s & Oh’s.” Fishbone will open for King. On the RedGuard Stage, William Clark Green and Rob Baird will play Red Dirt country music.

The finale of Riverfest 2016 kicks off at Kennedy Plaza on Saturday, June 11 with Spirit AeroSystems Rockin’ on the River starring The Roots, the Grammy-winning house band for The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon. Fiesta del Rio will take place on the RedGuard Stage that night. The Capitol Federal Fireworks Finale will close the festival with a bang following the concerts.

A number of local and regional acts also will perform at Riverfest 2016, including O’Phil, DJ Carbon, Big Red Horse, Kill Vargas, Divorce Corpse, Candy Lords, Haymakers, A Squared, and many others. In addition to the Kennedy Plaza and RedGuard stages, the Food Court Stage will be activated throughout the festival. All local and regional acts will be announced via social media on March 30.

Admission to all Riverfest concerts is free with a Riverfest button. Adult buttons are $10, and children’s buttons (available while supplies last for kids ages 6-12) are $3. Adult buttons are available at an early bird discount price of $7 via preorder at SelectASeat.com, and in person April 11-May 5 at Cox Solutions stores: 2240 N. Rock Road, 446 S. Ridge Road and 2556 N. Maize at New Market Square in Wichita; 1636 N. Rock Road in Derby; 101 E. 12th Avenue in El Dorado and 417 N. Windward in Newton. Full-price buttons will be available at major button retailors (Dillons and QuikTrip) beginning May 6.

Media partners for Riverfest 2016 include 104.5 The Fox, Alt 107.3, B98FM, BOB FM, The Bull, The Buzz, Channel 963, Ashby Street Outdoor, The Community Voice, FOX Kansas, Great Plains TV, Hank, Intake Studios, KAKEland, KEYN, KFDI, KFH, KGSO, KMUW, KNSS, KQAM, KSN, KWCH, La Raza, Liberty Press, POWER 93.5, Q92 The Beat, Radio Lobo, Splurge!, T95, Visit Wichita and Wichita magazine.

Riverfest 2016 Official Sponsors include: Bud Light, Decker Electric, Metro Courier, Parr Sound & Lighting, PrairieLand Partners, RedGuard SiteBox and Spot’s Party Bus.

About Wichita Festivals, Inc.: Wichita Festivals, Inc. is a non-profit corporation with the purpose of creating diverse community celebrations within the Wichita community. The primary events produced by Wichita Festivals, Inc. are Riverfest (June 3-11, 2016) and Autumn & Art at Bradley Fair (September 16-18, 2016). For more information about Wichita Festivals, Inc. or its events, contact Teri Mott at (316) 267-2817 or [email protected]

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RIVERFEST ARTWORK INSPIRES CITIZENS TO ‘PARTY IN ICT!’

Iconic button and poster artwork unveiled; 45th festival to include new, innovative events

January 29, 2016—WICHITA, Kan.—Wichita Festivals, Inc. today revealed the iconic artwork for the 45th Riverfest and offered a sneak peek into the upcoming festival at a press event at Emprise Bank, sponsor of the artwork contest.

Wichita-based artist Chris Parks won this year’s button and poster artwork competition with his interpretation of the Wichita flag to capture the theme of the June 3-11 event, “Party in ICT!”

“Chris’s design is a clever tribute to our community’s popular flag,” said Mary Beth Jarvis, President and CEO of Wichita Festivals. “His poster and buttons will be a great way to show civic pride and to convey that we are all ready to ‘Party in ICT!’”

The red, white and blue design with subtle icons that reflect the diverse attractions of Riverfest will adorn advertisements and merchandise and serve as an invitation to the largest community celebration in the state of Kansas: Riverfest 2016,  June 3-11. A simplified version of the poster artwork will be featured on the adult button. The child’s button, for kids 6-12, will feature a sunny, smiling character.

A Riverfest button allows admission for all nine days of the festival. Adult admission buttons for Riverfest are $10, with an early-bird price of $7 when purchased by online presale now at SelectaSeat.com or in person April 11-May 5 at area Cox Solutions stores, Intrust Bank Arena box office or Wichita Festivals, Inc., 444 E. William. The price for the popular child’s button will be $3 in advance and throughout the festival.

“We are keeping prices affordable so everyone can join in Wichita’s most unifying and inclusive event,” said Jarvis. “At $10 our adult button – and the nine-days of concerts and fun that come with it – is a tremendous deal. Last year, nearly 30,000 people got an even sweeter deal by buying during the early-bird period.”

Highlights of the 2015 festival were also revealed. “The Kansas Health Foundation River Run is celebrating its 40th anniversary and will move back to opening weekend,” Jarvis said. “We know everyone loves fireworks and we will have two shows in the sky this year: an opening-night show following the Twilight Pops concert June 3rd, and the huge Capitol Federal Fireworks finale. But in addition to the classics, we are really excited by some new and innovative events that we’ll introduce this year.”

Riverfest Hackathon presented by the Knight Foundation; STEAM City, a hands-on event that gives local manufacturing companies a chance to strut their stuff and reach out to young people, and the inclusion of popular car show BlackTop Nationals presented by Midwest Ford Dealers will bring new energy to the festival. Several events that require planning were also announced, along with a call to “Let the building begin!” inspiring attendees to start designing and creating their parade entries, racing rafts and decorated bikes.

Riverfest will continue building on its longtime tradition of creating ways for area charities to benefit from Riverfest exposure and events. For the first time ever, a Habitat for Humanity blitz build will take place at the festival, allowing attendees to watch a Habitat home grow from the ground up in ten days. Also, the Celebrations for a Cause program gives people the chance to buy $5 buttons, which Festivals donates to service organizations, so that more of our neighbors can be included in Riverfest.

“It’s a great way to do good, and to ensure that all of our neighbors can join the celebration,” said Jarvis.

Wichita native Chris Parks is creative dynamo who has had a lasting visual impact on his hometown. His iconic style can be seen in logos on businesses up and down the Douglas Design District. The designer, illustrator, art director, and branding strategist is a graduate of Wichita State University. Parks spent time at Wichita’s most prestigious agencies before starting his eponymous company in 2011. He is known for collaborating with other artists and mentoring young designers. His portfolio and reputation have allowed him to work on projects all over the country, but he lives and works in Wichita, where he is raising his three boys. His design was selected for the Wichita River Festival poster competition back in 1998. “Riverfest is such a Wichita institution,” says Parks, “and as someone who spent my formative years here in Wichita, it really feels nice to be a part of it again."

“In the 1990s, the successful Ray Wave poster design inspired a subsequent trend of illustrative character poster designs off and on over the years that in turn became each year’s mascot,” said Parks. “I became curious about challenging that long-running artwork formula, and thought of utilizing a limited color palette and focusing primarily on typography, versus a mascot or character design. As a tribute to and celebration of the now-iconic Wichita city flag, I imagined the flag’s red rays as being animated to music, surrounding a central ‘Party in ICT’ type treatment. This year’s artwork is meant to reflect the fact that the festival continues to evolve, and places emphasis on the musical talent brought to town each year. It’s one big gig poster, for one big party in ICT.”

A team of design professionals judged the competition and selected Parks’s design from twenty-five submissions. Representatives from Emprise Bank, the sponsor of the 2016 Artwork Contest, and Docuplex, sponsor of the 2016 Riverfest poster, presented Parks with the $3,500 award for his winning design.

The Riverfest 2016 concert line-up will be released on Feb. 17 via Facebook, Twitter and Riverfest’s many media partners. Discounted early-bird registration for the Kansas Health Foundation River Run races has begun and will continue through Feb. 28.

Wichita Festivals, Inc. is a non-profit corporation with the purpose of creating diverse community celebrations within the Wichita community. The primary events produced by Wichita Festivals, Inc. are Riverfest (June 3-11, 2016) and Autumn & Art at Bradley Fair (September 16-18, 2016). For more information about Wichita Festivals, Inc. or its events, contact Teri Mott at (316) 267-2817.

A digital press kit containing the 2016 artwork, more about the artist, and this press release is available at WichitaRiverfest.com.

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WFI WRAPS STRONG YEAR

Not-for-profit that produces Riverfest recaps numbers for 2015; Looking ahead to 2016

January 24, 2016 - WICHITA, Kan. – On the brink of the official start of the Riverfest promotional season, Wichita Festivals, Inc., today shared a recap of the organization’s successes in 2015 with sponsors, supporters, volunteers and the public.

“Thanks to those who share our goals of unifying the community and enhancing quality of life in Wichita, we had a successful year of achieving our mission,” said Mary Beth Jarvis, president/CEO of WFI. “Lots of people support our efforts, and we are so grateful for that. Our generous sponsors and donors, button-buying Riverfest fans and our tireless volunteers – all are absolutely dedicated to Wichita and to making it great.”

A successful year of events included helping the community celebrate the new Dwight D. Eisenhower National Airport terminal, and growing Riverfest 2016 and Autumn & Art at Bradley Fair. Financial results were positive, allowing the organization to add 3 percent of 2015 revenues to reserves.

As the organization prepares to unveil the iconic artwork for Riverfest 2016 on Jan. 29, here is a “WFI by the Numbers” overview of 2015:

Riverfest 2015
• Total attendance was 410,000, an 8 percent increase from 2014.
• More than 200 partners (including sponsors and Corporate Hosts) representing $740,000 in cash sponsorships plus nearly $800,000 of in-kind contributions, provided support for the 2015 festival.
• The community embraced discount-priced buttons, purchasing 30,000 during an early-bird period. Sales remained strong enough throughout the festival to place Riverfest at #54 worldwide in Outdoor Ticket Sales according to Pollstar.
• More than 6,000 volunteers assisted at Riverfest, including 520 new volunteers, putting in more than 32,000 work-hours.
• 2,500 buttons were distributed to worthy citizens through 36 social service organizations, thanks to the Celebrations for a Cause program.
• In spite of one of the most popular ticketed attractions (Wagonmasters Waterwagon Tours) being offered for free at the 2015 festival, ticket sales for attractions such as the Zipline were up 26 percent.
• The Safelite® AutoGlass Sundown Parade featuring large-scale, Wichita-themed puppets designed and created by artist Wayne White with the assistance of local citizens drew more than 30,000 attendees.
• More than 40,000 gathered on Kennedy Plaza and the river banks to enjoy a huge Capitol Federal Fireworks Finale.
• The biggest crowds came to the Coleman Country Concert with Easton Corbin, A Salute to Aviation starring Flogging Molly, and the 7 Clans/First Council Village People show, each of which played to more than 20,000 fans.

Autumn & Art 2015
• One hundred artists exhibited at Autumn & Art at Bradley Fair 2015, WFI’s alfresco fine art fair, Sept. 18-20.
• Nearly 25,000 art lovers attended the event.
• More than 700 patrons, who make the event possible, attended the Opening Night Patron Party.
• Award-winning artists received $7,500 in cash prizes.
• Thirty-five sponsors, including presenting sponsor Fidelity Bank, provided $163,000 in cash and in-kind support for this event, which is free to the public.

For more information about Wichita Festivals, Inc. and the festivals it produces, visit WichitaFestivals.com.

Wichita Festivals, Inc. is a non-profit corporation with the purpose of creating diverse community celebrations within the Wichita community. The primary events produced by Wichita Festivals, Inc. are Riverfest (June 3-11, 2016) and Autumn & Art at Bradley Fair (September 16-18, 2016). For more information about Wichita Festivals, Inc. or its events, contact Teri Mott at (316) 267-2817 or [email protected]

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BLACKTOP NATIONALS CAR SHOW COMING TO RIVERFEST 2016

Ford-sponsored classic car event will take place June 9-11 in the heart of Kansas’ largest community party

January 12, 2016 - WICHITA, Kan. – Wichita Festivals, Inc., today announced that Blacktop Nationals, presented by Ford, will be incorporated into Riverfest 2016.

Blacktop Nationals, a large-scale event that drew car enthusiasts and attendees of all ages, has been held annually since 2010. This year, it will take place the final three days of Riverfest – June 9 to 11 – and feature classic and new car displays, competitions and hands-on demonstrations, all staged alongside Riverfest’s other festival offerings.

Admission to the Blacktop Nationals displays and exhibits will be free with a Riverfest button.

“We are very excited about this pairing,” said Mary Beth Jarvis, president/CEO of WFI. “Gearheads and all who love Blacktop Nationals can celebrate the fact that great food, entertainment and other Riverfest activities will be available to add to their car-show experience. And Riverfest lovers get a huge bonus – in the form of impressive custom, classic and cutting-edge vehicles, plus unique experiences from Ford – all for the price of their Riverfest button.”

Presenting sponsor Ford Motor Company will offer a peek at the latest automotive technology, as well as exhibitions and interactive experiences with Ford vehicles. Car collectors will be invited to bring their vehicles to the event for display and to compete in a variety of categories.

Established by Rick Nuckolls and Ron Hawkins, Blacktop Nationals had previously taken place in downtown Wichita in August. Moving Blacktop to early June also means the weather is likely to be more amenable to collectors exhibiting their rides outdoors.

Sponsors and vendors are currently being sought for Blacktop Nationals, and registration will open March 1 for collectors and individuals who wish to enter their vehicles into the show.

“Blacktop Nationals has grown thanks to a strong volunteer base, and we are reaching out to those individuals and groups who have been such a big part of the event since it began,” said Jill Massey, WFI director of volunteers. “We are also excited to hear from those who wish to join the volunteer team for this event, those who want to show their vehicle, and potential sponsors looking to reach car enthusiasts.”

Those who wish to participate will find more information at WichitaRiverfest.com.

Wichita Festivals, Inc. is a non-profit corporation with the purpose of creating diverse community celebrations within the Wichita community. The primary events produced by Wichita Festivals, Inc. are Riverfest (June 3-11, 2016) and Autumn & Art at Bradley Fair (September 16-18, 2016). For more information about Wichita Festivals, Inc. or its events, contact Teri Mott at (316) 267-2817 or [email protected]

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BARRY SCHWAN TO SERVE AS 2016 CHAMBER CHAIR

Congratulations to WFI Board Member-at-Large Barry Schwan of House of Schwan, who will be serving as the 2016 Board Chairman for the Wichita Metro Chamber of Commerce.

Read the entire story here.

Riverfest Receives Grant to Establish a 24-Hour Hackathon at Riverfest

Heartfelt thanks from Wichita Festivals to the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and Wichita Community Foundation for their $25,000 grant support for this new, unique Riverfest event!

From the media released issued Dec. 8, 2015 by WCF:
"WFI, in partnership with Open Wichita, will utilize $25,000 to pursue Riverfest Hackathon, a technology-based ideas pitch. The funds will be allocated to host the Hack-a-Thon during Riverfest 2016 and to support an ongoing marketing strategy."

Read the entire media release here.

WICHITA FESTIVALS ANNOUNCES NEW BOARD MEMBERS AND OFFICERS

October 20, 2015 - WICHITA, Kan. – New officers and directors today began terms on the volunteer leadership team of Wichita Festivals, Inc., which produces community events, including Riverfest and Autumn & Art at Bradley Fair.

Esther Headley, of The Research Partnership, will chair the WFI board for the 2015-2016 board year. Don Grant of Carey, Thomas, Hoover and Breault is chair-elect. The board secretary is D.J. Fulton of Grene Vision Group. Alan Howarter of Vess Oil Corporation is the organization’s treasurer. Chris Goebel of Star Lumber & Supply Co., Inc. is the board’s immediate past chair.

New board members elected to their first three-year terms as directors include Brock Beran of Beran Companies; Rigby Carey of Carey, Thomas, Hoover and Breault; and Teketa Harding of Capitol Federal Savings Bank.

The officers and directors were elected at the Wichita Festivals, Inc. annual meeting in September. Retiring from the Wichita Festivals board were Clay Bastian and Kaye Monk-Morgan, each of whom served on the board since the fall of 2009, as well as Lathi deSilva, who had served since 2012.

Other members of the board include Gary Austerman of Klenda Austerman LLC; Prisca Barnes of Storytime Village, Inc.; Craig Burns of Security 1st Title Company; Jennifer Magana of the City of Wichita; Ron Ryan; Barry Schwan of House of Schwan; Capt. Gavin Seiler of Wichita Police Department; Denise Sherman of Southwestern College Professional Studies; Van Williams of the City of Wichita; and Carol E. Wilson, accountant.

Wichita Festivals, Inc. is a non-profit corporation with the purpose of creating diverse community celebrations within the Wichita community. The primary events produced by Wichita Festivals, Inc. Riverfest (June 3-11, 2016) and Autumn & Art at Bradley Fair (Sept. 16-18, 2016).

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RIVERFEST OFFICALS REMIND CITIZENS: ‘YOU’RE THE FEST!’, INVITE PARTICIPATION

Applications now available for the Emprise Bank Poster-Art Contest, festival entertainers, event organizers and food vendors

October 15, 2015 - WICHITA, Kan. – Wichita Festivals, Inc. today officially kicked off the Riverfest planning season by reminding the citizens of Wichita that, “You’re the Fest!” and releasing application forms for Riverfest 2016.

Artists are encouraged to enter the Riverfest Poster & Button Artwork Contest, sponsored by Emprise Bank. Riverfest is also seeking entertainers of all kinds, as well as food vendors and event organizers for the festival.

“This event has always been all about the citizens of Wichita – who truly are what make Riverfest a success,” said Ann Keefer, vice president of program development for WFI. “Whether they are talented artists or performers, fun food vendors or creative event organizers, they are the fest, and they help us to create a nine-day party that offers something for everyone in the community.”

Designs are sought for Riverfest 2016 based on the theme, “Party in ICT!” The winning artist will receive a $3,500 cash prize. All artists 18 or older are invited to participate and no fee is required to enter. Entries must be received by 5 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 16 to be eligible.

“It’s always fun to see the excitement and energy of Riverfest through the creative eyes of the artists and designers who submit to this contest,” said Mary Beth Jarvis, president/CEO of WFI. “We hope participants will be truly inspired by this year’s theme and help us visually capture the spirit of Riverfest.”

The winning artwork will be featured on the Riverfest 2016 poster, buttons, official T-shirt and other items, and will be used as the central artwork in promotional campaigns for the nine-day annual celebration, scheduled for June 3-11 in downtown Wichita.

Original Wichitennial and Wichita River Festival designs dating back to 1970 were created by local artists. Conducted periodically throughout the 45-year history of the festival, the annual contest was reestablished by popular demand in 2011. Release of the artwork is much anticipated and collectors value the pins, posters and buttons based on the artwork.

Local and regional entertainers also have an important place in Riverfest history. While national headline acts are much anticipated, favorite area bands and other performers have always been fundamental to the diverse flavor of Riverfest. Plus, iconic Riverfest events such as the bathtub races have sprung from the minds of local hobbyists and civic groups.

Those interested in contributing their talents to Riverfest can find New Event, Entertainment, and Food Vendor applications, as well as the Poster & Button Artwork Contest rules and application at WichitaRiverfest.com.

Wichita Festivals, Inc. is a non-profit corporation with the purpose of creating diverse community celebrations within the Wichita community. The primary events produced by Wichita Festivals, Inc. are Riverfest (June 3-11, 2016) and Autumn & Art at Bradley Fair (September 16-18, 2016). For more information about Wichita Festivals, Inc. or its events, contact Teri Mott at (316) 267-2817 or [email protected]

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BUTTON REVENUE, SOLID PARTNERSHIPS DRIVE SUCCESSFUL RIVERFEST

Positive results projected for 2015 due to strong attendance, sponsor support, volunteerism, entertainment, arts focus

July 23, 2015 - WICHITA, Kan. – Wichita Festivals, Inc. today affirmed that Riverfest 2015 – which saw increased attendance, volunteerism, and collaboration with local companies and arts organizations – is projected to create positive annual results for the organization.

“Riverfest 2015 felt very successful,” said Mary Beth Jarvis, president and CEO of Wichita Festivals. “Attendance was high, the safety record was excellent, our volunteers and partners were rock stars, and attendees praised the caliber of the events. Now, we’re happy to affirm that our numbers match that feeling.”

More than 410,000 people attended the 44th Riverfest May 30-June 6, up from 380,000 in 2014. A 31 percent increase in button revenue, driven by the higher retail price for adult buttons, made the largest difference in the festival’s results.

“This year, we asked people to accept a higher retail price for adult buttons, so that we could create an event worthy of community pride. And what happened? People bought buttons and came to the festival over and over, creating great energy downtown for those nine days. We’re grateful to all our attendees and partners, because the trust they placed in us will allow us to make our community’s signature event even better in 2016,” Jarvis said.

Closely tracking forecasts by Festival officials, total button sales dropped to about 97,000 from 111,000 in 2014, but repeat usage of buttons allowed for the increase in attendance. To ramp up to the price change, Festivals offered early-bird button sales, and nearly 30,000 $5 buttons were purchased by individuals and companies by May 7. However, Festival officials also noted that nearly 10,000 full-priced buttons were purchased – at QuikTrip locations and the event gates – on June 6, the last day of the festival.

Community support for the festival remained robust. Sponsorship support came from nearly 200 cash and in-kind corporate and media partners. The Riverfest Corporate Host program – a way for small and medium-sized companies to support large-scale festival activities – saw an increase from 22 donors and $29,000 in 2014 to 34 donors and $45,000 of support in 2015. In addition, ticket sales, for attractions such as the Zipline and Saint Francis Ferris Wheel, were up 27 percent.

“We are so grateful for the support Riverfest garners from our community,” said Jarvis. “It is inspiring that businesses and individuals in Wichita are eager to be partners in putting on an engaging, exciting festival that honors tradition and serves every generation. With everyone’s help, in just nine days each summer, we can energize downtown, bring people together, and help add $25 to $30 million to our local economy.”

Support for Celebrations for a Cause, an initiative to ensure that those in need are able to attend Riverfest, nearly doubled. Meineke Car Care Centers and Greene Vision Group inspired other companies with challenge grants, making it possible for more than 2,500 buttons to get to charitable organizations that distributed them to those they serve.

Volunteer involvement grew, with more than 6,000 people donating more than 32,000 hours of time before, during and after the festival doing hundreds of tasks. “As a longtime volunteer myself, it is so rewarding to see this many volunteers coming together to help us put on the biggest party Wichita has to offer,” said Admiral Windwagon Smith XLII Mike Greene.

A deliberate focus on the arts and culturally-driven programming resulted in impressive concert attendance and renewed interest in the Safelite Autoglass Sundown Parade. The parade was attended by more than 30,000 people and served as the venue for the display of four large-scale artworks by the first Riverfest Artist-in-Residence, Wayne White. Five sold-out workshops in collaboration with Harvester Arts were conducted by White during the two weeks preceding the festival, as well as a popular artist talk and a film screening.

Headliner concerts continued to be a major draw, with crowds of more than 20,000 people gathering for the Coleman Country Concert with Easton Corbin, the 7 Clans/First Council Village People show and A Salute to Aviation starring Celtic rockers Flogging Molly. In addition, an audience of 12,000 welcomed Grammy-winning singer Erica Campbell as the headline act for Gospelfest.

A spectacular closing night helped cap off the 2015 festival. About 17,000 people attended the Spirit AeroSystems Rockin’ on the River Concert featuring D.J. Jazzy Jeff and Mayer Hawthorne, and the Fiesta del Rio event, centered around the Cox Kids Corner and RedGuard Stage south of the Hyatt Regency Wichita, drew 13,000. Then, more than 40,000 gathered on Kennedy Plaza and the river banks to enjoy a huge Capitol Federal Fireworks Finale.

The highest attended festival days (65,000 each) were Friday, May 29; Sunday, May 31 and Saturday, June 6. New events in 2015 included War on 54 Renegade Pinewood Derby and Over the Edge, both organized by Boy Scouts of America, Quivira Council; Kansas Honor Flight Duck Deployment; Opera Kansas; King of the Ring; Riverfest Horseshoes; Beep Baseball; Hoop Art; Farmer’s Market; Learn & Play Bridge and Human Foosball. Meineke Hot Air Balloons returned and cooperative weather allowed for two balloon launches. Cox Kids Corner, which was relocated to the lawn south of the Hyatt Regency Wichita, was a popular attraction throughout the week.

“The community has been so supportive and receptive to changes we have implemented to strengthen the festival,” said Jarvis. “Our success this year means a better festival for Wichita in 2016.”

Wichita’s Riverfest 2016 is scheduled for June 3-11.

Riverfest 2015 Official Sponsors: Bud Light, Decker Electric, Metro Courier, Parr Sound & Lighting, Prairieland Partners, RedGuard/SiteBox and Spot’s Party Bus.

For more information about Wichita Festivals, Inc. or its events, contact Teri Mott at (316) 267-2817 or [email protected]

Wichita Festivals, Inc. is a non-profit corporation with the purpose of creating diverse community celebrations within the Wichita community. The primary events produced by Wichita Festivals, Inc. are Riverfest (June 3-11, 2016) and Autumn & Art at Bradley Fair (September 18-20, 2015).

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ATTENDANCE, VOLUNTEERING UP; SECURITY EXCELLENT AT RIVERFEST 2015

Button sales and complete financial results still to come, but sponsorship support and early numbers promising.

June 11, 2015 - WICHITA, Kan. – Wichita Festivals, Inc. reported today Riverfest’s total attendance rose to 410,000, the festival volunteer force grew to more than 6,000, and law enforcement issues associated with the event dipped to record lows.

“While we still have important financial information that’s not clear yet, we’re delighted with the groundswell of volunteer support, strong attendance, and excellent safety and security record,” said Mary Beth Jarvis, president and CEO of Wichita Festivals, the 501(c)(3) charitable organization that produces Riverfest. “This year’s event was characterized by great partnerships – including strong sponsor support and amazing energy from volunteers – and lots of diverse festivalgoers enjoying a wide range of events in the true spirit of Riverfest celebration and unity.”

Here are Riverfest 2015 results in to date:
• 410,000 total attendees is an 8 percent increase from 2014, which was up 6 percent over 2013.
o The largest-drawing events within the festival included 30,000-plus people for the Safelite® AutoGlass Sundown Parade and more than 20,000 attendees at concerts featuring Easton Corbin, the Village People and Flogging Molly.
o The highest-attended festival days (65,000 people each) were May 29, May 31 and June 6.
• More than 6,000 volunteers assisted with the festival, including 520 new volunteers. Total work-hours for these volunteers is likely to total more than 32,000. These figures compare to 2014’s 5,425 volunteers and 18,200 work-hours.
• More than 200 partners, representing $750,000 in cash sponsorships plus nearly $800,000 of in-kind contributions, provided support for this year’s festival.
• Food and beverage sales were up approximately 6 percent from 2014.
• According to the Wichita Police Department, there were only seven arrests on or near the festival grounds in 2015, down from 11 in 2014. This is a dramatic change from years when there were more than 100 law-enforcement issues associated with the event.
• Tickets sales for the few activities that required an additional cost were up, including a 33 percent increase in revenue for the Saint Francis Ferris Wheel.
• More than 21,000 buttons were sold onsite, including nearly 4,000 sold at the gates on the final day of the festival. Wichita Festivals reported in May that 28,000 buttons were sold during the early-bird sales period, when adult buttons were available at $5. Retail sales figures for the $10 adult buttons, as well as total sales for the $3 children’s buttons, will be available by mid July.
• The Kansas Health Foundation River Run had about 35 percent fewer participants this year. Officials attribute the dip below 3,000 registrants to factors including the date change to the second Saturday of the festival, online registration hiccups, and warm, humid conditions on race day.

“Riverfest is an expensive endeavor, and it will take a few weeks before we know whether button sales and other revenue will cover our costs for this year,” Jarvis said. “But thanks to the great work of our partners and volunteers, feedback from the public has been overwhelmingly positive, and we are ready jump right into preparations for 2016. We’ll continue to gather input on what we should rethink for next year, so we can continue to improve this great community celebration.”


The 44th Riverfest took place May 29 through June 6 and offered a wide range of entertainment for all ages. 2015 official Riverfest sponsors include Bud Light, Spot’s Party Bus, Decker Electric, RedGuard Site Box Storage, PraireLand Partners, Parr Sound & Lighting and Metro Courier.

About Wichita Festivals, Inc.: Wichita Festivals, Inc. is a non-profit corporation with the purpose of creating diverse community celebrations within the Wichita community. The primary events produced by Wichita Festivals, Inc. are Riverfest (June 3-11, 2016) and Autumn & Art at Bradley Fair (September 18-20, 2015). For more information, contact Teri Mott at (316) 267-2817 or [email protected]
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FINAL RIVERFEST DAY PACKED WITH RIVER EVENTS, MUSIC, FAMILY FUN

Spirit AeroSystems Rockin’ on the River and Capitol Federal Fireworks Finale to close week of fun

WICHITA, Kan., June 5, 2015 – Riverfest, Kansas’ largest community event, wraps up Saturday with a huge fireworks display, major concerts, great river events, family activities, contests and competitions, all free with a $10 admission button for adults or $3 button for kids ages 6 to 12.

“This year’s Riverfest has truly brought the community together to celebrate,” said Mary Beth Jarvis, President and CEO of Wichita Festivals, Inc. “With more than 300,000 attendees so far, we’ve had great crowds enjoying the concerts, hanging out in Ackerman’s Backyard, riding the Saint Francis Ferris Wheel, playing in Cox Kids Corner and sampling fun festival food.” 

EVENTS FOR SATURDAY, June 6:
• Kansas Health Foundation River Run, beginning at Waterman and Wichita, also sponsored by QuikTrip, GoRun Wichita, Machinist Union District 70, Meritrust, The Alley, Wichita Federal Credit Union, and the YMCA:
o Pizza Hut/Taco Bell 10k, 7 a.m.
o YMCA 2-mile Family Fun Walk, 8:30 a.m.
o Meineke 2-mile Wheelchair, 9:25 a.m.
o Meineke 2-mile race, 9:30 a.m.
o Awards Ceremonies following each race
o The Alley Finish Line Party, 7:30 to 11 a.m.
o The Admiral’s Pancake Breakfast, 8:30 a.m. to 11 a.m.
o Meritrust Tot Trot, 10:45 a.m.
• Participatory events, including Softball Tournament, Soccer Tournament, Archery Tag, Pull My Rig and Paddle Battle kayak races
• Over the Edge rappelling from the Ambassador Hotel, sponsored by Douglass Wealth Management Fidelity Bank, Hite, Fanning and Honeyman and The Law Company from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Complete details and sign up at www.overtheedgekansas.com.
• Kansas Honor Flight Duck Deployment, sponsored by AFLAC, Douglas Street Bridge, noon
• Alef’s Rumble by the River, noon – 5 p.m., at Main and Douglas
• Spirit AeroSystems Rockin’ on the River Concert featuring DJ Jazzy Jeff & Mayer Hawthorne, 2 – 10 p.m., Kennedy Plaza
• Annual Funnel Cake Eating Contest at 3 p.m., Food Court Stage
• Speedy Cash Grab from 4-7 p.m. at RedGuard Stage
• Fiesta Del Rio concert starring Grupo Mojado, from 4-10 p.m. at RedGuard Stage
• Kansas Lottery Second Chance Drawing, 6 p.m. at the Food Court Stage
• CapFed Fireworks Finale begin at 10:30 p.m.

SELECTED DAILY EVENTS:
• Cox Kids Corner with kid-friendly rides, games, projects and activities
• Ackerman’s Backyard performances, weekday happy hour specials, and activities, all with an unbeatable view of river events
• St. Francis Ferris Wheel, with proceeds benefitting St. Francis Community Services’ foster care programs
• Full STEAM Ahead tent with fun Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math projects for kids – organized by Make ICT, located in the Cox Kids Corner
• Zipline ride, sponsored by Westar Energy, across the Arkansas River. Enter in Ackerman’s Backyard on the east side of river
• Paddle Boats and Kayaks, on the Arkansas River beginning from the Hyatt Lawn
• Kansas Lottery – Get your Tickets and Win! at the Festival Food Court
• Wagonmasters River Tour, on the Arkansas River north of the Douglas Street Bridge
• Helicopter Rides from the West Bank of the Arkansas River, north of the Douglas St. bridge
• Bike valet services, brought to you by Bike Walk Wichita and Kansas Turnpike Authority, located in Ackerman’s Backyard. Ride to the fest and park your bike for free.

The 44th Riverfest offers a wide range of entertainment for all ages. Admission buttons – $10 for adults and $3 for children ages 6-12 – are at local Dillon stores and QuikTrips. 2015 official Riverfest sponsors include Bud Light, Spot’s Party Bus, Decker Electric, RedGuard Site Box Storage, PraireLand Partners, Parr Sound & Lighting and Metro Courier.

About Wichita Festivals, Inc.: Wichita Festivals, Inc. is a non-profit corporation with the purpose of creating diverse community celebrations within the Wichita community. The primary events produced by Wichita Festivals, Inc. are Riverfest and Autumn & Art at Bradley Fair (September 18-20, 2015). For more information, contact Teri Mott at (316) 267-2817 or [email protected]

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A SALUTE TO AVIATION HONORS CITY’S HERITAGE AND WORKERS

Riverfest fun continues Friday with flight-themed contests, displays and events; Flogging Molly on Kennedy Plaza 

WICHITA, Kan., June 4, 2015 – Riverfest, Kansas’ largest community event, hosts A Salute to Aviation for the second year this Friday with a full day of events dedicated to Wichita’s rich aviation history. A Salute to Aviation pays special tribute to all things flight in the heart of the Air Capital of the World.

Starting at 11 a.m. Friday, A Salute to Aviation continues throughout the day with flight-themed activities, displays, and contests. Kennedy Plaza Stage will host Irish rock band Flogging Molly while the Neon Dance Party starring Four Color Zack will take over the RedGuard Stage. Presenting sponsors for the day include Spirit AeroSystems, Rusty Eck Ford, Learjet, Textron Aviation, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, and Cox Machine.

A SALUTE TO AVIATION EVENTS:
• Planes on the Plaza, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Kennedy Plaza
• Fancyfoam Indoor Fly-In, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Century II Exhibition Hall
• Fly Like an Eagle, presented by Nu-Trek Aircraft Instruments, Inc. Hop in a flight simulator a see how it feels to pilot a B-52 airplane from 11 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. on Douglas Ave.
• Rosie the Riveter Look-A-Like Contest, on the Kennedy Plaza Stage. Registration from
5 – 6:45 p.m. with judging beginning at 7 p.m.
• Paper Airplane Drop, 6 to 7 p.m. at the Century II Exhibition Hall
• Hot Air Balloons, sponsored by Meineke. An evening glow is planned at 6 p.m. just south of the RedGuard Stage, weather permitting
• Wing Eating Contest, sponsored by Pizza Hut Wing Street, 7 – 8 p.m., Food Court Stage

The 44th Riverfest takes place Friday, May 29 through June 6 and offers a wide range of entertainment for all ages. Riverfest admission buttons are available – $10 for adults and $3 for children ages 6-12 – at area Dillons and QuikTrip locations. 2015 official Riverfest sponsors include Bud Light, Spot’s Party Bus, Decker Electric, RedGuard SiteBox Storage, PraireLand Partners, Parr Sound & Lighting and Metro Courier.

About Wichita Festivals, Inc.: Wichita Festivals, Inc. is a non-profit corporation with the purpose of creating diverse community celebrations within the Wichita community. The primary events produced by Wichita Festivals, Inc. are Riverfest (May 29- June 6, 2015) and Autumn & Art at Bradley Fair (September 18-20, 2015). For more information, contact Teri Mott at (316) 267-2817 or [email protected]

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A GREAT FIRST WEEKEND SETS UP WEEKDAY FUN AT RIVERFEST 2015

WICHITA, Kan., June 1, 2015 – Riverfest, Kansas’ largest community event, continues this week with more thrilling events and concerts for all tastes, free with a $10 admission button for adults or
$3 button for kids ages 6 to 12.

“More than 150,000 attendees had a great time during our first three days of Riverfest,” said Mary Beth Jarvis, president/CEO of Wichita Festivals, Inc. “While our fast-flowing river hasn’t permitted paddle boats and other small craft yet, locals and out-of-town visitors enjoyed our art-infused parade, great concerts, Cox Kids Corner activities, jet-ski races, zipline rides and river tours – all included free with their Riverfest buttons.”

“We look forward to more beautiful days, classic and new festival events, and performances that appeal to people of all ages and interests,” said Jarvis. “That’s the beauty of Riverfest – it brings us all
together downtown and on our river.”

More than 100 festival events and attractions are outlined on wichitariverfest.com. Festival attendees can also access a full daily event schedule on their mobile devices.

EVENTS FOR TUESDAY, June 2:
•  Military Salute at 6 p.m. in Veterans Memorial Park, paying tribute to U.S. servicemembers, past and present
•  Americana Concert with Olds 97’s, brought to you by KMUW, 5 – 9:30 p.m. on RedGuard
•  Festival of Broadway, sponsored by Sandlian Realty, 6 – 9:30 p.m. at Kennedy Plaza

EVENTS FOR WEDNESDAY, June 3:
• Case New Holland Buckaroo Buckarette Rodeo, 5 – 9 p.m. in Cox Kids Corner
• Petting Zoo and Pony Rides, by Case New Holland, 5 – 9 p.m. at Cox Kids Corner
• Wet n’ Wild Disco Dance Party featuring Village People, opening acts begin at 5 p.m. on the
Kennedy Plaza stage.
• Cowboy Concert featuring Riders in the Sky, begins at 5:30 p.m. on the RedGuard Stage
• Hiland Dairy Ice Cream Social and Ice Cream Eating Contest, 6:30 – 8 p.m. at Douglas and
Water.

EVENTS FOR THURSDAY, June 4:
NOTE: Its Throwback Thursday! Celebrate Wichita’s history with this blast from the past. Wear a Riverfest button from any of our 44 years for free admission to the festival. Grab your best Riverfest flair, and show us your Wichita Pride! We’ll be randomly awarding prizes throughout the day.
• Goodwill Cajun Food Fest, 5 – 8:30 p.m. on Kennedy Plaza. Brought to you by KWCH; American Culinary Federation, Wichita Chapter and USD 259 Food Production Center
• War on 54: A Renegade Pinewood Derby, 5 – 8 p.m. on the RedGuard Stage. Brought to you by Boy Scouts of America – Quivira Council
• KAKELand Touch-A-Truck, 5 – 8:30 p.m. on Waterman Street
• Big Easy Concert with Charles Bradley, opening acts begin at 6 p.m. on the Kennedy Plaza
Stage. Presented by Riverfest Corporate Hosts.
• Hot Air Ballons, sponsored by Meineke. Ballons will launch at 6 p.m. just south of the
RedGuard Stage

SELECTED DAILY EVENTS:
• Cox Kids Corner with kid-friendly rides, games, projects and activities
• Ackerman’s Backyard performances, weekday happy hour specials, and activities, all with an
unbeatable view of river events
• Saint Francis Ferris Wheel, with proceeds benefitting Saint Francis Community Services’
foster care programs
• Full STEAM Ahead tent with fun Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math projects for kids – organized by Make ICT, located in the Cox Kids Corner
• Zipline ride, sponsored by Westar Energy, across the Arkansas River. Enter in Ackerman’s
Backyard on the east side of river
• Kansas Lottery – Get your Tickets and Win! at the Festival Food Court
• Wagonmasters River Tours free this year with your festival button, on the Arkansas River north of the Douglas Street Bridge
• Helicopter Rides from the West Bank of the Arkansas River, north of the Douglas St. bridge
• Bike valet services, brought to you by Bike Walk Wichita, IBEW and Kansas Turnpike
Authority, located in Ackerman’s Backyard. Ride to the fest and park your bike for free.

The 44th Riverfest takes place Friday through June 6 and offers a wide range of entertainment for all ages. Admission buttons – $10 for adults and $3 for children ages 6-12 – are at local Dillon stores and QuikTrips. 2015 official Riverfest sponsors include Bud Light, Spot’s Party Bus, Decker Electric, RedGuard SiteBox Storage, PraireLand Partners, Parr Sound & Lighting and Metro Courier.

About Wichita Festivals, Inc.: Wichita Festivals, Inc. is a non-profit corporation with the purpose of creating diverse community celebrations within the Wichita community. The primary events produced by Wichita Festivals, Inc. are Riverfest (May 29- June 6, 2015) and Autumn & Art at Bradley Fair (September 18-20, 2015). For more information, contact Teri Mott at (316) 267-2817 or [email protected]

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GRAMMY-WINNER ERICA CAMPBELL HEADLINING RIVERFEST GOSPELFEST

Artist behind 2015 Gospel Album of the Year to Cap Off Night of Inspirational Performances 

WICHITA, Kan., May 30, 2015 – Riverfest, Kansas’ largest community event, hosts its highly anticipated Gospelfest event Monday, featuring contemporary Gospel star and reality television actress, Erica Campbell. Gospelfest brings together local choirs and national talent for an evening of inspiring celebration.

In addition to her red-hot solo career, which this year garnered her a Grammy award for Gospel Album of the Year, Campbell is one half of acclaimed Gospel duo Mary Mary. The group has received 17 Stellar Awards, including 4 Group/Duo of the Year Awards. Mary Mary gained fame in 2000 following the release of their crossover hit single, “Shackles,” pioneering the emergence of urban contemporary gospel music.

Campbell’s two solo albums have both reached number 1 on the Billboard Gospel Charts, with popular tracks “I Luh God,” “Help” and “A Little More Jesus.” She is also known for her celebrated WE tv reality show Mary Mary.

Gospelfest, which begins at 5:15 p.m. on Riverfest’s Kennedy Plaza stage, is an evening of celebration showcasing local musicians and choirs, capped off by the national headliner.

“This is an exciting Gospelfest lineup,” said Mary Beth Jarvis, president and CEO of Wichita Festivals, Inc. “We’re showcasing exceptional talent – not only Ms. Campbell but also every local performer gracing our stage – and it’s all included with your Riverfest button.”

“Gospelfest has historically been one of Riverfest’s most cherished nights,” said Cameo Profit, music director for St. Mark Cathedral Church of God In Christ, who served on the Gospelfest planning committee and assembled the Mass Choir for Gospelfest 2015. We look forward to inspiring the whole community at this great event.”

This year’s local performers include The Dennis Family; Jay Thurston; Dynamic Revelators; TRU; Cameo Profit and 1 Way; Jermane and Friends; Dana Hemphill and a Mass Choir composed of singers from around the local faith community.

Presenting sponsors for the event include Spirit AeroSystems, Westar Energy and Cox Business. HealthCore Clinic and other local entities also helped fund the event, while promotional partners KMUW, Q92, Great Plains TV and The Community Voice have helped make both Gospel enthusiasts and all community members aware of the event. More information is available at the Riverfest Gospelfest page.

Other Gospelfest planners include Prisca Barnes and Kaye Monk-Morgan, members of Wichita Festivals’ Board of Directors; Ronda Kingwood of St. Mark’s United Methodist Church; and Wichita Festivals staff members. The Greater Wichita Ministerial League; Urban League of Kansas; St. Mark United Methodist Church; Real Men Real Heros; Tabernacle Bible, the Church without Walls; Greater Wichita Pan-Hellenic Council; Ebony S. Clemons Piano Studio; Wichita Chapter of LINKS, Inc.; The Kansas African American Museum; Progressive Missionary Baptist Church and Drs. Evies & Sharon Cranford have also supported the 2015 event.

The 44th Riverfest takes place Friday, May 29 through June 6 and offers a wide range of entertainment for all ages. Riverfest admission buttons are available – $10 for adults and $3 for children ages 6-12 – at Dillons, QuikTrip and AAA locations. 2015 official Riverfest sponsors include Bud Light, Spot’s Party Bus, Decker Electric, RedGuard Site Box Storage, PraireLand Partners, Parr Sound & Lighting and Metro Courier.

About Wichita Festivals, Inc.: Wichita Festivals, Inc. is a non-profit corporation with the purpose of creating diverse community celebrations within the Wichita community. The primary events produced by Wichita Festivals, Inc. are Riverfest (May 29- June 6, 2015) and Autumn & Art at Bradley Fair (September 18-20, 2015). For more information, contact Teri Mott at (316) 267-2817 or [email protected]

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THE 44TH WICHITA RIVERFEST SET TO BLAST OFF!

WICHITA, Kan., May 28, 2015 – Riverfest, Kansas’ largest community event, kicks off Friday with nine days of exhilarating concerts and activities designed to unite the community and celebrate Wichita’s rich history and talent. All this fun is available with a $10 admission button for adults. Children under five are admitted free to the festival; buttons for kids ages 6 to 12 are $3.

“Many exciting newer attractions are back at Riverfest,” said Mary Beth Jarvis, CEO of Wichita Festivals, Inc., “including the St. Francis Ferris Wheel, Cox Kids Corner, and our expanded area south of the Hyatt, including Cox Kids Corner and a 2nd main concert venue, the RedGuard Stage. Thanks to our sponsors – whose support makes Riverfest possible and affordable – favorites such as the Koch Twilight Pops Concert, Gospelfest and Festival of Broadway are returning this year, bookended by an opening-night fireworks show and the giant Capitol Federal Fireworks Finale on closing night.”

The 44th Riverfest – themed “Button Up. Have a Blast!” – features the most events and attractions in its history, all outlined on wichitariverfest.com. Festival attendees can also access a full daily event schedule and festival map on their mobile devices.

EVENTS RUNNING DAILY:
• Sparkling Ice Food Court and BudLight Beer Garden, on and near Century II Drive
• Cox Kids Corner with family-oriented rides, games, projects and activities
• Ackerman’s Backyard activities, performances and weekday happy-hour drink specials, all with an unbeatable view of river events in A. Price Woodard Park
• St. Francis Ferris Wheel, to benefit St. Francis Community Services’ foster care programs
• Full STEAM Ahead tent in Cox Kids Corner with Science, Technology, Engineering and Math projects organized by MakeICT and Make Art in the Park run by the Wichita Center for the Arts
• Zipline, sponsored by Westar Energy, across the Arkansas River. Enter in Ackerman’s Backyard.
• Paddle Boats and Kayaks on the Arkansas River beginning from the Hyatt Lawn
• Hope in the Valley Horse Rides at Cox Kids Corner
• Mobile GameDen, a video gamer’s paradise, in Ackerman’s Backyard
• Horseshoes open play and tournaments all week long
• King of the Ring, west of Kennedy Plaza. Throw on a “bubble” and challenge your friends!
• Kansas Lottery at the Sparkling Ice Food Court – Get your Tickets and Win!
• Wagonmasters River Tours, on the Arkansas River by the Douglas Street Bridge
• Helicopter Rides from the West Bank of the Arkansas River, north of the Douglas St. bridge
• The Eagle Medallion Hunt, with daily clues in the Wichita Eagle, sponsored by Subaru of Wichita
• Bike valet services, brought to you by Bike Walk Wichita and Kansas Turnpike Authority, located in Ackerman’s Backyard. Ride to the fest and park your bike for free!

EVENTS FOR FRIDAY, May 29:
• Admiral’s Breakfast, the official opening of Riverfest, sponsored by Legacy Bank, 7:30 – 9 a.m. at Abode Venue, 1330 E. Douglas.
• Fancyfoam Indoor Fly-In, sponsored by Rans Designs and Matrix Wand, 11 a.m. – 10:00 p.m., Century II Exhibition Hall
• Safelite® AutoGlass Sundown Parade, 6:30 - 8 p.m., on N. Main, W. Douglas and N. Waco
• Split Lip Rayfield, 8 – 10 p.m., on RedGuard stage
• Koch Industries Twilight Pops Concert, 8:30 – 9:30 p.m. on Kennedy Plaza stage. Featuring the Wichita Symphony Orchestra w/ special guest Karla Burns
• Opening Night Fireworks begin at 10 p.m.

EVENTS FOR SATURDAY, May 30:
• Softball Tournament, 9 a.m. at Southlakes Softball Complex, 5301 S. Meridian
• Soccer Tournament, 9 a.m. at Stryker Soccer Complex, 2999 N. Greenwich
• Arkansas River Coalition Canoe Rides, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on under the Maple St. bridge
• I Bike Douglas tours, organized by Bike Walk Wichita, 11 a.m. – noon beginning at Bike Valet
• Toy Trains by Wichita Toy Train Club and Museum, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. at Cox Kids Corner
• World Record Attempt: Longest Line of Bicycles, at noon – 1 p.m. at RedGuard South Stage
• Dodgeball tournament, 2 – 4 p.m.at RedGuard South Stage
• Jet Ski Racing, 3 - 9 p.m. on the Arkansas River, sponsored by McGavock Nissan
• Funk/soul/rock concert featuring Robert Randolph and the Family Band, 3 – 10 p.m. at Kennedy Plaza, sponsored by Don Hattan Chevrolet
• Red Dirt Concert with Kyle Park, 3 – 10 p.m. at RedGuard Stage

EVENTS FOR SUNDAY, May 31:
• Jet Ski Racing, 9 a.m. - 2 p.m. on the Arkansas River, sponsored by McGavock Nissan
• Botanica Butterfly Festival, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. at Botanica, 701 N. Amidon
• Toy Trains by Wichita Toy Train Club and Museum, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m., at Cox Kids Corner
• Celebrity Egg Toss, noon near the Sparking Ice Food Court
• Riverfest Marketplace and Health Fair, noon – 7 p.m. on Douglas Ave., west of Main St.
• Play at Riverfest: It Plays to Read!, 1 – 4 p.m. at Central Library West Lawn
• Admirals Armada, 1 – 5 p.m. at Wichita-Sedgwick County Historical Museum
• Cruise-In with Blacktop Nationals, 1 - 5 p.m. at Main St. and Waterman
• Roller Derby Exhibition, 2 – 4 p.m. on Waterman Street, by ICT Roller Girls
• Cardboard Regatta, 1:30 – 3:30 p.m. on the Arkansas River at Douglas St. bridge
• Opera Kansas, on Star Lumber Floating Stage in Ackerman’s Backyard at 3:30 and 7:30 p.m.
• Arkansas River Coalition Canoe Rides, 3:30 – 8:30 p.m., under the Maple St. bridge
• Coleman Country Concert with Easton Corbin, 4 – 9:45 p.m. at Kennedy Plaza Stage
• Hip Hop Showcase, 4 – 10 p.m. at RedGuard South Stage

The 44th Riverfest takes place Friday through June 6 and offers a wide range of entertainment for all ages. Admission buttons – $10 for adults and $3 for children ages 6-12 – are at local Dillon stores and QuikTrips. 2015 official Riverfest sponsors include Bud Light, Spot’s Party Bus, Decker Electric, RedGuard SiteBox storage, PraireLand Partners, Parr Sound & Lighting and Metro Courier.

Wichita Festivals, Inc. is a non-profit corporation with the purpose of creating diverse community celebrations within the Wichita community. The primary events produced by WFI are Riverfest (and Autumn & Art at Bradley Fair (September 18-20, 2015). For more information, contact Teri Mott at (316) 267-2817 or [email protected]

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Ready for Blast Off! Riverfest Buttons Now at Retail Outlets

More than 28,000 buttons already purchased as community gears up for its largest annual event

May 8, 2015 - WICHITA, Kan. – Wichita Festivals, Inc. held a Riverfest 2015 “sneak peak” event today in Old Town, marking the beginning of retail sales of Riverfest buttons, which grant admission to the nine-day festival, set for May 29 through June 6.

At today’s event, the community was treated to music from this year’s concert headliners, samples of food and beverages – including craft beers from House of Schwan, Sparkling Ice, and tasty festival treats – that will be offered at Riverfest. The event also featured Admiral Windwagon Smith XLII, Mike Greene and the 2015 Prairie Schooner Mates, as well as giveaways and balloon art pivoting off this year’s Riverfest theme, “Button Up. Have a Blast!” and the button design of local artist, Roger Strunk.

“More than 25,000 adult buttons, plus nearly 3,000 kids’ buttons, have already been purchased,” said Mary Beth Jarvis, president and CEO of Wichita Festivals. “We’ve talked to so many community members who were not only eager to take advantage of the early-bird savings, but also really excited about this year’s festival and all the great events and entertainment planned for it.”

Now through June 6, Riverfest buttons are available at area Dillons and QuikTrip stores. Riverfest offers two types of buttons: a $10 adult button and a $3 child button, for kids ages 6 to 12. Children 5 years and younger are admitted to the festival free of charge.

Among 21 new Riverfest events for 2015 are the Boy Scouts’ Over the Edge fundraiser; Kansas Honor Flight’s Duck Deployment; Archery Tag; Human Foosball; a weekday Farmer’s Market; and the Wet Your Pallet Raft Race, created in response to the public’s call for a return of the Riverfest Raft Races of  past years.

A second fireworks show has been added, so attendees can thrill to pyrotechnics after the SafeLite® AutoGlass Sundown Parade and the Koch Industries Twilight Pops concert on opening night and come back on closing night for the Capitol Federal Fireworks finale.

A Salute to Aviation (presented by the City of Wichita, Bombardier Learjet, IBEW Local 271, Rusty Eck Ford, Spirit AeroSystems and Textron Aviation), Meineke hot air balloons, Ackerman’s Backyard, Full STEAM Ahead and the St. Francis Ferris Wheel are just a few of the features that debuted or returned in 2014 and are back by popular demand. A significantly increased number of participatory and athletic events are planned for individuals and teams, such as pickle ball, bubble soccer and the return of Riverfest Horseshoes.


Many festival favorites will return, including Cox Kids Corner, Hiland Dairy Ice Cream Social, Goodwill Industries Cajun Food Fest, Case New Holland Buckaroo/Buckarette Rodeo, and KAKE Touch A Truck, to name a few.

This year’s button will serve as the ticket to all Riverfest concerts, including the Koch Industries Twilight Pops, Robert Randolph & The Family Band (presented by Don Hattan Chevrolet), Coleman Country Concert with Easton Corbin, 7 Clans First Council’s Wet & Wild Disco Dance Party with The Village People, Gospelfest starring Erica Campbell (presented by Spirit AeroSystems, Cox Business and Westar Energy), Old 97s, Riders in the Sky, Festival of Broadway with Music Theatre Wichita, Charles Bradley & His Extraordinaires, Flogging Molly, Westar Energy’s Fiesta del Rio and the Spirit AeroSystems Rockin’ on the River concert starring DJ Jazzy Jeff and Mayer Hawthorne.

More than 75 local and regional bands will also perform at the festival, either as opening acts on the Kennedy Plaza and RedGuard main stages, or on the Star Lumber Floating Stage and the Sparkling Ice Food Court Stage.

In addition to nine days of festival fun, Riverfest 2015 buttons also come with a number of perks and discounts, including free or reduced admission to a number of area museums and attractions – including Botanica, Exploration Place, Kansas African American Museum, Kansas Aviation Museum, Mid-America All-Indian Center, Old Cowtown Museum, Sedgwick County Zoo, Wichita Art Museum and the Wichita Sedgwick County Historical Museum – for visitors wearing a Riverfest button.

“At $10 for nine days of concerts, events and fun – as well as discounts on area attractions – a Riverfest buttons are still the best entertainment deal around,” said Jarvis. “When is the last time you saw a national headliner in concert for $10?”

Admiral Windwagon Smith XLII Mike Greene reminded attendees about WFI’s Celebrations for a Cause program, which makes it possible for worthy citizens, who may not otherwise have the chance, to attend Riverfest. Generous business and individuals donors purchase buttons, allowing service organizations such as Big Brothers Big Sisters and Wichita Children’s Home to share the fun of Riverfest with the families they serve. Grene Vision Group and Meineke Car Care Centers have galvanized Wichita Festivals’ Celebrations for a Cause campaign, donating 1,000 Riverfest buttons each and challenging the community to welcome those served by local charities to Riverfest. Donors can contribute at WichitaRiverfest.com.

For more information about Riverfest 2015, contact Teri Mott, at (316) 267-2817 or [email protected]

Special thanks to official Riverfest sponsors: Bud Light, Decker Electric, Metro Courier, Parr Sound & Lighting, PrairieLand Partners, RedGuard SiteBox and Spot’s Party Bus.

About Wichita Festivals, Inc.: Wichita Festivals, Inc. is a non-profit corporation with the purpose of creating diverse community celebrations within the Wichita community. The primary events produced by Wichita Festivals, Inc. are Riverfest (May 29- June 6, 2015) and Autumn & Art at Bradley Fair (September 18-20, 2015). For more information about Wichita Festivals, Inc. or its events, contact Teri Mott at (316) 267-2817 or [email protected]

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EMMY-WINNER WAYNE WHITE IS FIRST RIVERFEST ARTIST-IN-RESIDENCE

White to work with local artists, create large-scale puppets for Safelite® AutoGlass Sundown Parade

WICHITA, Kan., May 1, 2015 – Wichita Festivals, Inc.(WFI) and Harvester Arts announced today they are partnering with Ulrich Museum of Art and Wichita State University School of Art, Design and Creative Industries (WSU SADCI) to create an artist’s residency in collaboration with Riverfest 2015 with Emmy and Billboard award-winning artist, Wayne White.

Among other events during the 10-day residency, White will work with local artists to build several large-scale puppets for Riverfest’s Safelite® AutoGlass Sundown Parade and conduct public mask-making workshops for anyone interested in walking with him in the parade.

Best known for his set and puppet designs for “Pee-Wee’s Playhouse,” for which he won three Emmy awards, White also voiced characters on the show. His other television credits include production and set design for “Shining Time Station,” “Riders in the Sky,” “The Weird Al Show,” and “Beakman's World.” White was also art director of two seminal music videos, Peter Gabriel’s “Big Time” in 1986, for which he won a Billboard award for best art direction in a music video, and the Smashing Pumpkins’ “Tonight, Tonight,” for which he designed the Georges Méliès-inspired sets in 1996.

“Wayne White is a creative rock star,” said Mary Beth Jarvis, CEO of Wichita Festivals, Inc., “and thanks to great collaboration by local arts organizations and a broad range of generous supporters, everyone will get to experience his unique and engaging art, just for the price of a Riverfest button.” 

“Here at the Ulrich we believe that today’s art matters, so it’s a natural extension for us to support this residency,” said Bob Workman, director of the Ulrich Museum of Art. “We really look forward to presenting some of the results of Wayne’s workshops here at the Ulrich Underground in June. We are so fortunate to live in a community with dynamic arts organizations, and Harvester and WFI are bringing important programming to enrich us all.”

Kristin Beal, co-founder and COO of Harvester Arts, has worked as a creative consultant for the Riverfest parade since 2013. Beal approached Ann Keefer, Wichita Festivals’ vice president of program development with the idea of an artist residency that coincided with the Sundown Parade.

“We aim to make the Sundown Parade – with its vast audience of more than 40,000 attendees – an annual arts destination and a showcase for the ephemeral, experimental, creative and cultured experiences our community has to offer,” said Beal.
Mimi Pond, Wayne White’s spouse, will also be in residence. A creative force in her own right, Pond will give an artist talk and do a book signing at Watermark Books.

Author of the first full-length broadcast episode of The Simpsons, “Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire” in 1989, Pond was nominated for two Emmy awards. Her cartoons and illustrations have been published in National Lampoon, The Village Voice, The New York Times, Adweek, and others. She is the author and illustrator of five books and currently contributes to the Los Angeles Times. Pond won the PEN Center USA award for Graphic Literature Outstanding Body of Work, with a special mention for her 2014 graphic novel, Over Easy, for Canadian publisher Drawn & Quarterly.

“The School of Art, Design and Creative Industries at Wichita State University values creative partnerships with organizations and artists in our community and around the world,” said Dr. Royce W. Smith, director of WSU SADCI. “Our collaborative venture with Harvester Arts and WFI to bring Wayne White and Mimi Pond to Wichita demonstrates the excitement that can be generated in the art world when we work together—campus and community.”

Riverfest Artist’s Residency with Wayne White: Event Schedule
Thursday, May 21:
7 p.m.: Film screening of “Beauty is Embarrassing,” a biographical documentary about Wayne White directed by Neil Berkeley and winner of Tallgrass Film Festival’s Audience Award in 2012. Presented in conjunction with Tallgrass Film Association at Wichita Center for the Arts. A Q&A with the artist will take place after the show. $15 general admission/$10 students
Sunday, May 24: 
1-3:30 p.m.:  Mask-making workshop, Harvester Arts. $35 General public/$20 Students
Monday, May 25:    
7 p.m.:    Artist’s Talk with Wayne White, Abode Venue. Free, but RSVPs are recommended.
Tuesday, May 26:    
1-3:30 p.m.: Mask-making workshop conducted by Wayne White, Harvester Arts. $35 General public/$20 Students   Sponsored by Lucinda’s
5-7:30 p.m.: Mask-making workshop conducted by Wayne White, Harvester Arts. $35 General public/$20 Students     Sponsored by The Arts Council
Thursday, May 28:
4:30 p.m.: Mimi Pond author/artist talk and book-signing at Watermark Books. Free, but RSVPs are recommended.
Friday, May 29: 
6:30 p.m.: Puppets debut at Safelite AutoGlass Sundown Parade at Riverfest 2015. Riverfest buttons are $5 for adults through May 7 at SelectaSeat.com; Intrust Bank Arena Box Office, 500 S. Waterman; and Wichita Festivals, 444 E. William. Adult buttons are $10 starting May 8 at area Dillons and QT stores.

Tickets for all events are available online at EventBrite.com (search Wayne White at Riverfest) or call (316) 267-2817. RSVPs are required for paid events and recommended for free events.

Sponsors for the Riverfest Artist Residency with Wayne White include Harvester Arts; Ulrich Museum of Art; Wichita State University School of Art, Design and Creative Industries; Kansas Creative Arts Industries Commission; Lucinda’s; Abode Venue; Watermark Books; WaterWalk Hotel & Apartments; Tallgrass Film Association; Wichita Center for the Arts; and The Arts Council. For more information, contact Kristin Beal at [email protected]

About Wichita Festivals, Inc.: Wichita Festivals, Inc. is a non-profit corporation with the purpose of creating diverse community celebrations within the Wichita community. The primary events produced by Wichita Festivals, Inc. are Riverfest (May 29- June 6, 2015) and Autumn & Art at Bradley Fair (September 18-20, 2015).

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LEAD DONORS HELPING RIVERFEST INCLUDE CHILDREN, FAMILIES IN NEED

Grene Vision Group, Meineke Challenge Area Businesses to Support Celebrations for a Cause Campaign

WICHITA, Kan., April 21, 2015 – Grene Vision Group and Meineke Car Care Centers have galvanized Wichita Festivals’ Celebrations for a Cause campaign, donating 1,000 Riverfest buttons each and challenging the community to welcome those served by local charities to Riverfest.

Celebrations for a Cause was reintroduced in 2013 as part of an effort to ensure Riverfest would be an inclusive community event. Businesses and individuals can purchase extra Riverfest buttons to be donated to local nonprofits for distribution to their families and clients.

“These generous lead donors have given us a tremendous boost as we try to include in Riverfest as many as 5,000 worthy citizens who might otherwise have missed out on their community’s most unifying event,” said Mary Beth Jarvis, president and CEO of Wichita Festivals, Inc.

“We are delighted to be a part of this caring community, and we want to help ensure everyone gets to enjoy the wonderful entertainment and cultural events of Riverfest,” said Kayli Smith, COO Grene Vision Group.

“As a locally owned company in the Wichita and Hutchinson area, we believe it’s important to invest in our community. Being able to assist others is something that is part of our core values, and Riverfest gives us a wonderful opportunity to give back,” said Steve Blasdel, president, Meineke Car Care Centers. “My own background is in the non-profit sector, and whatever we can do to help these giving organizations and the people they serve be a part of the festival is a lasting investment in Wichita.”

In the past two years, agencies including the 22nd Air Refueling Wing at McConnell Air Force Base, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Catholic Charities, DUI Victims Center of Kansas, Envision, Kansas Humane Society, KETCH, Starkey, the Wichita Children’s Home and area churches have received buttons. “Support of generous donors and area businesses will allow us to host them for special activities and let them enjoy nine days of fun together with the rest of our community,” said Jarvis.

Donors may give online at wichitariverfest.com or wichitafestivals.com or by calling Wichita Festivals at 267-2817.

The nine-day festival takes place May 29 through June 6 in downtown Wichita. Celebrating its 44th year, the festival offers a wide range of entertainment for all ages, including concerts, sports activities, fireworks, the Cox Kids’ Corner and much more. Riverfest admission buttons are available now for the early-bird price of $5 for adults at the INTRUST Bank Arena box office and at Wichita Festivals’ office at 444 E. William. Beginning May 8th, retail buttons – at $10 for adults and $3 for children ages 6-12 – will be available at local QuikTrip, Dillons and other locations.

Special thanks to official Riverfest sponsors: Bud Light, Decker Electric, Metro Courier, Parr Sound & Lighting, PrairieLand Partners, RedGuard and SiteBox, and Spot’s Party Bus.

About Wichita Festivals, Inc.: Wichita Festivals, Inc. is a non-profit corporation with the purpose of creating diverse community celebrations within the Wichita community. The primary events produced by Wichita Festivals, Inc. are Riverfest (May 29- June 6, 2015) and Autumn & Art at Bradley Fair (September 18-20, 2015). For more information, contact Teri Mott at (316) 267-2817 or [email protected]


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MERITRUST TOT TROT 2015 ARTWORK COMPETITION WINNERS ANNOUNCED

WICHITA, Kan., April 24, 2015 - Wichita Festivals, Inc. (WFI), parent organization of Riverfest, announced the winner of the Meritrust Tot Trot Artwork Competition today at an assembly held at Seltzer Elementary School. Second grader Jony Dang from Seltzer was named overall winner of the competition.More than 1,350 contest entries were received from Kindergartners, 1st and 2nd graders representing ten area public and parochial schools. Jony’s design will be featured on the T-shirt provided to each Meritrust Tot Trot entrant. The Meritrust Tot Trot is a component of the Kansas Health Foundation River Run, a signature event of Riverfest.

Jony received a $50 gift certificate as well as a framed t-shirt of her winning design. Art instructor Marcia Scurfield received a $100 gift certificate as well as a framed T-shirt. Each of Jony’s classmates received a complimentary Meritrust Tot Trot entry. Colvin Elementary won a $400 prize for most entries in the competition (Amy Lawson/Shannon Bohm). Second place winner was Seltzer Elementary (Marcia Scurfield), and third place went to Spaght (Ashley Reid). 

Individual winners in each grade division also win prizes; 1st place winners won a $50 gift certificate, 2nd place winners received a $25 gift certificate, and 3rd place winners received a $10 gift certificate. Division competition winners are as follows:

2nd Grade
• 1st Place – Ann Hoang (Seltzer)
• 2nd Place – Carman Quang  (Seltzer)
• 3rd Place – Kirsten Nguyen (St. Francis of Assisi)

1st Grade
• 1st Place – Caitlin Jorgensen (McLean Science & Technology Magnet)
• 2nd Place – Ashley Portillo (Horace Mann)
• 3rd Place – Amy Curtis (Seltzer)

Kindergarten
• 1st Place – Isabella Walter (St. Francis of Assisi)
• 2nd Place – Zoe Hollinger (McLean Science & Technology Magnet)
• 3rd Place – Holly Killingsworth (College Hill)

Tot Trot, an official Riverfest event, is sponsored by Meritrust Credit Union. The event is a fun run for children aged two to seven, where everyone who crosses the finish line receives a medallion. The Meritrust Tot Trot will begin at 10:45 a.m., Saturday, June 6 on the Maple Street Bridge in downtown Wichita. Registrants receive an event T-shirt and Riverfest button. Registration is currently taking place online at RiverRunWichita.com and is available onsite the day of the event.

Special thanks to official Riverfest sponsors: Bud Light, Decker Electric, Metro Courier, Parr Sound & Lighting, PrairieLand Partners, RedGuard SiteBox, Spot’s Party Bus.

About Wichita Festivals, Inc.: Wichita Festivals, Inc. is a non-profit corporation with the purpose of creating diverse community celebrations within the Wichita community. The primary events produced by Wichita Festivals, Inc. are Riverfest (May 29- June 6, 2015) and Autumn & Art at Bradley Fair (September 18-20, 2015). For more information about Wichita Festivals, Inc. or its events, contact Teri Mott at (316) 267-2817 or [email protected]

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Greene Revealed as Admiral Windwagon Smith XLII, Ambassador for Riverfest 2015

44th Riverfest to include robust concert line-up, two fireworks shows, increased river and participatory events, more!

March 12, 2015 — WICHITA, Kan.— During a press conference today at the Hyatt Regency Wichita, Wichita
Festivals, Inc. announced Mike Greene as Admiral Windwagon Smith XLII and shared elements of Riverfest 2015.

“Mike is a perfect person to represent all those who are behind this great event to the broader community,” said Mary Beth Jarvis, president and CEO of WFI. “He has dedicated tremendous energy to Riverfest, and his love for the festival shines through everything he’s done as a partner and a volunteer for so many years.”

Greene, who retired from the City of Wichita Public Works Engineering Division in 2010, has been a supporter of Riverfest and Wichita Festivals for 16 years. He has served in a number of capacities, including as the festival’s general chair in 2004 and 2012 and chair of the WFI Board of Directors in 2006-07. Greene has been on the Operations Committee since 1998 and won the Volunteer of the Year award in 2004.

“I am looking forward to my role as this year's Admiral,” said Greene. “To be the face and ambassador for this Festival is a dream come true. I am honored to serve in this capacity as it will allow me to give back to this community which has blessed me with so much.

“Riverfest could not happen without the thousands of volunteers who sell buttons and food court tickets, run the zipline and river activities, construct the various areas for festival events, and do countless other tasks,” said Greene. “Volunteering has always been a tremendous amount of fun for me, but I cannot thank the dedicated volunteers enough for all they do in making Riverfest the best event in Kansas,” he said.

As the official ambassador of Riverfest 2015, Greene will visit children in local hospitals, speak to Wichita civic organizations and help host dozens of events during the nine days of Riverfest, May 29-June 6. He will be assisted by the 2015 Prairie Schooner Mates, who he introduced at today’s event. These high school juniors are selected by their schools to be youth ambassadors for Riverfest.

In addition to revealing the admiral’s identity, Jarvis also shared some news items for Riverfest 2015:
• A reminder about early-bird button sales, which offer the Riverfest adult button for $5 through May 7.
• The robust concert line-up, featuring more than 20 nationally-known headliners, dozens of local and regional acts,
the Wichita Symphony Orchestra and performers from area professional theaters.
• An increase in river events due to popular demand: Wet Your Pallet Raft Race; Kansas Honor Flight Duck
Deployment; Cardboard Regatta; Paddle Battle; Jet Ski Races, which will be moving to a late
afternoon/evening schedule; paddle boats; and the Wagonmasters Waterwagon Tours.
• Two fireworks shows: a brief show on opening night which will include the cannons and the carillon bells
coordinated with WSO’s performance of the 1812 Overture, and the Capitol Federal Fireworks, an extended
aerial pyrotechnic display after the Spirit AeroSystems Rockin’ on the River concert closing night.
• New participatory events: Over the Edge rappelling challenge and War on 54, a renegade pinewood race, both
presented by the Boys Scouts of America/Quivira Council; Genesis Foundation Pull My Rig; River Vault presented by Shocker Track Club; a Soccer Tournament presented by the City of Wichita in addition to the Softball Tournament they traditionally host; the return of Riverfest Horseshoes; and Learn & Play presented by Wichita Duplicate Bridge Club.

“Riverfest belongs to everyone in this community,” said Jarvis. We’ve heard loud and clear that Wichita wants an event we can all be proud of, with great concerts, lots of river activities, fun food and drink, robust programming for people of all ages and walks of life, and a safe atmosphere to enjoy with your friends and neighbors. Thanks to our great partners and supporters, we’re excited to bring exactly that here in a few weeks.”

Other new Riverfest events will join returning favorites, such as the Koch Industries Twilight Pops concert on opening night; Meineke Hot Air Balloons; the Hiland Dairy Ice Cream Social; the Kansas Health Foundation River Run race series, set for Saturday, June 6; and many more. Two special days are planned: A Salute to Aviation on Friday, June 5 and Throwback Thursday which offers free admission on June 4 to attendees wearing any Riverfest button from the past. The festival will close on June 6 with the Spirit AeroSystems Rockin’ on the River concert starring Mayer Hawthorne with opening act DJ Jazzy Jeff. The Capitol Federal Fireworks will end the nine-day festival with a bang, directly following the concert and Starlight Flotilla.

New Riverfest partners include: Safelite Auto Glass, sponsor of the Sundown Parade; Sparkling Ice, Festival Food Court sponsor; McGavock Nissan, sponsor of the Jet Ski races; RedGuard/Site Box, sponsor of the RedGuard Stage; Hyatt Regency Wichita, sponsor of the Admiral’s Reveal and Riverfest VIP Party; Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas, River Run medallion sponsor; Spots Party Bus, official party bus; Young Life, sponsor of Dodgeball; Doctors Express Urgent Care, sponsor of Children’s Theatre of Wichita; Cox Machine; Kansas Turnpike Authority; Sedgwick Plaza; and Southwestern College.

Riverfest headliner concerts will be on both the Kennedy Plaza and RedGuard stages throughout the festival. There will also be musical performances on the Star Lumber Floating Stage, on the Arkansas River in A. Price Woodard Park, and the stage adjacent to the Sparkling Ice Food Court, on Century II drive.

Admission to all Riverfest concerts is free with a Riverfest button. Adult buttons are $10, and children’s buttons (available while supplies last for kids ages 6-12) are $3. Adult buttons are available at an earlybird discount price of $5 via preorder at SelectASeat.com, and in person April 17-May 7 at Intrust Bank Arena Box Office, 500 E. Waterman, and Wichita Festivals, 444 E. William. Full-price buttons will be available at the same locations as well as at major button retailors (Dillons and QuikTrip) beginning May 8.

Here are this year’s Prairie Schooner Mates:
Cody Adams, Maize High School
Katy Aycock, Bishop Carroll
Abbagail Blick, Wichita High School West
Kaylee Clark, Wichita Northwest High School
Parker Cyrier, Andover High School
Dillon Engelbrecht, Eisenhower High School
Ashley Farmer, Metro Meridian
Conrad Fletcher, Derby High School
Katie Gann, Kapaun Mt. Carmel
Kaylee Grant, Andover Central High School
Paige Grey, Wichita High School Southeast
Claire Kirkland, Valley Center High School
Allie Lindwall, Wichita Collegiate
Sarah Mayer, The Independent School
Mary Miller, Campus High School
Pierce Mobley, Wichita High School South
Paola Ramirez, Wichita High School North
Malcolm Roberts, Cheney High
Caleb Soliday, Northeast Magnet
Alexandra Stamps, Trinity Academy
Grant Sutter, Metro Boulevard
Marquez Thomas, Wichita High School Southeast
Hallee Thompson, Wichita High School Heights
Hannah Tobias, Wichita High School East

´┐╝About Wichita Festivals, Inc.: Wichita Festivals, Inc. is a non-profit corporation with the purpose ofcreating diverse community celebrations within the Wichita community. The primary events produced by Wichita Festivals, Inc. are Riverfest (May 29- June 6) and Autumn & Art at Bradley Fair (September 18-20). For more information about Wichita Festivals, Inc. or its events, contact Teri Mott at (316) 267-2817 or [email protected]
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MUSIC HEADLINERS ANNOUNCED FOR RIVERFEST 2015

The diverse line-up of concerts are all free with a Riverfest button

March 10, 2015 - WICHITA, Kan.–Wichita Festivals has released the Riverfest 2015 concert headliners, an array of national stars and diverse talents festivalgoers can enjoy for just the price of a Riverfest button.

The festival will kick off on Friday, May 29 with a longtime tradition—Koch Twilight Pops Concert featuring the Wichita Symphony Orchestra on Kennedy Plaza—directly following the Sundown Parade. Locally grown, nationally known alt-country rockers Split Lip Rayfield will perform on the RedGuard Stage adjacent to the Wichita Boathouse that night.

On Saturday, May 30, Holy Ghost Tent Revival and The 44’s will open for acclaimed steel guitarist Robert Randolph & the Family Band who will bring their fusion of blues, rock and soul to the Kennedy Plaza Stage. Red Dirt Country artist Kyle Park will perform on the RedGuard Stage.

The Coleman Country Concert is scheduled for Sunday, May 31, and stars Easton Corbin who has produced four-top ten country songs (including two #1 hits) since his debut in 2009. His latest album, “It’s About to Get Real” will be released in late March.

Vocalist Erica Campbell of gospel duo Mary Mary and 2015 Grammy Gospel Artist of the Year, will headline Gospelfest on Monday, June 1 following performances by community choirs and other regional artists on the Kennedy Plaza Stage.

Tuesday, June 2 will see the return of “Festival of Broadway” to Kennedy Plaza, featuring performances by Music Theatre Wichita, Roxy’s Downtown and Mosley Street Melodrama.

Disco legends the Village People will headline the Wet & Wild Disco Party on Wednesday, June 3. This multi-generational dance party will feature a variety of water elements to beat the heat, and stars the six-man vocal group who topped the charts with “YMCA” in 1979. At the RedGuard Stage, Riders in the Sky will delight fans of all ages with their special brand of cowboy music and comedy.

The Monophonics will open for Charles Bradley & His Extraordinaires at the Big Easy Concert on Thursday, June 4, which takes place during and after the Goodwill Industries Cajun Food Fest on Kennedy Plaza. Funk/soul/R&B artist Bradley is frequently compared to Otis Redding and James Brown in popular music publications.

On June 5, high-energy Celtic rockers Flogging Molly will headline the Indie Showcase on Kennedy Plaza with opening act The Devil Makes Three. On the RedGuard Stage, The Neon Dance Party will feature Los Angeles-based Four Color Zack, winner of the 2012 Red Bull Thre3style World DJ Championships.

Spirit AeroSystems Rockin’ on the River concert kicks off the finale of Riverfest 2015 at Kennedy Plaza on Saturday, June 6 with performances by DJ Jazzy Jeff and Mayer Hawthorne, a Grammy-nominated pop singer, multi-instrumentalist and producer whose latest release, Tuxedo,” debuted on March 3. Fiesta del Rio, featuring Grupo Mojado, will take place on the RedGuard Stage, also on closing night. The Capitol Federal Fireworks will close the festival with a bang following the concerts.

A number of local and regional acts also will perform at Riverfest 2015, including Cherokee Maidens, O’Phil, KOPECKY, Carrie Nation & the Speakeasy, DJ Carbon, Big Red Horse, Brandon Lane Band, Tony Ngo, Corriander, Mountain Deer Revival, Adam Capps & The Dirt Road Drifters, DJ Tight Pants, Nouveau Quintette and many others. In addition to the Kennedy Plaza and RedGuard stages, the Sparkling Ice Food Court Stage and Star Lumber Floating Stage at A. Price Woodard Park will be activated throughout the festival.

Admission to all Riverfest concerts is free with a Riverfest button. Adult buttons are $10, and children’s buttons (available while supplies last for kids ages 6-12) are $3. Adult buttons are available at an early bird discount price of $5 via preorder at SelectASeat.com, and in person April 17-May 7 at Intrust Bank Arena Box Office, 500 E. Waterman, and Wichita Festivals, 444 E. Willam. Full-price buttons will be available at the same locations as well as at major button retailors (Dillons and QuikTrip) beginning May 8.

Media partners for Riverfest 2015 include 104.5 The Fox, 99.7 Lite FM, Alt 107.3, B98FM, BOB FM, The Bull, The Buzz, Channel 963, Clear Channel Outdoor, The Community Voice, CW, F5, FOX Kansas, Intake Studios, KAKEland, KEYN, KFDI, KFH, KGSO, KMUW, KNSS, KQAM, KSN, KWCH, Liberty Press, POWER 93.5, Radio Lobo, Splurge!, T95, Visit Wichita, Wichita magazine and The Wolf.

Riverfest 2015 Official Sponsors include: Bud Light, Metro Courier, Parr Sound & Lighting, PrairieLand Partners and RedGuard.

About Wichita Festivals, Inc.: Wichita Festivals, Inc. is a non-profit corporation with the purpose of creating diverse community celebrations within the Wichita community. The primary events produced by Wichita Festivals, Inc. are Riverfest (May 29- June 6, 2015) and Autumn & Art at Bradley Fair (September 18-20, 2015). For more information about Wichita Festivals, Inc. or its events, contact Teri Mott at (316) 267-2817 or [email protected]

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COMMUNITY INVITED TO ‘BUTTON UP. HAVE A BLAST!’ AT RIVERFEST 2015

Iconic button and poster artwork unveiled; 2015 festival sneak peek includes button-price news

February 13, 2015—WICHITA, Kan.—Wichita Festivals, Inc. today revealed the iconic artwork for Riverfest 2015 and offered a sneak peek at the upcoming festival at a press event at Emprise Bank, sponsor of the 2015 artwork contest.

Wichita-based artist Roger Strunk won this year’s button and poster artwork competition with his interpretation of Admiral Windwagon Smith as an astronaut with the Wichita skyline in the background to capture this year’s theme, “Button Up. Have a Blast!”

“Roger’s clever design combines a fun, retro feel with an energetic spirit that embodies Riverfest and our community,” said Mary Beth Jarvis, President/CEO of Wichita Festivals. “His poster and buttons will be a wonderful way to invite citizens and visitors to ‘Button Up. Have a Blast!’ at Riverfest 2015.”

The astronaut Admiral and his corndog-wielding turtle sidekick, Ace, will adorn advertisements and merchandise and invite festival-goers to the largest community celebration in the state of Kansas: Riverfest 2015, May 29-June 6. A version of the poster artwork will be featured on the adult button. The child’s button, which was introduced for kids 6-12 in 2013, will feature Ace. (As always, children 5 years old and younger get into the festival for free.)

Jarvis also announced that for this first time in nearly a decade, the cost of the adult admission button will increase. Beginning May 8th, the adult button price will move to $10. The price for the popular child’s button will stay at $3. Before that date, adult buttons will be offered for an early-bird pricing will make the adult button available for $5.

“Since 2006, the entertainment industry has changed and event costs are way up. Rather than scaling back our efforts or putting attendees and our volunteers through multiple price increases in the next few years, we’re looking to the future, planning for a high-caliber event, and asking folks to pay just a little more than a dollar a day to enjoy it,” said Jarvis.
“We’re a non-profit, and we want Riverfest to be as inclusive and affordable as possible. At the same time, we have to be able generate enough revenue to produce events worthy of support and pride. Our generous local sponsors are doing what they can, but it takes the support of both sponsors and attendees to produce great events in a safe environment. It’s still the best entertainment value around, but if $3 for kids and $10 for adults is a challenge for some folks, we really hope they’ll take advantage of our early-bird discount so they can still join their neighbors at Riverfest,” Jarvis said.
- more -
Buttons are offered at the early-bird price now through May 7 online at selectaseat.com or by calling Select-A-Seat at (855) 755-SEAT. Attendees can purchase early-bird buttons in person at the Select-A-Seat box office at Intrust Bank Arena or at the Wichita Festivals office April 17-May 7. Starting May 8, full-price buttons will be available at button retail outlets, including Dillons and QuikTrip.

Highlights of the 2015 festival were also revealed. “A robust schedule of concert headliners is planned for our two main stages at Kennedy Plaza and WaterWalk, including classic disco act the Village People. Our Kansas Health Foundation River Run race series will move to the second Saturday of the festival,” Jarvis said. “Capitol Federal’s large fireworks show will move to closing night to provide an even more impressive finale to the festival. Meineke hot air balloons and Ackerman’s Backyard will be back by popular demand, and Treasure Island, a favorite with the young set, will return this year,” said Jarvis.
A freelance graphic designer and illustrator, contest-winner Strunk graduated with honors from Wichita State University in 2011, receiving a BFA with an emphasis in graphic design, following years of work as an independent contractor in the construction industry. The artist has since been commissioned by clients and agencies on an international level, creating work for well-known brands such as Google, eBay, and Popular Mechanics, along with work done closer to home for local and regional small businesses.
“When I heard that “Button Up. Have a Blast!” was the theme this year, my mind first went to spaceships, but I reeled it back in and started thinking about things directly tied to the festival experience–things like fireworks blasting off,” said Strunk. “How does the button figure into this? It struck me that someone in a jetpack could be pushing a button to blast off. I figured something resembling the actual festival buttons could buckle them into the jetpack! So that's how I arrived at the Admiral Windwagon Smith, donning a flight suit and helmet, blasting off in a jetpack down the river, which is depicted in a way that might also bring to mind an aircraft runway. In addition to addressing the theme and the spirit of Riverfest 2015, I thought this concept would be a nice tip of the hat to the aviation industry and the Air Force, which have strong cultural ties and history with Wichita on the whole.”

A team of design professionals judged the competition and selected Strunks’s design from twenty-three submissions. Representatives of Emprise Bank, the sponsor of the 2015 Artwork Contest, and Docuplex, sponsor of the 2015 Riverfest poster, presented Strunk with the $3,500 award for his winning design.

The Riverfest 2015 concert line-up will be released in upcoming weeks via Facebook, Twitter and Riverfest’s many media partners. Discounted early bird registration for Kansas Health Foundation River Run has begun and will continue through Feb. 28.


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Wichita Festivals Announces Board Officers and New Members

October 21, 2014
WICHITA, Kan. – New officers and directors today began terms on the volunteer leadership team of Wichita Festivals, Inc., which organizes community events, including Riverfest and Autumn & Art at Bradley Fair. 

Chris Goebel, chairman and CEO of Star Lumber & Supply Co., Inc., is chairman of the WFI board for the 2014-2015 board year. Esther Headley, president of The Research Partnership, is chair-elect. The board secretary is Jennifer Magana, Deputy Sedgwick County Counselor. Alan Howarter vice president, Vess Oil Corporation, is the organization’s treasurer. Kaye Monk-Morgan, Upward Bound director at Wichita State University, is the board’s immediate past chair.

New board members elected to their first three-year terms as directors include Craig Burns, Security 1st Title Company; D.J. Fulton, Grene Vision Group; Ron Ryan, retired from Ryan International Airlines; Denise Sherman, Southwestern College Professional Studies; and Van Williams, City of Wichita. 

The officers and directors were elected at the Wichita Festivals, Inc. annual meeting in September. Retiring from the Wichita Festivals board were Bill Gardner, Gary Gibbs and Dick Honeyman, each of whom served on the board since the fall of 2008, as well as Lori Linenberger, who had served since 2011.

Other members of the board include Prisca Barnes of Storytime Village, Inc.; Clay Bastian of Fidelity Financial Corporation; Gary Austerman of Klenda Austerman LLC; Lathi deSilva of Sullivan, Higdon & Sink; Don Grant of Carey, Thomas, Hoover and Breault; Barry Schwan of House of Schwan; Capt. Gavin Seiler of Wichita Police Department; and Carol E. Wilson, accountant.

For more information about Wichita Festivals, Inc. contact Teri Mott, Director of Marketing, (316) 267-2817, or [email protected]

Wichita Festivals, Inc. is a non-profit corporation with the purpose of creating diverse community celebrations within the Wichita community.  The primary events produced by Wichita Festivals, Inc. Riverfest (May 30-June 6, 2015) and Autumn & Art at Bradley Fair (Sept. 18-20, 2015).

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KANSAS’ LARGEST COMMUNITY EVENT HAS SUCCESSFUL YEAR
Sponsorship, attendance and button sales increase over 2013; Concerts, events draw large crowds

July 18, 2014 - WICHITA, Kan .– Wichita Festivals, Inc. today released final results for Riverfest 2014, noting increases in festival attendance and button sales. Popular concert headliners and amped-up events drew 380,000 attendees during this year’s nine-day event, up from 360,000 in 2013.

According to Wichita Festivals, Inc. President and CEO, Mary Beth Jarvis, button sales were also up six percent from 104,000 in 2013, to 111,000 (96,000 adult buttons and 15,000 child buttons) sold overall. On-site sales remained steady at 30,000 with retail sales (primarily at AAA, Dillons, and QuikTrip) up by 18 percent. Corporate button sales increased by 14 percent over 2013 with more than 12,000 buttons sold directly to companies who provided buttons to employees or clients.

Sponsorship revenue for Riverfest was up 15 percent from 2013, thanks to nearly 200 sponsors and media partners, as well as 22 Riverfest Corporate Hosts (small to medium-sized business partners) and 138 Festival Crew members (individual donors).

“It is exciting to see sponsorship and button sales numbers up, and we are delighted that the community has welcomed a reinvigorated festival with expanded events and a strong concert line-up,” said Jarvis. “This caliber of event requires a great deal of resources, so we’ll need to continue to secure increasing sponsor and community support.”

Celebrations for a Cause (CFC), an initiative to ensure that those in need are able to attend Riverfest, saw a decline in participation. The program provides buttons to social service organizations that distribute them to those they serve. Donations for the program dropped, resulting in distribution of 1,180 buttons this year, down from 4,263 in 2013.

“Celebrations for a Cause is an important component of Riverfest, because it allows us to make the festival truly inclusive,” said Jarvis. “For 2015, we hope to find a lead donor to help grow this program to serve more of our neighbors who might not otherwise be able to be a part of this signature community event.”

Much of the success of Riverfest depends on a large and active volunteer base. This year 5,412 volunteers donated 21,704 hours of time selling buttons, cleaning tables, installing fencing, organizing and running events, and doing hundreds of other tasks. “It takes a lot of folks to put on this wonderful community celebration,” said Admiral Windwagon Smith XLI Ron Ryan. “Our volunteers are an amazing team and the festival could not happen without them.”

“The Riverfest has always been a celebration for all,” said Kaye Monk-Morgan, Wichita Festivals’ chairperson. “This year’s intentional focus on planning an event that celebrates the richness of our community paid off. It was exciting to see attendees of such a variety of ages and backgrounds celebrating as neighbors in downtown Wichita. This year’s festival showcased the best of Wichita – its people.”

New events in 2014 included the St. Francis Ferris Wheel, which benefitted St. Francis Community Services’ foster-care programs; a day-long Salute to Aviation; Meineke Hot Air Balloons; Gospelfest, with a national headliner for the first time in seven years; a Latin Fiesta; and the Westar Energy Laser-Light Finale. Cox Kids Corner flourished in its new location at WaterWalk and Ackerman’s Backyard, debuting in A. Price Woodard Park, offered grown-ups a place to relax and enjoy live entertainment. Opening night traditions – the Sundown Parade, Koch Industries Twilight Pops, and Capitol Federal Fireworks – drew 75,000 to Kennedy Plaza and the Arkansas River.

Headliner concerts drove the numbers on many of the festival’s big attendance nights. The Coleman Country Concert with Jerrod Niemann attracted 22,000 attendees. Joan Jett played to an audience of 19,000. Even on weeknights, live shows drew big crowds. Tamela Mann performed for 12,000 gospel fans on a Monday night. DJ Grandmaster Flash played to 12,000 attendees of all ages on Wednesday. Closing night’s Final Hoopla featuring Spirit AeroSystems Rockin' on the River with Marky Ramone’s Blitzkrieg, and the Westar Energy Laser-Light Finale brought 35,000 festival-goers to downtown Wichita.

Wichita’s Riverfest 2015 is scheduled for May 29 – June 6.

Riverfest 2014 Official Sponsors: Bud Light, Drury Plaza Hotel Broadview, Metro Courier, Parr Sound & Lighting, Pepsi, and Prairieland Partners.

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For more information about Wichita Festivals, Inc. or its events, contact Teri Mott at (316) 267-2817 or [email protected]

Wichita Festivals, Inc. is a non-profit corporation with the purpose of creating diverse community celebrations within the Wichita community. The primary events produced by Wichita Festivals, Inc. are Riverfest (May 29- June 6, 2014) and Autumn & Art at Bradley Fair (September 12-14, 2014).

 

 

SAFE, SECURE RIVERFEST ENJOYS ROBUST SUPPORT, GOOD ATTENDANCE

Early numbers show strong sponsorship, button sales, attendance. Full financial picture, attendee feedback still to come.

June 8, 2014 - WICHITA, Kan. –While complete sales and cost numbers continue to be compiled, Wichita Festivals, Inc., reported today that total attendance for the nine-day event was approximately 380,000 – up 5% percent from 2013, which was up from 2012 by 30 percent.

Other Riverfest 2014 results in to date: On-site button sales, which had dipped to 12,000 in 2012, were more than 31,000. In 2013, 30,000 buttons were sold at the event, out of 104,000 total buttons purchased – including those sold at local AAA, Dillons and QuikTrip stores. In its second year, the $3 child button remained a hot item, with nearly 5,500 sold on site.

“What a wonderful nine days in Wichita,” said Mary Beth Jarvis, president and CEO of Wichita Festivals, Inc., which produces Riverfest. “Our volunteers and staff worked to plan a festival that would be fun and engaging for diverse attendees, and early indicators seem to show that people liked the variety of performances, food, and family activities at Riverfest 2014. We have also heard from many people that they enjoyed the safe, secure environment created by requiring festivalgoers to have a button.”

“We’ll continue to compile our financial results,” Jarvis said. “We’ll also be working hard to gather feedback on what people liked best and what we should rethink for next year, so we can continue to improve this great community celebration.”

Sponsorships and donations, as well as thousands of hours of service from board and committee members and nearly 5,000 volunteers, make Riverfest possible. Nearly 200 cash and in-kind sponsors and media partners were involved in 2014, and total sponsorship was up more than 15 percent from 2013, said Jarvis.

New events for 2014 included the St. Francis Ferris Wheel, which benefitted St. Francis Community Services’ foster-care programs; a day-long Salute to Aviation; Meineke Hot Air Balloons; Paddle Battle kayak races; a Latin Fiesta; a huge Gospelfest with a national headliner (first in 7 years); and the Westar Energy Laser-Light Finale. Other changes included the move of Cox Kids Corner and many family activities from A. Price Woodard Park to the WaterWalk area and the creation of Ackerman’s Backyard as a grown-ups playground, where audiences enjoyed backyard games, performances on the Star Lumber Floating Stage and river events.

Here are some other highlights from this year’s festival:
- On opening night, approximately 75,000 attendees lined the streets, surrounded Century II, and later assembled on the banks of the Arkansas River for the Sundown Parade, Koch Industries Twilight Pops Concert featuring the Wichita Symphony Orchestra and Music Theatre Wichita, and the Capitol Federal Fireworks.
- Saturday, May 31 began with six hot air balloons, sponsored by Meineke, launching over the Kansas Health Foundation River Run. Approximately 5,000 participated in the GoRun 10k, YMCA 2-Mile Family Walk, Meritrust 2-Mile race, and Meritrust Tot Trot. That evening, more than 20,000 fans enjoyed Jerrod Neimann at the Coleman Country Concert.
- At the June 1 Salute to Aviation, presented by the City of Wichita, Airbus, Beechcraft, Cessna, Learjet, Spirit AeroSystems and other sponsors, attendees enjoyed Remote Control Aircraft and company displays in Century II, static displays and a B-52 simulator from the Kansas Aviation Museum on Douglas, flyovers along the river and a Rosie the Riveter Look-Alike Contest, among others. Nearly 20,000 gathered for that evening’s Joan Jett and the Blackhearts concert, which concluded prior to storms arriving in the area.
- Approximately 10,000 to 12,000 gathered for Monday’s high-energy Gospelfest event featuring local choirs and performers, topped off by headliner Tamela Mann.
- Throwback Tuesday saw attendees from all walks of life enjoying the Military Salute, the Envision Celebrate Abilities event, Elvis and Across the Pond performances at the WaterWalk Pavilion and the Moe Bandy Classic Country show on Kennedy Plaza.
- Festivalgoers came out in droves on Wednesday for the KAKE Touch-a-Truck event at WaterWalk and the Hiland Dairy Ice Cream Social and GrandMaster Flash Neon Dance Party on Kennedy Plaza.
- Thursday’s Cajun Food Fest, which benefitted Goodwill Industries, was the perfect lead-in to blues headliner Kelley Hunt on Kennedy Plaza, while Cody Johnson headlined the Rusty Eck Ford Red Dirt Country Concert at the WaterWalk Pavilion.
- Friday’s festivalgoers braved rain clouds to enjoy the Romantics at WaterWalk Pavilion and the Indie Showcase, featuring The Mowgli’s and Ra Ra Riot on Kennedy Plaza.
- Closing-day crowds enjoyed Riverfest Marketplace on Douglas, great river events such as the Paddle Battle Kayak Race finals, Volleyball on the Beach at O.J. Watson Park, and a Latin Fiesta at WaterWalk Pavilion that attracted a crowd of 10,000. The festival’s Final Hoopla on Kennedy Plaza, which had an audience of more than 35,000, included the Spirit AeroSystems Rockin’ on the River Concert with Marky Ramone’s Blitzkrieg featuring Andrew W.K. and the amazing Westar Energy Laser-Light Spectacular with the March Fourth Marching Band.

“Measuring attendance is not an exact science,” Jarvis said, “but we do our best, with help from our colleagues in the Wichita Police Department who have experience gauging crowd sizes, to reach these figures and estimate the attendees at our Kennedy Plaza events and concerts, in our Cox Kids’ Corner and WaterWalk Pavilion areas, in Ackerman’s Backyard and along the river, and out at events–such as the softball, and beach volleyball tournaments–that took place elsewhere.”

The 43rd Riverfest took place May 30 through Saturday and offered a wide range of entertainment for all ages. 2014 official Riverfest sponsors included Bud Light, Drury Plaza Broadview Hotel, Metro Courier, Parr Sound & Lighting, Pepsi and PrairieLand Partners.

FINAL RIVERFEST DAYS PACKED WITH RIVER EVENTS, MUSIC, FAMILY FUN

New finale features Spirit AeroSystems Rockin’ on the River Concert, Westar Energy Laser-Light Spectacular

WICHITA, Kan., June 6, 2014 – The final two days for Riverfest, Kansas’ largest community gathering, are set to include four major concerts, great river events, family activities, contests and competitions, all free with a $5 or $3 admission button.

“It’s been great to see everyone enjoying Riverfest with their friends and families,” said Mary Beth Jarvis, president/CEO of Wichita Festivals, Inc. “Whether they came down for the Wagonmasters’ River Tour, to get in a kayak or paddle boat, ride the St. Francis Ferris Wheel, check out the Cox Kids Corner activities, or just grab a bite to eat and listen to a great musical performance, our volunteers rolled out the red carpet so they could have a wonderful time.”

More than 100 festival events and attractions are outlined on wichitariverfest.com and detailed on the new Riverfest Pointsmap, sponsored by Intrust Bank, accessible from mobile devices.

EVENTS FOR TODAY:
NOTE: We are planning for outdoor concerts tonight. In the event that concert times change, a media alert will be sent by email.
• The Romantics at WaterWalk Pavilion, with opening acts starting at 5 p.m.
• Indie Showcase with The Mowgli’s and Ra Ra Riot, with opening act Wild Child starting at 5:30 p.m. on the Kennedy Plaza Stage

EVENTS FOR SATURDAY:
• Participatory events, including Beach Volleyball, Softball Tournament, Old Town Throw Down, Archery Tag, Paddle Battle kayak races and Tug of War
• Riverfest Marketplace from Noon to 7 p.m. at Douglas & Main. Please note the new time for this event, based on predicted Saturday morning weather conditions.
• Speedy Cash Grab from 4-7 p.m. at WaterWalk Pavilion
• Kansas Lottery Second Chance Drawing, 6 p.m. at the Food Court Stage
• Annual Funnel Cake Eating Contest at 6 p.m.
• Fiesta Del Rio concert starring Le Zenda Nortena, from 4-10 p.m. at WaterWalk
• The Final Hoopla: Spirit AeroSystems Rockin’ on the River Concert, starring Marky Ramone’s Blitzkrieg featuring Andrew W.K., and the Westar Energy Laser-Light Spectacular

SELECTED DAILY EVENTS:
• Cox Kids Corner with kid-friendly rides, games, projects and activities
• St. Francis Ferris Wheel, with proceeds benefitting St. Francis Community Services’ foster care programs
• Full STEAM Ahead tent with Science, Technology, Engineering and Math projects for kids – organized by Make ICT and sponsored by Airbus, Machinists Union Local #839, National Institute for Aviation Research, Professional Engineering Consultants, and Wichita Public Schools – as well as Make Art in the Park, organized by the Wichita Center for the Arts.
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• Fit ‘n’ Fun Zone at WaterWalk Pavilion, with healthy-living activities from the Health and Wellness Coalition, as part of their ‘Find Your Fit Wichita’ efforts
• Zipline ride, sponsored by Westar Energy, on the Arkansas River north of the Lewis St. bridge
• Sensodyne Dental Health Spa at Waterwalk
• Kansas Lottery – Get your Tickets and Win! at the Festival Food Court
• Ackerman’s Backyard river events and daily concerts on the Star Lumber Floating Stage
• Cricket Wireless charging station, in Ackerman’s Backyard
• Wagonmasters River Tour, on the Arkansas River north of the Douglas Street Bridge
• Bike valet services, organized by the Bike Walk Alliance-Wichita, with locations in Ackerman’s Backyard and WaterWalk Pavilion

The 43rd Riverfest takes place through Saturday and offers a wide range of entertainment for all ages. Riverfest admission buttons are available – $5 for adults and $3 for children ages 6-12 – at Dillons, QuikTrip and AAA locations. 2014 official Riverfest sponsors include Bud Light, Drury Plaza Broadview Hotel, Metro Courier, Parr Sound & Lighting, Pepsi and PrairieLand Partners.
 

A ROARING START AND WEEKDAY FUN AT RIVERFEST 2014

Classic and modern country, a hip-hop legend, and a blues powerhouse on deck for midweek

WICHITA, Kan., June 3, 2014 – Riverfest, Kansas’ largest community gathering, continues this week with amped up events and concerts for all tastes, free with a $5 or $3 admission button.

“Opening weekend was a blast,” said Mary Beth Jarvis, president/CEO of Wichita Festivals, Inc. “We are so excited to see such robust concert crowds on Kennedy Plaza and at WaterWalk as well as families and friends enjoying themselves at events like the Cardboard Regatta and World Record Attempt: Longest Line of Bicycles”

More than 100 festival events and attractions are outlined on wichitariverfest.com and are detailed on the new Riverfest Pointsmap, sponsored by Intrust Bank, which festivalgoers can access from their mobile devices.

EVENTS FOR TUESDAY, June 3:
• Meals on the Midway, sponsored by Numana, noon to 8 p.m. at the Wichita Boathouse
• Celebrate Abilities, sponsored by Envision, 4:30 – 6:30 p.m. on the Kennedy Plaza Stage
• Military Salute at 6 p.m. in Veterans Memorial Park
• Throwback Day Concert, brought to you by KEYN, 5:30 – 9 p.m. at WaterWalk Pavilion.
• Classic Country Concert featuring Moe Bandy, opening acts begin at 6:45 p.m. on the Kennedy Plaza stage.

EVENTS FOR WEDNESDAY, June 4:
• Keeper of the Plains Walk, 11:45 a.m. and 12:15 p.m. at WaterWalk Pavilion.
• Wet & Wild Neon Dance Party starring Grandmaster Flash, opening acts begin at 5 p.m. on the Kennedy Plaza stage.
• KAKELand Touch-A-Truck, 5 – 9 p.m. at WaterWalk Pavilion.
• Hiland Dairy Ice Cream Social, 6:30 – 8 p.m. at Douglas and Water.

EVENTS FOR THURSDAY, June 5:
• Cajun Food Fest, 5 – 8:30 p.m. on Kennedy Plaza.
• Big Easy Concert starring Kelley Hunt, opening acts begin at 6 p.m. on the Kennedy Plaza Stage.
• Case New Holland Buckaroo/Buckarette Rodeo, 5 – 9 p.m. at Cox Kids Corner at WaterWalk.
• Rusty Eck Red Dirt Country Concert with Cody Johnson, opening acts begin at 6 p.m. at WaterWalk Pavilion.


SELECTED DAILY EVENTS:
• Cox Kids Corner with kid-friendly rides, games, projects and activities
• St. Francis Ferris Wheel, with proceeds benefitting St. Francis Community Services’ foster care programs
• Full STEAM Ahead tent with Science, Technology, Engineering and Math projects for kids – organized by Make ICT and sponsored by Airbus, Machinists Union Local #839, National Institute for Aviation Research, Professional Engineering Consultants, and Wichita Public Schools – as well as Make Art in the Park, organized by the Wichita Center for the Arts.
• Fit ‘n’ Fun Zone at WaterWalk Pavilion, with healthy-living activities from the Health and Wellness Coalition, as part of their ‘Find Your Fit Wichita’ efforts
• Zipline ride, sponsored by Westar Energy, on the Arkansas River north of the Lewis St. bridge
• Sensodyne Dental Health Spa at Waterwalk
• Kansas Lottery – Get your Tickets and Win! at the Festival Food Court
• Ackerman’s Backyard river events and daily concerts on the Star Lumber Floating Stage
• Cricket Wireless charging station, in Ackerman’s Backyard
• Wagonmasters River Tour, on the Arkansas River north of the Douglas Street Bridge
• Bike valet services, organized by the Bike Walk Alliance-Wichita, with locations in Ackerman’s Backyard and WaterWalk Pavilion

The 43rd Riverfest takes place Friday through June 7 and offers a wide range of entertainment for all ages. Riverfest admission buttons are available – $5 for adults and $3 for children ages 6-12 – at Dillons, QuikTrip and AAA locations. 2014 official Riverfest sponsors include Bud Light, Drury Plaza Broadview Hotel, Metro Courier, Parr Sound & Lighting, Pepsi and PrairieLand Partners.

TAMELA MANN TO HEADLINE GOSPELFEST AT RIVERFEST 2014

Gospel Star and 'Meet the Browns' and 'Madea' Actress Caps Off Night of Inspirational Musical Performances 

WICHITA, Kan., May 30, 2014 – Riverfest, Kansas’ largest community gathering, is hosting an expanded Gospelfest event Monday, featuring Gospel star and well-known actress, Tamela Mann, the first national headliner for the event in seven years.

Mann, winner of the 2014 Stellar Award as Best Female Gospel Artist of the Year, began her career as a singer with gospel group Kirk Franklin and the Family. On tracks such as "Don't Take Your Joy Away" and "Lean on Me,” she worked with Mary J. Blige, R.Kelly, Bono and other artists.

She is also known for her television, film and stage career, which has included multiple appearances in the role of Cora in Tyler Perry’s works such as, Diary of a Mad Black Woman, Madea’s Family Reunion, Meet the Browns and others. Mann’s songs "Father Can You Hear Me" and "Take It To Jesus" were on the Diary of a Mad Black Woman soundtrack. Mann and her husband of 25 years, David Mann, known for his role as Deacon Leroy Brown in several of Perry’s works, have their own record label and a television cooking show called, Hanging with the Manns.

“We’re privileged and excited to bring a star of Mrs. Mann’s caliber to Wichita,” said Mary Beth Jarvis, CEO of Wichita Festivals, Inc., “and thanks to a broad range of generous supporters, we are able to offer this to our community just for the price of a Riverfest button.” 

Lead sponsors for the event include Spirit AeroSystems, Westar Energy, Cox Business and the Greater Wichita Ministerial League. Promotional partners include KMUW and The Community Voice. Choir director Jay Terrell and many area choirs and other performers will round out Gospelfest, which begins at 5 p.m. on Riverfest’s Kennedy Plaza stage. Mann will perform at 8:30 p.m.

“In recent years, Gospelfest has had audiences of between 5,000 and 7,000,” said Kaye Monk-Morgan, Chairperson of the Board for Wichita Festivals. “We look forward to an even bigger night this year, thanks to Spirit, Westar and Cox Business, plus all the churches, service organizations and individuals who stepped up to support our efforts to make this an inclusive, first-class event.”

Gospelfest supporters also include Jackson Mortuary; Real Men Real Heroes; St. Mark United Methodist Church; Tabernacle Bible, the Church without Walls; Martin Event Services; Beta Kappa Omega Chapter, AKA Sorority; Ebony S. Clemons Piano Studio; Free Full Gospel Church; Gamma Chi Sigma Chapter, Sigma Gamma Ro sorority; Greater Wichita Pan-Hellenic Council; Kappa Alpha Psi; Mount Gilead Baptist Church; Omega Psi Phi; Sigma Pi Phi fraternity, Alpha Nu Boulé; Urban League of Kansas; U.S. Small Business Administration; Wichita Alumnae Chapter, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.; Wichita Chapter of LINKS; Wichita Chapter, NAACP; Wichita Black Arts Festival, Wichita State University Multicultural Affairs Office; Prisca Barnes; Kaye Monk-Morgan; Mark McCormick and Yolanda White.

For 2014, official Riverfest sponsors include Bud Light, Drury Plaza Broadview Hotel, Metro Courier, Parr Sound & Lighting, Pepsi and PrairieLand Partners. Riverfest 2014 takes place through June 7 in downtown Wichita. Celebrating its 43rd year, the festival offers a wide range of entertainment for all ages. Riverfest admission buttons are available – $5 for adults and $3 for children ages 6-12 – at Dillons, QuikTrip and AAA locations.

 

RIVERFEST SET TO OPEN WITH A BANG

Opening Weekend Crammed with Events; See All on New Riverfest PointsMap  

WICHITA, Kan., May 29, 2014 – Riverfest, Kansas’ largest community gathering, kicks off Friday with high-profile events designed to celebrate the best of both local and national talent, open to all for a $5 or $3 admission button.

“The events of Riverfest are a generous gift to the community from our sponsors, partners and volunteers,” said Mary Beth Jarvis, president/CEO of Wichita Festivals, Inc. “Thanks to them, we get to fire up the concert stages, activate the river and an engaging festival zone, and roll out the red carpet for hundreds of thousands of attendees.”

More than 100 festival events and attractions are outlined on wichitariverfest.com and are detailed on the new Riverfest PointsMap, sponsored by Intrust Bank, which festivalgoers can access from their mobile devices.

EVENTS RUNNING DAILY:
• Cox Kids Corner with kid-friendly rides, games, projects and activities
• St. Francis Ferris Wheel, with proceeds benefitting St. Francis Community Services’ foster care programs
• Full STEAM Ahead tent with Science, Technology, Engineering and Math projects for kids – organized by Make ICT and sponsored by Airbus, Machinists Union Local #839, National Institute for Aviation Research, Professional Engineering Consultants, and Wichita Public Schools – as well as Make Art in the Park, organized by the Wichita Center for the Arts.
• Fit ‘n’ Fun Zone at WaterWalk Pavilion, with healthy-living activities from the Health and Wellness Coalition, as part of their ‘Find Your Fit Wichita’ efforts
• Zipline ride, sponsored by Wester Energy, on the Arkansas River north of the Lewis St. bridge
• Hope in the Valley Horse Rides at WaterWalk
• Sensodyne Dental Health Spa at Waterwalk
• Kansas Lottery – Get your Tickets and Win! at the Festival Food Court
• Ackerman’s Backyard river events and daily concerts on the Star Lumber Floating Stage
• Cricket Wireless charging station, in Ackerman’s Backyard
• Paddle Boats and Kayaks, on the Arkansas River south of the Douglas Street Bridge
• Wagonmasters River Tour, on the Arkansas River north of the Douglas Street Bridge
• Bike valet services, organized by the Bike Walk Alliance-Wichita, with locations in Ackerman’s Backyard and WaterWalk Pavilion
• Helicopter Rides from the West Bank of the Arkansas River, north of the Douglas St. bridge
• The Eagle Medallion Hunt, with daily clues in the Wichita Eagle

EVENTS FOR FRIDAY, May 30:
• Admiral’s Breakfast, sponsored by Meineke,7:30 - 9 a.m. at Abode Venue, 1330 E. Douglas
• Opening Ceremony at the Keeper of the Plains Plaza, 11:30 - 11:45 a.m.
• Sundown Parade, 6:30 - 8 p.m., downtown on N. Main, W. Douglas and N. Waco
• Hot Air Balloon Glow, 6 - 9 p.m., sponsored by Meineke
• Koch Industries Twilight Pops Concert, 8:30 p.m. on Kennedy Plaza stage
• Blues by the River featuring Moreland and Arbuckle, 8 p.m. on WaterWalk Pavilion stage
• Capitol Federal Fireworks, 9:45 p.m.

EVENTS FOR SATURDAY, May 31:
• Hot Air Balloons, sponsored by Meineke, launching at 5:30 a.m.
• Kansas Health Foundation River Run, held at WaterWalk, also sponsored by Hall’s Culligan, ICS Autoworks, Machinists Union District 70 and Wichita Federal Credit Union:
o GoRun 10k, 7 a.m.
o YMCA 2-mile Family Walk, 8:30 a.m.
o Meritrust 2-mile race, 8:30 a.m.
o QuikTrip Awards Ceremonies following each race
o The Alley Finish Line Party, 7:30 to 11 a.m.
o The Admiral’s Pancake Breakfast, 8:30 a.m.
o Meritrust Tot Trot, 10:45 a.m.
• Men’s Softball Tournament, 9 a.m. at Southlakes Softball Complex, 5301 S. Meridian
• Roll Up Your Sleeves for Riverfest, 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. at Red Cross Donor Center, 707 N. Main
• Jet Ski Racing, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. on the Arkansas River
• Toy Train Display by Wichita Toy Train Club and Museum, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at WaterWalk
• Dodgeball tournament, 11 a.m.- 3 p.m. at WaterWalk, sponsored by Monster Energy Drink
• I Bike Douglas tours, 11 a.m. - noon, organized by the Bike Walk Alliance - Wichita
• Tennis Fun Day, sponsored by the Mo Connelly Brinker Tennis Foundation of Kansas, with the U.S. Tennis Association, 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. at Ralph Wulz Riverside Tennis Center
• Arkansas River Coalition Canoe Rides, 11:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. under the Douglas St. bridge
• Celebrity Egg Toss, noon on Kennedy Plaza
• Show Tune Showcase with Music Theatre of Wichita, sponsored by Colby B. Sandlian, at 1 and 4 p.m. in Century II Concert Hall
• Guinness World Record Attempt: Longest Line of Bicycles, at 1 p.m. at WaterWalk Pavilion. Registration begins at noon.
• Paddle Battle kayak race preliminaries at 4:30 p.m. on the river at the Douglas St. bridge
• Coleman Country Concert with Jerrod Niemann on the Kennedy Plaza stage, with opening acts starting at 2:30 p.m. and headliner at 8:30 p.m.
• WaterWalk Pavilion concert, featuring O’Phil and Carrie Nation & the Speakeasy, 3 - 10 p.m.
• Hot Air Balloon glow, sponsored by Meineke, 6 - 9 p.m.

EVENTS FOR SUNDAY, June 1:
• A Salute to Aviation, sponsored by the City of Wichita, Airbus, Beechcraft, Cessna, Learjet, Spirit Aerosystems, Machinists Union District 70, Machinists Union District 839, WATC’s National Center for Aviation Training, WSU’s National Institute for Aviation Research, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers #271, Kansas Aviation Museum, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Eby Construction, Dondlinger Construction, Foulston-Siefkin, iSi Environmental, Lee Aerospace, Murfin Drilling Company, and TECT Aerospace.
o Remote Control Aircraft, Century II Exhibition Hall, 10 a.m. – 10 p.m.
o Planes on Main static displays, 10 a.m. – 10 p.m.
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o Wichita Aviation on Display, in Century II Exhibition Hall, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
o Kansas Air National Guard simulator and activities, 10 a.m. - 10 p.m.
o Fly Like and Eagle B-52 simulator, brought to you by Kansas Aviation Museum, on Main and Douglas, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
o Aviation Pioneers (historic interpreters as famous aviators), 11:30 a.m.-7:30 p.m.
o Rosie the Riveter Look-Alike Contest, 1-3 p.m. on Kennedy Plaza
o Wing-Eating Contest, 2-3 p.m. at Food Court Stage
o Paper Airplane Drop, 3 – 4 p.m. in Century II Exhibition Hall
o Flyovers of Wichita-made aircraft, over the Arkansas River, 3:30 - 4:30 p.m.
o Hot Air Balloons, sponsored by Meineke, launch at 6 p.m.
o Ad Astra Concert featuring Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, Kennedy Plaza Stage, openers beginning at 2 p.m., with headliner at 8:30 p.m.
• Jet Ski Racing, 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. on Arkansas River
• Arkansas River Coalition Canoe Rides, 10 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., under the Douglas St. bridge
• Toy Trains, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m., at WaterWalk, from Wichita Toy Train Club and Museum
• Kansas Army National Guard rock-climbing wall and display, 10 a.m. - 10 p.m.
• Alefs Rumble on the River motorcycle ride-in, noon -5 p.m., meeting at Alefs Harley-Davidson at 1-135 and 53rd St. north
• Classic Car Cruise-In with Blacktop Nationals, 1 - 5 p.m. at Main St. and Waterman
• Cardboard Regatta, 1 – 3 p.m. on the Arkansas River, south of the Douglas St. bridge
• Admiral’s Armada, 1 - 5 p.m. at the Wichita Sedgwick County Historical Museum
• Botanica Butterfly Festival, 1 – 5 p.m. at Botanica, 701 N. Amidon
• Wing Nuts Baseball, 1-5 p.m. at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium

The 43rd Riverfest takes place Friday through June 7 and offers a wide range of entertainment for all ages. Riverfest admission buttons are available – $5 for adults and $3 for children ages 6-12 – at Dillons, QuikTrip and AAA locations. 2014 official Riverfest sponsors include Bud Light, Drury Plaza Broadview Hotel, Metro Courier, Parr Sound & Lighting, Pepsi and PrairieLand Partners.

RIVERFEST PARTNERS, SPONSORS ENABLE WORLD-CLASS FESTIVAL
Sponsorship Support up 14 Percent; Program Collaborations Put Riverfest Among Top Outdoor Events Worldwide 

Sponsorship Support up 14 Percent; Program Collaborations Put Riverfest Among Top Outdoor Events Worldwide 

WICHITA, Kan., May 27, 2014 – Riverfest is Kansas’ largest community gathering and ranks among leading outdoor events worldwide, thanks to supporters that fund and help organize its concerts and other activities that draw hundreds of thousands of festivalgoers.

Funding from Riverfest’s nearly 200 sponsors – the only element of the festival’s performance known before the event – is up 14 percent from 2013’s total, which was 11 percent higher than in 2012, said Jarvis. In 2013, Riverfest sold nearly 105,000 admission buttons and had 360,000 total attendees. Over the years, the economic impact of Riverfest has been estimated at between $25 and $30 million.

“When thinking about the ways Wichita is world class – our role in aviation, entrepreneurship, etc. – you might not think of Riverfest,” said Mary Beth Jarvis, CEO of Wichita Festivals, Inc. “But each year it’s ranked by Pollstar as among the world’s largest festivals, and that’s because local companies and partners help us offer world-class concerts and programs, all for the cost of a Riverfest button.”

“Events that have made the festival great – such as the Koch Industries Twilight Pops Concert, Capitol Federal Fireworks, Kansas Health Foundation River Run, Spirit AeroSystems Rockin’ on the River Concert and Cox Kids Corner – represent large gifts to the community from these companies. Plus, some wonderful additions for 2014 are the St. Francis Ferris Wheel, the Westar Energy Laser Light Spectacular, and a day-long Salute to Aviation supported by the City of Wichita and aviation companies including Airbus, Beechcraft, Cessna, Learjet and Spirit AeroSystems,” said Jarvis.

“Our partners – more than 75 of them – have really thrown their support behind us this year,” said Ann Keefer, WFI’s vice president of programming. “They’ve brought us new events like Old Town Throwdown (a crossfit challenge), Archery Tag, Beach Volleyball, and a high-profile Gospelfest. In addition, they bring us favorites like the Hiland Dairy Ice Cream Social, Jet Ski races, CNH’s Buckaroo-Buckarette Rodeo, Wichita Children’s Theater, and a Music Theatre of Wichita showcase.

“As a bonus, several Riverfest activities have a component that benefits our community, such as the St. Francis Ferris Wheel, the Goodwill Cajun Food Fest, Numana’s Meals on the Midway, and the Fit ‘n’ Fun Zone that the Health and Wellness Coalition has helped us program to engage and encourage people to stay active and healthy,” said Keefer.

Also, local media organizations – such as Clear Channel Radio, KAKE, Connoisseur Media, Entercom Communications, Journal Broadcasting, KSN, Clear Channel Outdoor, KSAS Fox-TV, KWCH/Sunflower Broadcasting, Wichita magazine, KWLS, Mid-America Ag Network, 99.7 LiteFM, GoWichita and KMUW 89.1 FM – are promotional partners with Riverfest. These partners help publicize festival events and help organize programming, such as the KAKELand Touch-a-Truck event and KSN’s official Riverfest weather forecasts.

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“The bottom line is that Riverfest doesn’t happen without these generous sponsors and our hardworking partners,” Jarvis said. “Every Riverfest attendee owes them a big, ‘Thanks!’ for making amazing things possible for a $5 or $3 button.”

For 2014, official Riverfest sponsors include Bud Light, Drury Plaza Broadview Hotel, Metro Courier, Parr Sound & Lighting, Pepsi and PrairieLand Partners. Other major sponsors include the City of Wichita; Koch Industries, Inc.; Capitol Federal; Spirit AeroSystems; Cox Communications; the Kansas Health Foundation; Westar Energy; the Coleman Company; the Kansas Lottery; St. Francis Community Services, and WaterWalk/Consolidated Holdings.

Riverfest 2014 takes place Friday through June 7 in downtown Wichita. Celebrating its 43rd year, the festival offers a wide range of entertainment for all ages. Riverfest admission buttons are available now – $5 for adults and $3 for children ages 6-12 – at Dillons, QuikTrip and AAA locations.

 

RIVERFEST PARTNERS, SPONSORS ENABLE WORLD-CLASS FESTIVAL

Sponsorship Support up 14 Percent; Program Collaborations Put Riverfest Among Top Outdoor Events Worldwide 

WICHITA, Kan., May 27, 2014 – Riverfest is Kansas’ largest community gathering and ranks among leading outdoor events worldwide, thanks to supporters that fund and help organize its concerts and other activities that draw hundreds of thousands of festivalgoers.

Funding from Riverfest’s nearly 200 sponsors – the only element of the festival’s performance known before the event – is up 14 percent from 2013’s total, which was 11 percent higher than in 2012, said Jarvis. In 2013, Riverfest sold nearly 105,000 admission buttons and had 360,000 total attendees. Over the years, the economic impact of Riverfest has been estimated at between $25 and $30 million.

“When thinking about the ways Wichita is world class – our role in aviation, entrepreneurship, etc. – you might not think of Riverfest,” said Mary Beth Jarvis, CEO of Wichita Festivals, Inc. “But each year it’s ranked by Pollstar as among the world’s largest festivals, and that’s because local companies and partners help us offer world-class concerts and programs, all for the cost of a Riverfest button.”

“Events that have made the festival great – such as the Koch Industries Twilight Pops Concert, Capitol Federal Fireworks, Kansas Health Foundation River Run, Spirit AeroSystems Rockin’ on the River Concert and Cox Kids Corner – represent large gifts to the community from these companies. Plus, some wonderful additions for 2014 are the St. Francis Ferris Wheel, the Westar Energy Laser Light Spectacular, and a day-long Salute to Aviation supported by the City of Wichita and aviation companies including Airbus, Beechcraft, Cessna, Learjet and Spirit AeroSystems,” said Jarvis.

“Our partners – more than 75 of them – have really thrown their support behind us this year,” said Ann Keefer, WFI’s vice president of programming. “They’ve brought us new events like Old Town Throwdown (a crossfit challenge), Archery Tag, Beach Volleyball, and a high-profile Gospelfest. In addition, they bring us favorites like the Hiland Dairy Ice Cream Social, Jet Ski races, CNH’s Buckaroo-Buckarette Rodeo, Wichita Children’s Theater, and a Music Theatre of Wichita showcase.

“As a bonus, several Riverfest activities have a component that benefits our community, such as the St. Francis Ferris Wheel, the Goodwill Cajun Food Fest, Numana’s Meals on the Midway, and the Fit ‘n’ Fun Zone that the Health and Wellness Coalition has helped us program to engage and encourage people to stay active and healthy,” said Keefer.

Also, local media organizations – such as Clear Channel Radio, KAKE, Connoisseur Media, Entercom Communications, Journal Broadcasting, KSN, Clear Channel Outdoor, KSAS Fox-TV, KWCH/Sunflower Broadcasting, Wichita magazine, KWLS, Mid-America Ag Network, 99.7 LiteFM, GoWichita and KMUW 89.1 FM – are promotional partners with Riverfest. These partners help publicize festival events and help organize programming, such as the KAKELand Touch-a-Truck event and KSN’s official Riverfest weather forecasts.

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“The bottom line is that Riverfest doesn’t happen without these generous sponsors and our hardworking partners,” Jarvis said. “Every Riverfest attendee owes them a big, ‘Thanks!’ for making amazing things possible for a $5 or $3 button.”

For 2014, official Riverfest sponsors include Bud Light, Drury Plaza Broadview Hotel, Metro Courier, Parr Sound & Lighting, Pepsi and PrairieLand Partners. Other major sponsors include the City of Wichita; Koch Industries, Inc.; Capitol Federal; Spirit AeroSystems; Cox Communications; the Kansas Health Foundation; Westar Energy; the Coleman Company; the Kansas Lottery; St. Francis Community Services, and WaterWalk/Consolidated Holdings.

Riverfest 2014 takes place Friday through June 7 in downtown Wichita. Celebrating its 43rd year, the festival offers a wide range of entertainment for all ages. Riverfest admission buttons are available now – $5 for adults and $3 for children ages 6-12 – at Dillons, QuikTrip and AAA locations.

 

DONORS REQUESTED TO HELP THOSE IN NEED GET TO RIVERFEST

Celebrations for a Cause Program Allows Festival to be Inclusive
WICHITA, Kan., May 26, 2014 – Wichita Festivals, Inc. needs additional donors for its
Celebrations for a Cause program, which gets Riverfest buttons into the hands of adults and children served by local charities.

To date, about $3,500 has been collected for this effort, with nearly 1,000 buttons distributed to local and regional charities. Many more agencies have requested buttons, and donors are requested to give online at wichitariverfest.com or by contacting Wichita Festivals at 267-2817.

Agencies including the 22nd ARW at McConnell Air Force Base, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Catholic Charities, DUI Victims Center of Kansas, Envision, International Rescue Commission, Kansas Humane Society, KETCH, Starkey, the Wichita Children’s Home and three area churches have been allotted buttons for their families and clients.

“We are looking for additional generous donors for this program, because we want more of these worthy members of our community to be able to join us at Riverfest,” said Mary Beth Jarvis, president and CEO of Wichita Festivals, Inc.

Companies donating to the effort so far in 2014 include Brand Plumbing, Inc.; Carey, Thomas, Hoover & Breault, Inc.; Comfort Care Homes; IT Kansas; Mitchell Media; P.B. Hildale Co., Inc.; and Wichita Federal Credit Union. Individual donors include Steve Dillard, Bob Dool, Helene Longhofer, and Ron Ryan, as well as members of the Riverfest Operations Committee and the Wichita Wagonmasters. Celebrations for a Cause was reintroduced in 2013 as part of the effort to ensure Riverfest would be an inclusive community event.

The nine-day festival takes place Friday through June 7 in downtown Wichita. Celebrating its 43rd year, the festival offers a wide range of entertainment for all ages, including concerts, sports activities, fireworks, the Cox Kids’ Corner and much more. Riverfest admission buttons are available now – $5 for adults and $3 for children ages 6-12 – at Dillons, QuikTrip and AAA locations.

Special thanks to official Riverfest sponsors: Bud Light, Drury Plaza Broadview Hotel, Metro Courier, Parr Sound & Lighting, Pepsi and PrairieLand Partners.

Meritrust Tot Trot Artwork Competition Winner Announced

WICHITA, Kan. - Wichita Festivals, Inc. (WFI), parent organization of Riverfest, announced the winner of the Meritrust Tot Trot Artwork Competition today at an assembly held at Seltzer Elementary School. Second grader Amya Xayavong from Seltzer was named overall winner of the competition.More than 1,200 contest entries were received from Kindergartners, 1st and 2nd graders representing seven area public and parochial schools. Amya’s design will be featured on the T-shirt provided to each Meritrust Tot Trot entrant. The Meritrust Tot Trot is a component of the Kansas Health Foundation River Run, a signature event of Riverfest.

Amya received a $50 gift certificate as well as a framed t-shirt of her winning design. Art instructor Marcia Scurfield received a $100 gift certificate as well as a framed T-shirt. Each of Amya’s classmates received a complimentary Meritrust Tot Trot entry. Colvin Elementary won a $400 prize for most entries in the competition (Amy Lawson). Second place winner was Seltzer Elementary (Marcia Scurfield), and third place went to St. Francis of Assisi School (Lisa Lang). 

Individual winners in each grade division also win prizes; 1st place winners won a $50 gift certificate, 2nd place winners received a $25 gift certificate, and 3rd place winners received a $10 gift certificate. Division competition winners are as follows:

Kindergarten
• 1st Place – Grant Taylor (St. Francis) $50 gift certificate
• 2nd Place – Olivia Lentz (St. Francis) $25 gift certificate
• 3rd Place – Luke Tran (St. Francis) $10 gift certificate

1st Grade
• 1st Place – Alia Pham(St. Francis) $50 gift certificate
• 2nd Place – Yie-Jye Tran (Seltzer) $25 gift certificate
• 3rd Place – Ann Hoang (Seltzer) $10 gift certificate

2nd Grade
• 1st Place – Amya Xayavong (Seltzer) $50 gift certificate
• 2nd Place – Alexa Todd (Seltzer) $25 gift certificate
• 3rd Place – Ethan Wessley (Seltzer) $10 gift certificate

Tot Trot, an official Riverfest event, is sponsored by Meritrust Credit Union. The event is a fun run for children aged two to seven, where everyone who crosses the finish line receives a medallion. The Meritrust Tot Trot will begin at 10:45 a.m., Saturday, May 31 on the Lewis Street Bridge in downtown Wichita. Registrants receive an event T-shirt and Riverfest button. Registration for the event begins May 2 at select Meritrust locations, GoRun locations and Wichita Festivals, 444 E. William. Entry forms are available on line at www.wichitariverfest.com. 

Special thanks to official Riverfest sponsors: Bud Light, Drury Plaza Broadview Hotel, Metro Courier, Parr Sound & Lighting, Pepsi and PrairieLand Partners.
 

MUSIC HEADLINERS ANNOUNCED FOR RIVERFEST

A wide variety of favorite musical acts are all free with a Riverfest button
March 17, 2014 - WICHITA, Kan.– Wichita Festivals announced today Riverfest 2014’s concert headliners, an array of national stars and diverse talents festivalgoers can enjoy for just the price of a Riverfest button.

The Wichita Symphony Orchestra will open the festival with the Koch Twilight Pops Concert featuring Music Theatre of Wichita on Kennedy Plaza. This popular tradition follows the Sundown Parade and is a prelude to the Capitol Federal Fireworks. Roots rockers Moreland & Arbuckle will perform at WaterWalk Pavilion that night.

May 31, Jerrod Niemann will headline the Coleman Country Concert with Chuck Wicks as the opening act. Niemann, fast becoming a favorite on the country charts, was born in Harper, Kan., and raised in Liberal. “Drink to That All Night” is the hit single from Niemann’s new album, which will be released March 25.

On Sunday, June 1, a day-long Salute to Aviation will culminate with rock legends Joan Jett and The Blackhearts. Jett and her band were launched to major stardom when her cover of “I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll” hit number one on the charts in 1982. “Crimson and Clover,” ‘I Hate Myself for Loving You,” ‘Do You Wanna Touch Me,” and “Bad Reputation” are just a few of her most popular hits. She has three albums that are certified Platinum or Gold.

Hip-hop pioneer Grandmaster Flash will DJ the Wet & Wild Neon Dance Party on Wednesday, June 4. This multi-generational dance party will feature a variety of water elements to beat the heat and stars the front man of the Furious Five, who topped the charts with “The Message” in 1982 and brought hip-hop to the mainstream.

Kelley Hunt will bring her special brand of R&B-laced blues – and her Wichita CD-release party – to the Thursday, June 5, Cajun festivities on Kennedy Plaza. An accomplished guitarist, piano player, vocalist and songwriter, Hunt was born in Kansas City and has a dedicated following throughout the United States and Europe. A Red Dirt Country concert will kick it out on the WaterWalk Pavilion stage that night.

On June 6, The Indie Showcase on Kennedy Plaza will feature The Mowgli’s and Wild Child. On the WaterWalk stage, eighties power pop group The Romantics will perform their string of chart-toppers, including “Talking in Your Sleep,” “One in a Million” and “What I Like About You.”

Saturday night, June 7, the Spirit AeroSystems Rockin’ On the River concert brings Marky Ramone’s Blitzkrieg to rock downtown Wichita with their critically-acclaimed roadshow tribute to America’s punk heroes, The Ramones. Austin-based blues/funk soul act Black Joe Lewis will open the show. A closing night extravaganza worthy of Riverfest 2014’s theme, “Hoopla in Doo-Dah!,” will feature a laser light show and the March Forth Marching Band from Portland, Ore.

A number of local and regional acts will also perform at Riverfest 2014, including O’Phil, Vagabond Swing, Carrie Nation & The Speakeasy, DJ Carbon, Green River Ordinance, Honkey Suckle, Timmy Jonas & The Whiskey Militia, Soleb Theory, Japanese Game Show, Peculiar Pretzlemen, Nouveau Quintette, Choro Cats and many others. In addition to the Kennedy Plaza and WaterWalk Pavilion stages, the Century II Food Court stage and Star Lumber Floating stage at A. Price Woodard Park will be activated throughout the festival.

Gospel Fest and Golden World interfaith concerts on Monday, June 2; a classic country concert and a Throwback Day concert on Tuesday, June 3 are planned with performers to be announced.

Admission to all Riverfest concerts is free with a Riverfest button. Adult buttons are $5, and children’s buttons (available while supplies last for kids ages 6-12) are $3. Riverfest buttons will be available at major button retailors (Dillons, QuikTrip, AAA) beginning May 9.
 

Ron Ryan is Admiral Windwagon Smith XLI, Ambassador for Riverfest 2014

43rd Riverfest is set to include Aviation Salute, return of Hot Air Balloons, a giant Ferris Wheel, More!
March 12, 2014 — WICHITA, Kan.— During a press conference today at the Kansas Aviation Museum, Wichita Festivals, Inc. announced Ron Ryan as Admiral Windwagon Smith XLI and shared elements of Riverfest 2014.

“Ron is going to be an amazing Admiral,” said Mary Beth Jarvis, president and CEO of Wichita Festivals, Inc. “He is not only an energetic and inspiring business leader, he has been a thorough and tireless supporter of our events over the years. We couldn’t ask for a better advocate for our community and this great event that brings us all together each year.”

Ryan, through his business, Ryan International Airlines, sponsored the festival’s opening-night Sundown Parade for years and has volunteered at and supported Riverfest as a 27-year member of the Wichita Wagonmasters. He was instrumental in bringing the Wagonmaster’s River Tours to the festival in 2012 and 2013.

“I feel extremely lucky and privileged and an awesome sense of responsibility, as Riverfest is such an important event in our community,” Ryan said. “I look forward to meeting kids of all ages, and trust that the 2014 festival will bring good memories for many people – especially families. There is no better bargain in the world than a Riverfest button.”

Ryan, as the official ambassador of Riverfest 2014, will visit children in local hospitals, speak to Wichita civic organizations and help host dozens of events during the nine days of Riverfest, May 30-June 7. He will be assisted by the 2014 Prairie Schooner Mates, who he introduced at today’s event. These high school juniors are selected by their schools to be youth ambassadors for Riverfest.

In addition to revealing the admiral’s identity, Jarvis also shared some news items for Riverfest 2014:
• A 90-foot Ferris Wheel will preside over the Cox Kids Corner and other family activities in the WaterWalk area south of Century II for all nine days of the festival.
• A world record attempt, for longest continuous line of bicycles, will take place Saturday, May 31.
• Hot Air Balloons will return to the festival, with flights scheduled May 30 – June 1.
• Sunday, June 1, will be a day-long Salute to Aviation. It will include flight-themed activities and celebrate Wichita’s role as the Air Capital of the World.

“How fitting that we’re dedicating a day to honoring our aviation industry and heritage in a year when our Admiral is a pilot and an aviation entrepreneur and enthusiast?” Jarvis said. “We’re planning a lineup of events and activities that will include something for everyone, whether you’re a member of Wichita’s aviation community or simply a proud citizen of the Air Capital.”
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Other new Riverfest areas and events will join returning favorites, such as the Koch Twilight Pops concert and Capitol Federal Fireworks on opening night; the Kansas Heath Foundation River Run race series, set for Saturday, May 31; the Hiland Dairy Ice Cream Social; and many more. The festival will close on June 7 with an extravaganza suitable for this year’s theme, “Hoopla in Doo Dah,” featuring live entertainment, a headliner concert and spectacular laser light show.

Riverfest headliner concerts will be on both the Kennedy Plaza and WaterWalk Pavilion stages throughout the festival. There will also be musical performances on the Star Lumber Floating Stage, on the Arkansas River in A. Price Woodard Park, and the Food Court stage, by Century II drive. The concert line-up will be released at noon on Monday, March 17 at Wichitariverfest.com, on the Wichita River Festival Facebook page and through Riverfest’s media partners.

Riverfest buttons will be available at retail locations (Dillons, QuikTrip, AAA) starting May 9.

“Riverfest is a chance for families to share fun and entertainment in a healthy and safe environment while spending very little money,” Ryan said. “Families are the fabric that holds our community, state and country together. Even in this electronic age, we want families and generations to be able to share meaningful time together. Riverfest provides a terrific opportunity for togetherness and memory-building.”

Here are this year’s Prairie Schooner Mates:

Cooper Allison, Wichita High School Southeast
Katie Beth Bakel, Wichita High School Heights
Claire Byers, Andover Central High School
Agape Camden, Derby High School
Kenton Criser, Andover High School
Jessica Cross, Wichita Northeast High School
Elizabeth DeSantiago, Wichita High School West
Zac Donley, Kapaun Mt. Carmel
Danny Edmond, Cheney High School
Trenton Edwards, Wichita Collegiate
Ellie Hardesty, Maize High School
Alexandria Lashley, Bishop Carroll
Natasha Lawrence, Wichita High School Heights
McKenna Martin, Wichita Northwest High School
Jayden Massey, Northeast Magnet
Max McClean, Trinity Academy
Samantha Miller, Campus High School
Leah Nelson, Eisenhower High School
Michael Norton, Sunrise Christian Academy
Stephanie Nutt, Wichita High School North
Stephanie Orr, Valley Center High School
Sarea Recalde-Phillips, The Independent School
Madison Seiler, Andale High School
Vikas Tirukonda, Wichita High School East
Jessie Villaponda, Kingman High School
Stephanie Willard, Wichita High School South.

JOIN THE ‘HOOPLA IN DOO-DAH!’ AT RIVERFEST 2014

Iconic button and poster artwork unveiled; first peek at the 2014 festival
February 12, 2014—WICHITA, Kan.—Wichita Festivals, Inc. today revealed the iconic artwork for Riverfest 2014 and offered a sneak peek at the upcoming festival at a noontime press event at Emprise Bank, sponsor of the 2014 artwork contest.

Wichita-based artist Scott Dawson won this year’s button and poster artwork competition, besting 29 other artists with his colorful depiction of a leaping harlequin celebrating amid confetti and fireworks with the Wichita skyline in the background.

“Scott’s artwork with its bright color palette and movement says ‘celebrate,’ and we are excited to help Wichita do just that at this year’s world-class festival,” said Mary Beth Jarvis, President/CEO of Wichita Festivals. “The poster and button art really capture the energy of this year’s theme, Hoopla in Doo-Dah!”

Harley, the 2014 festival mascot, and his fish pal, Skip, will adorn all manner of promotional materials and merchandise and invite festival-goers to the largest community celebration in the state of Kansas: Riverfest 2014, May 30-June 7.

A version of the poster artwork will be featured on the $5 adult button. The $3 child’s button, which was introduced for kids 6-12 in 2013, will feature Skip. (As always, children 5 years old and younger get into the festival for free.) While supplies last, child buttons will be available at major button retailors, including AAA, Dillons and QuikTrip.

Jarvis also shared a first peek at the upcoming festival, emphasizing that a strong musical line-up is planned. “We are booking a knock-out schedule of bands that features something for every taste, whether you love classic rock, country, classical, gospel, blues or bands on the top 40 charts right now. You can expect a wide variety of great performances, activities, sports competitions and cultural celebrations.”

New events and fresh locations for favorite events are planned. “We will be moving the popular Kids Corner to the WaterWalk area, which is more easily maneuvered and gives families more room to play,” Jarvis said. “And we have a happy hour area for adults planned in A. Price Woodard Park, with music, food and drink tastings, and games like bocce ball and horseshoes. It will be a unique place for adults to relax on the river.” This playground for grown-ups has been dubbed Ackerman’s Backyard, after early-1900s Wichita businessman, Joseph Ackerman, on whose Ackerman’s Island the amusement center Wonderland offered entertainment from 1905 to 1918.

“Two changes implemented in 2013 resulted in such positive response that we will embrace them again in 2014,” said Jarvis. “A more securely gated perimeter allowed the festival to maintain a safe environment and great energy for attendees of all ages. And again, nearly all Riverfest events, including every concert, will be free with your Riverfest button.”

A freelance designer for more than 20 years, Dawson lives and works in Wichita. His work has been commissioned by many companies, advertising agencies, and design firms around the world. A three-time winner of the poster art contest, Dawson’s other winning designs featured a butterfly motif in 2011 and a swan constructed of musical instruments in 1992. The artist received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Wichita State University, with continued studies at the Rhode Island School of Design and Art Center School of Design in Pasadena, Calif.

“My idea was to represent every festival-goer with this harlequin-like figure, jumping and partying along the river in downtown Wichita with a little fish buddy,” said artwork contest winner Dawson. “Taking a figurative approach proved somewhat difficult, since you don’t want to alienate anyone based on gender or race. Having blue skin that blends into a multi-patterned outfit, this character ought to be tough to find in reality. He’s definitely imaginary, but still human enough that we all can relate to some degree.”

A group of design professionals judged the competition and selected Dawson’s design. Representatives of Emprise Bank, the sponsor of the 2014 Artwork Contest, and Docuplex, sponsor of the 2014 Riverfest poster, presented Dawson with the $3,500 award for the winning design.

Due to a strong response in 2013, Wichita Festivals will continue the Celebrations for a Cause program, through which businesses and individuals can purchase Riverfest buttons for donation to Wichita charities such as Big Brothers Big Sisters, the Boys and Girls Clubs, Wichita Children’s Home, Starkey, KETCH and others.
“Support of generous donors and area businesses will allow us to host these worthy members of our community for special activities and let them enjoy nine days of fun,” said Jarvis. Those wishing to participate in the Celebrations for a Cause campaign can visit wichitariverfest.com to make a donation.

The Riverfest 2014 concert line-up will be released on March 17 via social media and Riverfest’s many media partners. Buttons for Riverfest 2014 go on sale at wichitariverfest.com on March 14, and will be available at retail locations beginning May 9. Discounted early bird registration for Kansas Health Foundation River Run has begun and will continue through Feb. 28.


For more information about Wichita Festivals, Inc. or its events, contact Teri Mott, director of marketing and communication, at (316) 267-2817 or at [email protected] A digital press kit containing the 2014 artwork, more about the artist and this press release is available at WichitaRiverfest.com.

WICHITA FESTIVALS' INVITATION: ‘BRING YOUR PASSION TO RIVERFEST'

Dec. 2, 2013 - WICHITA, Kan. – Planning for Riverfest 2014 is underway and Wichita Festivals, Inc. is reaching out to individuals and businesses with this message: “Bring Your Passion to Riverfest.”

“What do you love? Is it chess or bridge? Disc golf or horseshoes? Stepping or tango-dancing? Or do you have a musical or artistic talent to share? A product to sell? A group of co-workers who’d like to do something fun together? You can bring what you’re passionate about to the ‘big stage’ of Riverfest and share your interests or business with thousands of friends and neighbors,” said Mary Beth Jarvis, Wichita Festivals’ president and CEO.

The not-for-profit organization that produces Riverfest, WFI is asking those who live in and around Wichita to take a role in the festival, the largest celebration of its kind in the state of Kansas. Citizens can get involved in many ways:
• Performers: musicians, actors, dancers, martial arts experts, jugglers, magicians and more are sought.
• Event organizers: Hobbyists are encouraged to turn their interest into an event.
• Vendors of food and other items for the Festival Food Court, Marketplace and other areas.
• Artists and graphic designers: Participate in the Poster and Button-Art Contest for a chance to win $3,500 and have your creation be the signature image of the 2014 festival (Deadline: Dec. 27).
• Financial supporters:
    > Sponsors – Companies large and small donate money or in-kind services, get recognized for their support, and may have the chance to promote their business at the festival.
    > Festival Crew members – Charitable contributions make it possible for festival attendees to get world-class entertainment for just the price of a Riverfest button.
    > Celebrations for a Cause donors – Allow buttons to be given to worthy citizens who might not otherwise have the chance to attend community events.
• Volunteers: Joining Festivals’ award-winning volunteer team is both fun and fulfilling!

“The success of this world-class festival has always come from the energy, talents, organizational skills, and volunteer time that people share with us,” said Jarvis. “This community celebration is truly the sum of ideas and support from all walks of life in Wichita.”

Participation forms are available online at WichitaRiverfest.com. On the website, entertainers, vendors, artists, event organizers, volunteers and others can download forms, get details on how to participate, or contact Wichita Festivals’ staff for more information.
 

NEW DIRECTORS AND OFFICERS ON BOARD AT WICHITA FESTIVALS, INC.

Nov. 20, 2013 - WICHITA, Kan.– Barry Schwan and Gary Austerman have joined the board of directors of Wichita Festivals, Inc.

“As we work to create world-class events for this community, it’s so valuable to have strong and supportive board leadership,” said Mary Beth Jarvis, president and CEO of WFI. “These two gentlemen have a long history of supporting our organization and many others in the community, and we are grateful that they have agreed to share their expertise with us.”

The newly installed 2013-14 slate of officers for the 17-member board includes Chair Kaye Monk-Morgan, Chair-elect Chris Goebel, Secretary Prisca Barnes and Treasurer Alan Howarter. Immediate past Chair, Bill Gardner, remains as part of the leadership team as well.

Wichita Festivals, Inc. (WFI) is a 501(c)3 non-profit corporation with the purpose of creating diverse community celebrations within the Wichita community. The primary events produced by WFI are Riverfest (May 30- June 7, 2014) and Autumn & Art at Bradley Fair (September 12-14, 2014).

EMPRISE BANK HELPS LAUNCH ARTWORK CONTEST FOR RIVERFEST 2014

Submissions of Poster, Button Art around “Hoopla in Doo-Dah” Theme Due December 27


October 29, 2013 - WICHITA, Kan .– Sponsor Emprise Bank and Wichita Festivals, Inc. have put out the call for local artists and graphic designers to propose Riverfest 2014 poster and button designs built around the theme, “Hoopla in Doo-Dah.”

“We are pleased to be involved with Riverfest once again as sponsor of the poster artwork contest,” said Mike Michaelis, Chairman of Emprise Bank. “It fits well with our passion for the arts, and we look forward to seeing the winning artwork. The judges won’t have an easy task.”

The artist who submits the selected artwork will receive a $3,500 cash prize. All artists 18 years of age or older are invited to participate, regardless of where they reside. No fee is required to enter. Entries must be received by 5 p.m. Friday, Dec. 27, 2013, to be eligible.

“Every year, Riverfest is Wichita’s biggest backyard party. It brings citizens of all ages and backgrounds together to usher in the summer and celebrate our city,” said Mary Beth Jarvis, president/CEO of WFI. “Who wouldn’t want to create the artwork that will be the central image for such an iconic event?”

The winning artwork will be featured on the Riverfest 2014 poster, buttons, T-shirt and other items, and will be used as the central artwork in advertisements for the nine-day annual community celebration, scheduled for May 30-June 7, 2014 in downtown Wichita.

Complete information about the contest, including the application form, can be downloaded at WichitaRiverfest.com as of Oct. 29, 2013.

 

COMMUNITY EMBRACES REINVIGORATED RIVERFEST
 

Most buttons sold since 2008; Overall results very positive

July 25, 2013 - WICHITA, Kan .– Final results for Riverfest 2013 released by Wichita Festivals, Inc. today affirm this year’s event was safe, well-attended and a financial success.

According to Wichita Festivals, Inc. President and CEO, Mary Beth Jarvis, button sales were up 38 percent from 2012 and, at 104,000, are the highest they’ve been since 2008’s 125,000.

Sponsorship revenue for Riverfest was up 15 percent from 2012. A new “Riverfest Corporate Hosts” program for small to medium-sized businesses and several new brand and event partners accounted for much of the increase. More than 125 sponsors and media partners provided support.

Riverfest 2013, which had approximately 360,000 total attendees, saw new events added to the lineup and some old favorites reinstated. The festival perimeter was more thoroughly gated than in recent years, and the policy requiring attendees to wear a button was more strictly enforced.

‘These changes contributed to an outstanding security record, according to our partners at the Wichita Police Department, and helped our attendees enjoy Riverfest activities together with their friends and neighbors inside the festival zone,” Jarvis said.

“Downtown never feels more alive than during Riverfest, and this year's celebration was a great one,” said Wichita City Council member Janet Miller. “Citizens and visitors alike enjoyed the entertainment and cultural events in a safe, welcoming environment, thanks to great work by Riverfest volunteers and collaboration with area attractions and City departments."

City Council member Lavonta Williams added, “It was wonderful to see so many people return to Riverfest this year. I’m especially delighted to see the efforts made to include a broad range of citizens and make people of all ages and backgrounds feel welcome. Riverfest 2013 felt truly like a community celebration. Congratulations to Mary Beth and her staff for a successful, fun event.”

This year, 4,462 volunteers donated nearly 18,000 hours of time to tasks ranging from selling buttons and cleaning tables to driving forklifts and loading kids into paddle boats. “Volunteers are the heart and soul of Riverfest. They make it all happen,” said Todd Johnson, the 40th person to don the iconic hat, sword and red jacket of Riverfest’s most visible ambassador, Admiral Windwagon Smith.

Because of the lower-priced children’s buttons and the discounted buttons donated via the festival’s charity program, button revenue rose by only 29 percent. “The price breaks made a real difference in our revenue, but we believe in these initiatives,” said Jarvis. “We sold 14,000 of the new children’s buttons and got great feedback from families. In addition, nearly 4,300 worthy citizens who may not otherwise have had a chance to enjoy Riverfest were our guests, thanks to donors giving nearly $15,000 to the Cessna Aircraft Company Celebrations for a Cause program.”
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One negative measure in 2013 was corporate button sales, which were down 20 percent, reaching their lowest level in years. “For 2014, we will focus on recruiting additional Riverfest Corporate Hosts and connecting better with Wichita businesses who may be interested in team-building and volunteer opportunities, as well as button purchases, for their employees,” said Jarvis. Festival organizers plan to approach employers earlier, particularly downtown businesses and organizations whose workers were surprised by the renewed emphasis on having buttons to access the festival zone, including the food court.

The mix of old and new events helped to energize this year’s festival and brought many comparisons to the “feel” and “spirit” of previous successful years. Attendees applauded the return of festival favorites including Cajun Food Fest and the Block Party. New events such as the Cardboard Regatta, Admirals’ Armada, Envision Celebrate Abilities and Touch-A-Truck showed great promise for becoming tomorrow’s cherished traditions.

Programming for targeted demographics – including Senior AM, Smallgrass films, and the Neon Dance Party – and offering amenities such as the Bike Valet and discounts to local museums & attractions proved extremely popular too. 

“The staff and I are so grateful for all the help, support and advice we’ve gotten so far,” Jarvis said. “We will continue listening, so we can keep this great community celebration growing. We look forward to planning a 2014 Riverfest that is fun and engaging for people of all ages and offers even more interactive and memorable experiences in the festival zone.”

Riverfest Official Sponsors: Bombardier Learjet, Bud Light, Drury Plaza Hotel Broadview, Metro Courier, Midwest Ford Dealers, Parr Sound & Lighting, Pepsi, and PraireLand Partners.

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For additional information on Riverfest 2013 results, see the post-festival news release detailing day-by-day attendance and other highlights, as well as the Cessna Aircraft Company Celebrations for a Cause summary release. For more information about Wichita Festivals, Inc. or its events, contact Teri Mott at (316) 267-2817 or [email protected] .

 

RIVERFEST 2013: CHANGES, GOOD WEATHER HELP CREATE POSITIVE RESULTS

Early numbers indicate growth in attendance, button sales. Full financial picture, event feedback still being compiled.

June 12, 2013 - WICHITA, Kan .– While complete sales and cost numbers continue to be compiled, Wichita Festivals, Inc., reported today that total attendance for the nine-day event was approximately 360,000–up 30 percent from 2012.

Other Riverfest 2013 results in to date: Food court ticket sales rose 11 percent, while on-site button sales spiked from 12,000 in 2012 to more than 30,000 in 2013.

“We did a lot of listening and learning in these past few months,” said Wichita Festivals, Inc. President and CEO Mary Beth Jarvis. “We worked to plan a festival that was responsive to the community’s voice, and would be fun and engaging for people of all ages across our area. We’re pleased with the early numbers that are in and we have been delighted to hear from festivalgoers who liked the variety of music, food and family activities and had a great time at Riverfest 2013.”

The festival’s 42nd incarnation featured a number of changes. A children’s button was offered for the first time in the festival’s history, new events were added to the lineup, and some old favorites were reintroduced. The festival perimeter was more securely gated than in recent years and the policy requiring attendees to wear a button was more strictly enforced.

“We’ll continue to compile our financial results,” Jarvis said. “We’ll also be working hard to gather feedback on what people liked best and what we should rethink for next year, so we can continue to improve this great community celebration.”

Sponsorships and donations from businesses and citizens, as well as thousands of hours of service from board members, committee members and more than 4,000 volunteers, make Riverfest possible. More than 125 sponsors and media partners provided support for the 2013 festival, including Riverfest Official Sponsors: Bombardier Learjet, Bud Light, Drury Plaza Hotel Broadview, Metro Courier, Midwest Ford Dealers, Parr Sound & Lighting, Pepsi, and PraireLand Partners.

“Volunteers are the heart and soul of Riverfest,” said Todd Johnson, Admiral Windwagon Smith XL. “From the Prairie Schooner Mates, to the Red Shirts, to folks volunteering for the very first time, these are the people who make the fun happen.”

Here are some day-by-day highlights from this year’s festival:
- On opening night, approximately 70,000 attendees lined the streets, surrounded Century II, and later assembled on the banks of the Arkansas River for the Walmart Sundown Parade, Koch Industries Twilight Pops Concert featuring the Wichita Symphony Orchestra and Chris Mann, and the Capitol Federal Fireworks.
- Saturday, June 1 took off with the popular Kansas Health Foundation River Run. Runners of all ages participated in the GoRun 10k, the Meritrust 2-Mile race, the Greater Wichita YMCA 2-Mile Family Walk, and the Meritrust Tot Trot. That evening, more than 10,000 fans welcomed blues legend and former Wichitan Mike Finnigan at the Spirit Aerosystems Rockin’ on the River Concert.
- Sunday, June 2-Tuesday, June 4 saw attendees from all walks of life enjoying the nostalgic Learjet Throwback Day in celebration of Lear’s 50th anniversary, jet ski racing, the gospel concert, Military Salute, KWLS Michael Martin Murphey bluegrass show, and the new Envision Foundation Celebrate Abilities event.
- Festivalgoers came out in droves again on Wednesday, June 5 as more than 22,000 attended the Hiland Dairy Ice Cream Social and KFDI’s Kick It Up Country Concert featuring Montgomery Gentry, sponsored by The Coleman Company, Inc., and Midwest Ford Dealers. The WaterWalk Pavilion opened up to host 5,000 visitors at the Westar Energy Block Party.
- Back by popular demand, Cajun Food Fest was the perfect lead-in to swing band Big Bad Voodoo Daddy on Thursday, June 6, with 35,000 attendees visiting that day.
- More than 35,000 festivalgoers gathered downtown on Friday, June 7 to dance at the WaterWalk’s Neon Party and to listen to Big Head Todd and the Monsters, headline act of the Indie Concert on Kennedy Plaza.
- Closing-day crowds enjoyed Riverfest Marketplace, an all-day Zumba party at WaterWalk, and more than 300 tons of sand trucked into Kennedy Plaza for the Riverfest Beach Party. Despite a thunderstorm suspending festival operations for more than an hour, 12,000 enthusiastic fans stayed to be a part of a world record attempt (wearing Taco Bell and Pizza Hut sunglasses from Fugate Enterprises) and enjoy the First Council Casino Beach Party Concert with The Go-Go’s and the Airbus Americas Fireworks Finale. 

“While measuring attendance is not an exact science,” Jarvis said, “We did our best, with help from those in the Wichita Police Department who have experience gauging crowd sizes, to reach these figures and estimate the attendees in our Cox Kids’ Corner, down at the WaterWalk Pavilion, and out at events–such as the golf, softball, and beach volleyball tournaments–that took place elsewhere.”

For more information about Wichita Festivals, Inc. or its events, contact Teri Mott at (316) 267-2817 or [email protected]

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