Few could have predicted just how popular last month’s Wichita Snow Day would be.
The free event, which promised a full morning of sledding on artificially produced snow in early January, was swarmed with would-be sledders — so much so that the snow was mostly all gone a couple hours in.
In the next week, there will be two more “artificial snow days” in Wichita — one a nighttime event with LED light shows and a live DJ, and one a Saturday-morning free sledding day.
The Wichita dad behind the snowmaking, Toby Franke, has literally doubled his efforts to ensure that this time around, the snow won’t be gone so quickly.
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Franke, who owns Snow Bros. Snowmakers, has fabricated a second snowmaking machine that should, theoretically, double the amount of snow on the ground next weekend.
“We’re going to try to have a lot more snow,” Franke said. “Right now the weather looks good, so everything’s a go.”
The City of Wichita’s Park and Recreation Department is hosting “Snow Glow” from 7-10 p.m. Friday, on the hill at the Mid-America All-Indian Center, 650 N. Seneca.
The following morning, from 8-11 a.m. Saturday, a free “Wichita Snow Day II” will take place on that same hill.
At both events, guests are encouraged to bring a non-metal sled and ride down the snow-packed hill.
But the “Snow Glow” is a night-sledding event featuring DJ Karetaker, an LED light show by Pro Audio, as well as glow-in-the-dark snow illuminated by blacklight, Franke said. Food trucks Urban Skillet and the U-Hungry Truck will be on site during the Snow Glow as well.
There is a cost to attend the Snow Glow — $10 for adults 13+ and $5 for children 12 and under.
Franke said any money made from the Snow Glow will be used to support more free-sledding days in the future.
“No one’s leaving with a profit at the end of the day — it just helps offset some of the costs,” Franke said. “We want to keep a free snow day going, so we’re kind of doing a test run here ... looking at some pay-to-play events.”
Tickets to the Snow Glow are available online at http://bit.ly/SnowGlowICT, and up to 500 tickets are being sold. If tickets remain on event day, admission is cash only.
Saturday morning’s sledding event is free. Hot cocoa, coffee and donuts will be available to purchase at that event, “Wichita Snow Day II.”
All of the snow-related events are entirely weather-dependent, Franke said.
If temperatures are above 27 degrees or if winds are too high, the events will be postponed.
Stay tuned to the Wichita Park and Recreation Facebook page for any weather-related updates on the snow events.