Wichita River Festival opens with the Sundown Parade and a fireworks display along the Arkansas River which is launched from 3 locations. Past festivals have had a zip line across the Arkansas River, jet ski races, beach volleyball, bicycle tours, helicopter rides, horse rides, a hockey tournament, the "upscale" tent at WaterWalk with restaurant dining and musical acts, and many other musical venues.
Most activities at the River Fest are close to the Arkansas River. There is even a floating stage where the breeze off the water helps cool visitors on the hot June days.
The opening night of the festival (Friday May 31) includes a couple of big events which can be appreciated without purchasing tickets. The Sundown Parade begins at 6:30PM. The route starts at 3rd & Main, travels down Main to Douglas, west on Douglas to Waco and north on Waco to 3rd. Then at 10PM, the Opening Night Fireworks is along the Arkansas River and choreographed to a unique musical arrangement which is live simulcast on 97.1 BOB-FM.
Snce 2016, the Wichita Blacktop Nationals are held during the final weekend of Wichita River Festival. Formerly in August, the three day car show includes classic & new car displays, competitions and hands-on demonstrations. They will be June 7 & 8 in 2019.
River Fest was born in 1972 as the Wichitennial River Festival and Traders Day. Approximately 2,000 buttons were sold at $1 each.
copyright 2011-2018 by Keith Stokes