Editor’s note: The National Baseball Congress Tournament is not doing “Baseball ’Round the Clock” this year. A previous version of this story was incorrect.
An earlier version of this story incorrectly said the Lavender Festival was free; an admission was charged.
Looking to make some early plans for summertime festivities?
This summer is shaping up to be a hot one here in town, with major headliners coming through Intrust Bank Arena (Neil Diamond, Paul McCartney) as well as major events planned in the area.
Here’s a bucket list of my top 25 events this summer, to help you plan.
June 2-10, downtown Wichita
No list of top summer events would be complete without a mention of the Wichita Riverfest. There’s nothing that quite compares to Riverfest’s eclectic mix of food, music and quirky festivities. Plus, you get to see a true melting pot of all Wichitans – more so than at any other event.
$10 adults, $3 ages 6-12 years. www.wichitariverfest.com
Wichita Gladiator Dash
June 10, Sedgwick County Park, 6501 W. 21st St.
Those looking for an athletic challenge this summer might want to check out the annual Gladiator Dash, a physically intensive run through land, water and 10 obstacles. If you finish the race, you get an “I Survived” medal, which should be reason enough to try it out. If that doesn’t win you over, try the food, beverages and party afterward.
Polo on the Plains
June 11, Fairfield Polo Club, 9420 S. Broadway, Haysville
Have you ever watched a polo match in person? If not, this summer affords you the perfect chance to do so at the fourth annual Polo on the Plains, a fundraiser for Kidzcope. The event will feature a polo match, food and other merriment afterward. Dress your best to attend this high-class affair.
$125 per ticket. www.poloontheplains.org
Celebrity & Chef Cookoff
June 13, Intrust Bank Arena, 500 E. Waterman
If you love “Iron Chef” but want to see well-known local personalities filling those roles, this event may be for you. The 16th annual Celebrity & Chef Cookoff is a fundraiser for the Wichita Orpheum Theatre and features tasting tables from local restaurants, including Douglas Avenue Chop Shop, Reverie Coffee Roasters, Noble House Hawaiian, Tallgrass Country Club, Bagel Haus and more.
Music Theatre Wichita’s 2017 season
June 14-Aug. 20, Century II, 225 W. Douglas
If you’re looking for some of the best theater Wichita has to offer, look no further than Music Theatre Wichita. Its 2017 season includes favorites such as “Thoroughly Modern Millie,” “Hairspray” and “Newsies.” Individual tickets are available to shows online and at the MTW box office.
Ticket prices vary. www.mtwichita.org
Wichita Pride Festival
June 16-18, various locations in Wichita
The Wichita Pride Festival, the area’s annual celebration of the lesbian, gay, transsexual, bisexual, queer and allied communities in and around Wichita, is scheduled for June this year. The festival, which previously was held later in the year, will feature a parade, drag show, family picnic, all-ages dance party and more fun.
Fly-In at Stearman Field
June 17, Stearman Field, 14789 SW 30th St., Benton
This annual tradition is in its 10th year. Beginning as early as 7 a.m., various aircraft will fly into the airfield, allowing visitors to see them up close. From 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., there will also be a car show, and later that evening, there will be a live band from 8 p.m. to midnight. The Stearman Field Bar and Grill will be open for business.
Doc Sunback Film Festival
June 22-25, various locations in Mulvane
If you love independent film, swing by Mulvane this summer for the annual Doc Sunback Film Festival. More than 100 films will be screened in four locations in a two-block area in Mulvane. The festival, which includes a variety of parties, workshops and an awards ceremony, also hosts an art crawl.
$2 for about an hour’s worth of films; $39-$59 for VIP passes. www.docsunbackfilmfest.com
Tunes and Tallgrass
June 23, Wichita Art Museum, 1400 W. Museum Blvd.
This annual event is a collaboration between the Wichita Art Museum and the Tallgrass Film Festival, featuring live jazz music and a screening of Alfred Hitchcock’s “Rear Window.” There will be food trucks as well as a cash bar. Jazz music will be provided by the William Flynn Quintet.
Anime Festival Wichita
June 23-25, Hyatt Regency Wichita, 400 W. Waterman
Anime fans will unite for a fun-filled convention at the Hyatt Regency Wichita late this June. The festival will feature a large cosplay contest, an anime viewing room, gaming tournaments and more. Special guests include A.J. Michalka, Erica Shukrani Luttrell and Kiba Walke.
$18-$45 at the door, cheaper when purchased in advance. www.afwcon.org
June 24, Gertie’s Lavender Farm, 8101 S. Rayl, Burrton
Frank and Pam Seck of Burrton are hosting the first-ever Lavender Festival at their lavender farm near Burrton this June. In late June, their lavender fields are expected to be in full bloom, and they will be celebrating with a festival allowing guests to pick their own lavender, sample goods and crafts from more than 40 vendors, food and entertainment.
All That Jazz Festival
June 24, Riordan Clinic, 3100 N. Hillside
A summer jazz festival featuring Wendell B and local favorites the Nathan Williams Quintet. There will be food vendors and a cash bar – coolers are not allowed. Tickets are available online or at Envy Me, 6160 E. 21st St., Suite 220; P&P Seed and Bait Shop, 1901 E. 21st St.; or Brint’s Diner, 4834 E. Lincoln.
Twilight Tuesdays at the zoo
Tuesday nights in July, Sedgwick County Zoo, 5555 Zoo Blvd.
Every Tuesday night in July, the Sedgwick County Zoo stays open late for its annual Twilight Tuesdays series. Admission to the zoo is free after 6 p.m. with a voucher from select local Cox Solutions stores or a zoo membership. Vouchers are available after June 1. The zoo stays open until 8:30 p.m. – perfect for late-night fun with the animals.
Free with voucher. www.scz.org
Red, White and BOOM!
July 4, Hyatt Regency Wichita, 400 W. Waterman
Free Fourth of July fireworks? The nonprofit Wichita Parks Foundation is hosting this annual event again this year, sponsored by Freddy’s Frozen Custard and Steakburgers. Starting at 6 p.m., there will be a variety of food trucks on the Hyatt lawn, and a live band will play from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. The fireworks show, which will last about 24 minutes, will begin around 9:45 p.m.
Sedgwick County Fair
July 5-8, Sedgwick County Fairgrounds, Cheney
What do monster trucks, carnival rides, wacky foods and a parade all have in common? They’re all things you can find at the annual Sedgwick County Fair. Check out favorites like the annual Sedgwick County 4-H show and Fair’s Got Talent to whatever concerts the fair brings in.
Ticket information not yet available. www.ourcountyfair.com
July 8, Intrust Bank Arena, 500 E. Waterman
Dodge, duck, dip, dive and dodge. That’s all you need to know to participate in Intrust Bank Arena’s DodgeBrawl event this July. It’s a double-elimination dodgeball tournament pitting teams of six to 10 adults against each other, each playing for a charity of their choice. Every winning team will earn a donation to the charity they are playing for. Watching the tournament is free – participating will cost.
$25 per person (early bird), $35 per person (regular). www.intrustbankarena.com
Automobilia’s 23rd Moonlight Car Show
July 8, downtown Wichita
If you’re a car fan, you can’t beat Automobilia’s 23rd annual Moonlight Car Show. All vehicles and motorcycles are welcome. There will be live entertainment – seven bands playing at the same time in different locations, three food courts, three merchandise vendor courts, a swap meet and a model car contest.
Free for spectators. Those wanting to exhibit can register in person or online after June 1. www.automobiliausa.com
Drums Across Kansas
July 17, BG Products Veterans Sports Complex, Butler Community College, El Dorado
Some of the best drum lines from around the country will converge in El Dorado this July for the annual Drums Across Kansas event, held at Butler Community College this year. The 2016 world-champion and runner-up drum corps will be in attendance, so this is a must-attend for percussion fans.
Insane Inflatable 5K
July 22, Sedgwick County Park, 6300 W. 13th St.
The latest and greatest in the world of wacky 5K runs, the Insane Inflatable 5K appears to be a 3.1-mile course made up of 11 separate bouncy inflatable obstacles. So if you’re looking for a unique and fun-sounding way to get fit this Saturday in July, you could do worse than participating in the Insane Inflatable 5K.
83rd Annual NBC World Series
July 22-Aug. 6, Lawrence-Dumont Stadium, 300 S. Sycamore
Baseball and summer go hand in hand. This summer, you can go ahead and start making plans to attend the National Baseball Congress 2017 World Series at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium. It may be one of the last times you’ll get to see the tournament at Lawrence-Dumont, given the city’s desire to build a new stadium in its place, so catch the tournament while you can.
$9-$13 for single-day passes, $100-$150 for tournament passes. www.nbcbaseball.com
El Dorado Dam Music Festival
July 28-29, El Dorado Lake, El Dorado
This first-year music festival at the El Dorado Lake has an impressive lineup of bands scheduled to perform, including Lynyrd Skynyrd, Hank Williams Jr. and Bobby Bones and the Raging Idiots. Organizers want the festival to have more of a beach party feel, so they are combining the concerts with a series of sponsored parties at the lake.
Kansas Shrine Bowl
July 29, BG Products Veterans Sports Complex, Butler Community College, El Dorado
High school football fans will love the opportunity to see some of the best talent in the state face off in this 44th annual all-star game at Butler Community College. That weekend, there will also be a parade, a charity walk and a golf tournament. The game raises money for the Shriners Hospitals for Children.
$15 general admission, $8 students, $25 reserved seats. www.kansasshrinebowl.com
Wichita Vortex Music Festival
Aug. 4-5, “Keeper of the Plains,” downtown Wichita
Another first-year music festival – this one put on by Wichita Festivals, of Riverfest and Autumn and Art notoriety – the Wichita Vortex Music Festival is set for early August in the heart of downtown. Country act Dwight Yoakam will headline, along with performances by Pokey Lafarge, Lindi Ortega and one of the last Moreland and Arbuckle performances, as the band recently announced it will part ways.
$65-$100, with the option of $15 pancake breakfast Saturday. www.wichitavortexfest.com
Perseids Meteor Shower
Peak occurs around Aug. 12
Perhaps one of the most popular meteor showers of the year, the annual Perseids Meteor Shower, from mid-July to late August, will peak around Aug. 12 this year. You might need to go to a little extra effort to see the meteor shower this year, as the moon may partially obscure the more visible meteors.
Kansas State Fair
Sept. 8-17, Kansas State Fairgrounds, Hutchinson
Traditionally the last vestige of summer, the Kansas State Fair in early September is a must-attend. It’s got everything a good Kansan could want – carnival rides, concerts, a butter sculpture, agriculture and livestock contests, and fair food galore. Be sure to dress in your fair finest, as people from all corners of the state show up every year.