The official first day of autumn was Thursday of this week, so you know what that means: Pumpkin spice lattes are back en vogue, corn mazes and pumpkin patches are open, as well as some haunted houses.
The weather recently may belie the fact that autumn is upon us, but soon those temperatures will begin to fall.
This weekend, while jam-packed with events in the Wichita area, may be complicated by a large storm system currently predicted to come through the area Saturday afternoon into Sunday. But then again, what do I know? Forecasts often change.
If weather is a concern, be sure to call ahead and make sure the event you’re planning on attending is still happening.
To see my listing of live music in the Wichita area this weekend, click here.
FREE: Parking spots transformed into pop-up parks
8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Fri.
If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to have miniature pop-up parks throughout the general downtown area, you may be in luck. Park(ing) Day is from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Friday – a free event that’s intended to transform parallel parking spots in front of participating businesses into miniature pop-up parks for the day. The Eagle is participating in Park(ing) Day, and we have lots of fun games and prizes planned. We have face-in-hole gag newspapers you can take pictures with, to provide for hilarity and general mirth. The best part: it’s all free.
Run in the Race for the Cure
7:45 a.m. Sat.
Put on your pink, because the annual Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure is early Saturday morning at the WaterWalk Plaza downtown. The Race for the Cure, one of the first charity 5Ks to hit Wichita, is a truly powerful experience if you stick around for the survivor ceremonies. It’s not too late to register for the race – you can do so by visiting www.komenkansas.org. Registration for the 5K is $30 (untimed) or $35 (competitive) and registration for the 10K is $40 (untimed) or $45 (competitive). The registration tent opens at 6:45 a.m. Saturday. The 10K starts at 7:45 a.m. and hte 5K starts at 8 a.m. If the route remains unchanged from last year, it should be an easy, relatively flat and fast course.
FREE: Art Garden party and pop art exhibition opening
10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sat.
Saturday is a big day at the Wichita Art Museum. Not only is it free admission day, but it’s also the opening of a new exhibition, “Sticky, Shiny, Smooth: Pop Art and the Senses.” The exhibition, which features works by Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein and other classic pop artists, is a multi-sensory experience. You can’t touch the art (except for furry blue benches to sit on throughout), but the art will stimulate your senses. From 3 to 10 p.m. Saturday, the museum is hosting a party to celebrate the first anniversary of the opening of its Art Garden. Food trucks, live music and other entertainment will provide for a fun, free evening.
Taste some of the best chili in town
The 33rd annual Wichita Wagonmasters Downtown Chili Cookoff starts at noon Saturday, but if you want first dibs on some hot chili, you’d best be in line before then. The chili cookoff is along Douglas between St. Francis and the Douglas overpass near Union Station. Attendance is free, but a tasting kit will cost you $5 (and who would just want to go to a chili cookoff without tasting anything?). Various local restaurants have been added to the list, as per the Eagle’s Denise Neil, including Emerson Biggin’s, Garden of Eatin’, River City Brewery, The Monarch and District Taqueria. Get there early and come hungry.
Take your pooch to Midwest Dogfest
1 to 5 p.m. Sat.
Off-leash play time in a 10-acre dog park, treats, socialization – what more could a dog want? Midwest Dogfest, a fundraiser for the Wichita Animal Action League is from 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday at the Chisholm Creek Pet Resort, 6260 N. Hillside. Admission is $5. For humans, there will be shopping, yoga, a silent auction, a biergarten, food trucks and various canine demonstrations. An important caveat: People must clean up after their dogs if nature calls – poop-scooping bags will be provided.
FREE: ‘Zootopia’ screening at NewMarket Square
7:30 p.m. Sat.
NewMarket Square’s series of free, outdoor family movie screenings continues at 7:30 p.m. Saturday with a screening of “Zootopia.” Guests are invited to bring blankets or folding chairs to sit and enjoy the movie under the stars. Films are shown in the NewMarket Square plaza (in front of Old Navy and Maurices, at the TGI Friday’s entrance off Maize Road). Free popcorn, water, and popsicles will be provided at dusk. The event is sponsored by Redemption Church in Maize, which would be the place to call to see if it’s still on if the weather turns sour: 316-215-6600.
Watch a 4K-remastered screening of ‘Phantasm’
8:45 p.m. Sat.
“Phantasm: Remastered” is the latest project of the Wichita Big Screen Initiative, led by Leif Jonker, and it’s playing at 8:45 p.m. Saturday at the 13th Street Warren. The original “Phantasm” was a 1979 genre-bending horror film, and over the last few years, J.J. Abrams and his Bad Robot Productions gradually restored the classic film in 4K resolution. Tickets to the screening are only $7. Get into the Halloween spirit early by watching a little classic horror, no?
FREE: Peruse select museums for free
All day Saturday
Saturday is Museum Day Live, sponsored by Smithsonian Magazine, a national event that allows you free access into some of the nation’s top museums for one day. To participate, you have to request a ticket at www.smithsonianmag.com/museumday, and bring that ticket to the museum of your choice. The ticket allows for one free adult ticket, plus a guest, to get in free at participating museums. You can only use the ticket once. Participating museums in Wichita include: Great Plains Nature Center, Kansas Sports Hall of Fame, Ulrich Museum of Art, Wichita Art Museum, Museum of World Treasures and the Wichita-Sedgwick County Historical Museum. Since the Wichita Art Museum is free on Saturdays anyway, and all the other museums are always free, I’d recommend using it on either the Museum of World Treasures or the Wichita-Sedgwick County Historical Museum. If you’re willing to drive, some other participating museums around the state: Hutchinson’s Cosmosphere, the Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum in Abilene, and the Grassroots Art Center in Lucas.
Girl Scout sleepover to end all Girl Scout sleepovers
9:30 p.m. Sat. to 6 a.m. Sun.
If you’ve got a daughter who’s in Girl Scouts, I hope you’ve already made plans to attend the sleepover Saturday night into early Sunday morning. Girl Scouts of Kansas is hosting an “Outside In Campout” at Towne West Square from 9:30 p.m. Saturday to 6 a.m. Sunday. To attend, girls must be registered Girl Scouts and must be accompanied by a guardian or troop volunteer. The cost to attend is $35 at the door, and $15 for adults accompanying their children. Select stores will be open after 9:30 p.m. for late-night shopping, and there will be karaoke, dancing, face-painting, a movie, a fashion runway show, and opportunities to work toward Girl Scout badges at every level, the Eagle’s Suzanne Perez Tobias reports.
Take part in Wichita Pride 2016
Saturday and Sunday
A weekend celebration of Wichita’s lesbian, gay, transsexual, bisexual, queer and allied communities kicks off Saturday with a picnic sponsored by Cargill at O.J. Watson Park from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The festivities continue Saturday evening with the Cargill Block Party at the Mid-America All-Indian Center from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m., after which there will be a drag show at Club Boomerang from 10:30 p.m. Saturday to 1:30 a.m. Sunday. There are a variety of events planned for Sunday as well, including the parade in downtown Wichita (going from 501 N. Main to the Mid-America All-Indian Center) starting at 1 p.m.
Learn about butterflies at Botanica
1 to 4 p.m. Sun.
Ever wanted to learn more about monarch butterly migration? If so, this is the festival for you. Botanica’s annual Festival of the Monarch, sponsored by Cox Communications, is an event where kids can participate in various migration-themed activities and learn about the monarchs’ journey to Mexico and back every year. You can also watch live monarch-tagging and create various arts and crafts. Wing-wearing is encouraged.