Festival of the Monarch at Botanica
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.
Great Plains Renaissance Festival
The fair folk of Wichita and the surrounding region are being beckoned to come to the Great Plains Renaissance Festival, held Saturday and Sunday at the Sedgwick County Park. There will be merchants, artistans and various other crafters on scene offering their wares, as well as classic Ren-Faire food, including giant hunks of meat. Watch jousting and other fun Renaissance-themed entertainment at the fair.
Details: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sat., Sun., Sedgwick County Park, 6501 W. 21st St. Adult tickets $8.50 in advance, $12 at the gate. Youth tickets $5, free with online purchase of adult ticket. www.greatplainsrenfest.com, 316-253-3392 (no calls after 10 p.m.)
Versus: A Live Art Battle
Mark Arts will host a unique painter-versus-painter competition Friday night at its facility at 9112 E. Central. Twelve professional and emerging artists will compete in an “artistic smackdown,” the winner of which receives a solo exhibition at Mark Arts. Two artists will go head-to-head at a time, painting works in 20 minutes – the audience then votes on which is their favorite until an overall winner is decided. New this year, high school art students from around the area will participate – each receiving a $100 cash scholarship, and the winner taking home $500. The paintings produced will be auctioned off for the benefit of Mark Arts.
Wichita Pride 2016
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.
Details: Saturday and Sunday, Various locations around town. $5. Full schedule: www.wichitapride.org
For one day only, you may find less parking in certain downtown areas than usual, but you will find plenty of fun where the parking spots were. Yellowbrick Street Team and Bike Walk Wichita are partnering to host the city’s first-ever Park(ing) Day, a national event that Wichita is taking part in. Participating businesses will fill parallel parking spots in front of their businesses with games and other activities in an attempt to bring attention to the need for parks and green spaces in urban areas (the idea being that if there were as many green spaces downtown as there were parking spots, life would be better). The Eagle is one of the businesses participating in Park(ing) Day, so come by our offices at 825 E. Douglas to play games and win prizes, and take your picture with an Eagle reporter (yours truly will be available from 1 to 2 p.m.).
Details: 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Fri., Various locations along Douglas from Delano to Hillside. Free. www.facebook.com/events/1308944352490337/.
Art Garden 1-year anniversary party
The Wichita Art Museum is celebrating the first anniversary of its outdoor Art Garden from 3 to 10 p.m. Saturday, complete with artmaking, food trucks and live music. Though the garden technically had its grand opening on Sept. 26, 2015, the party is timed to coincide with the opening of the Wichita Art Museum’s fall exhibition, “Sticky, Shiny, Smooth: Pop Art and the Senses: Prints from the Collection of Jordan D. Schnitzer and His Family Foundation.” Admission to the Wichita Art Museum is free all day Saturday, so you can make a day of it by checking out the exhibition during the day and then coming back for food trucks and entertainment later Saturday evening. Food trucks and the Lamphouse Photo Company start at 5 p.m.
Smithsonian Magazine free museum day
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.
Details: Free admission to various local museums Saturday when ticket requested online. www.smithsonianmag.com/museumday
Historic Midtown home tours
The Historic Midtown Citizens Association is hosting its annual walking tour of four historic homes in Wichita’s Midtown area. This year, one of the homes highlighted is the Betzen House, which QuikTrip paid to relocate to a new plot of land last year instead of demolishing it to expand its location at Murdock and Topeka. The home now sits at 1250 N. Emporia. Also on the tour is the historic Pratt-Campbell House at 1313 N. Emporia. There will be refreshments and live music during the tour, which runs Saturday through Sunday.
Details: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sat., 1 to 5 p.m. Sun., Houses near 13th and Emporia. $13. Children 12 and under get in free. Purchase tickets at St. Paul’s United Methodist Church, 13th and Broadway (east entrance). www.midtownwichita.org, 316-882-1081
Art on the Trail
If you’re looking for a fun, free event for the family this Saturday morning, it’s hard to beat Art on the Trail. Art on the Trail is an event where you can stroll the nature trails at Great Plains Nature Center and watch as local artists set up and depict nature scenes in their medium of choice. For kids, it’s a great opportunity to help teach a respect for the beauty of nature. Inside the Great Plains Nature Center, there will be activities and crafts for kids, as well as seasonal refreshments.
Sunset Concert in the Flint Hills
What could be better than a sunset in the Flint Hills? How about the sounds of a string orchestra and other instruments accompanying that sunset in the Flint Hills? The annual Sunset Concert at WoodFest – the fall event of the Symphony in the Flint Hills – is Saturday evening at Camp Wood YMCA, near Emporia. You can listen to both local and world-renowned artists perform a variety of styles, from classical and jazz to Latin and bluegrass. The $40 tickets include dinner, which is served at 5:15 p.m. Residents of Chase and Morris counties get in for free on a first-come, first-serve basis, and should call 620-273-8955 to reserve their space. There will also be a sunrise concert early Sunday that is included in the $40 admission.
Opening of KMUW/Old Town Association concert series
KMUW 89.1-FM and the Old Town Association’s second annual free concert series begins Saturday evening with a performance by the Rebirth Brass Band with Michael Engdahl’s Odisea. The concerts, which will run on Saturdays for the next three weeks, are held in Old Town Square. Afterparties will be at Barleycorn’s afterward. Commemorative T-shirts are available at KMUW, 121 N. Mead, for $10 – the T-shirt, in addition to making you look cool – will get you into the afterparties for free.
Wichita Design Week
A week of events catered for design-oriented professionals (think graphic designers, interior designers, architects, etc.) will continue through Sept. 29 in various locations around the city. Design Week is sponsored by AIGA: The Professional Association for Design, the International Interior Designers Association, and the American Institute of Architects. Some Design Week events are free and others have a cost for admission. For a full schedule of events and to purchase tickets, visit www.wichitadesignweek.com.
Details: Events from 11:30 to 1:30 p.m. Fri., 5:30 p.m. Mon., 5:30 p.m. Tues., 5:30 to 7 p.m. Wed., 7 p.m. Thurs., and 5 p.m. Sept. 30. Various locations. Some free, some ticketed. www.wichitadesignweek.com