More daytime, kid-oriented events are taking place this year at River Festival on Monday and Tuesday during the new Kids Day.
Activities during those two days will include children’s theater productions, a kids’ karaoke contest, a teen talent contest and a concert with an anti-bullying message.
Offering earlier-in-the-day activities will allow stay-at-home parents, grandparents and care providers to come to the festival without the “hubbub of the concert crowds” in the evening, said Ann Keefer of Wichita Festivals.
Along with the face-painting, dancing and other activities happening in the Kids Corner on the Hyatt Lawn, here are some of the featured activities for young kids and teens.
Children’s Theater: On Monday and Tuesday, the Wichita Children’s Theatre and Dance Center will put on three performances of “Three Billy Goats Gruff” at the Mary Jane Teall Theatre inside Century II. The performances are at 11:30 a.m., 1 p.m. and 2 p.m.
Talent times: On Monday, kids can take a turn on the mic during a kids’ karaoke party from 3 to 5 p.m. A kids’ dance party follows at 5:30 p.m. with DJ Carbon. On Tuesday, a Teens Got Talent contest happens, with open auditions from 2 to 4 p.m. and the finals at 8:30 p.m. on the RedGuard Stage.
More music: Concerts on Monday and Tuesday will have some kid appeal as well, Keefer said. The School of Rock takes to the RedGuard Stage at 7:45 p.m., followed by the young Winfield-based Czech Republicans at 9:45 p.m. On Tuesday, Wichita native Jenny Wood will perform at 5:30 p.m. Wood has recorded an anti-bullying anthem, “Don’t Let Them Get in Your Head.”
Tech and entrepreneurship: Stop by the Full STEAM Ahead area in the Kids Corner, Keefer suggested, to do some hands-on activities that deal with science, technology, engineering, art and math. Various different community partners will lead kids in making items, such as a Dale Chihuly-inspired piece of art from plastic bottles. Chihuly is a well-known Seattle artist who works in glass. Two young local entrepreneurs will share their business story at 5:30 p.m. in the Wichita Boathouse.