There’s a new River Festival event that could have you soaring across the Arkansas River.
The Riverfest Zip Line opens tonight, and organizers hope you will want to get your adventure on to glide alongside the Douglas Avenue Bridge.
The activity promises a view of Wichita few have seen.
“You’ve got the opportunity to go up several stories, put a harness on and zip across the river from one end to the other,” said the festival’s president and CEO, Janet Wright. “It’s a great view. This event is truly unique.”
Those interested in the aerodynamic experience will line up south of the Douglas Avenue Bridge at A. Price Woodard Park to strap up.
They will glide across the river to the West Bank area.
The Zip Line is an event Wright said festival organizers have been talking about for several years. This year, it all clicked.
Butler Community College’s Grizzly Adventures was key in pulling it together. The physical challenge group that is part of the college’s academic leadership program was instrumental in coordinating the logistics and training needed to make it happen.
They also will run much of the Zip Line’s operations during the festival. Wright said the event couldn’t have happened without cooperation from a variety of groups. The Wichita Parks Department in particular was heavily involved in the planning and permit process. Westar Energy has been a key supporter.
“They found the big poles that we needed and installed them on both sides of the river,” said Wright.
Kathryn Ewing, Wichita Festivals Inc.’s director of events, said the Zip Line will add special flair for the festival’s 40th anniversary.
“Our hope is that this will add fun,” she said. “Everyone enjoys activities adjacent to the river. This is a new way to appreciate it.”
Know before you go
You will need a River Festival button to participate, plus $5 cash for each trip.
All participants must sign a waiver. (Helmets and harnesses will be provided.)
Anyone under 18 years old will need to have their parent or guardian sign a permission form.
A few other rules: Wear closed-toe shoes. Sandals and flip-flops are not allowed. Riders must be at least 9 years old. Participants must be at least 75 but no more than 270 pounds. You must be in good health to ride. (Pregnant women and people who recently have had surgeries will not be permitted.) You can find complete rules and instructions at wichitariverfest.com.
If you go
Riverfest Zip Line
What: Soar across the Arkansas River
Where: A. Price Woodard Park, 401 W. Douglas
How much: $5 River Festival button, plus $5 cash per ride
When: 5 to 8:30 p.m. weekdays, today through June 10; 10 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Saturday; 11 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Sunday; 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 5 to 8:30 p.m. June 11