“We got the beat!” the River Festival is exclaiming as it heads into its final two days with a blow-out: the Go-Go’s playing a beach party (remember the tug-of-war? It’s back), a shot at a world record for the most people wearing sunglasses at night, a concert by Big Head Todd and the Monsters, a neon party with complimentary glow sticks, and the final fireworks to cap it all off.
And those are just the main events. Dig out your beach towel – or bring your lawn chair – to the two main venues Friday and Saturday: Kennedy Plaza in front of Century II and the WaterWalk. And definitely bring your sunglasses to wear Saturday night at Kennedy Plaza.
The weather forecast shows full-fledged summer holding off until the festival is over, but there is a small chance of rain Saturday and Saturday night. There will be a contingency location for the Go-Go’s and Big Head concerts: Century II Concert Hall. The decision will be made Saturday morning whether the Go-Go’s concert moves inside, said Teri Mott of Wichita Festivals.
The Cardboard Regatta that had to be rescheduled because of heavy rain last weekend will be Saturday, launching at 2:30 p.m. under the Douglas Avenue Bridge. The first 12 teams to register at noon will get to compete. See more under “Beach Party” below.
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Here’s your guide to getting the most out of the fun, in chronological order, by main event, including activities that are in the same vicinity. Admission to all these events is a Riverfest button.
Big Head Todd & the Monsters
6 to 9:45 p.m. Friday, Kennedy Plaza Stage in front of Century II
Big Head Todd & the Monsters will headline an indie rock concert that will start with opening acts at 6 p.m. Big Head Todd is to take the stage at 8:30 p.m.
8 to 9:40 p.m. Friday, WaterWalk
The first 1,000 people will receive a free glow stick. People will be dancing to music mixed by DJ Carbon and a performance by hip-hopper XV. If you don’t get there in time to get a free glow stick, you can buy glowing products at the merchandise tent.
Noon to 10 p.m. Saturday, Kennedy Plaza in front of Century II , where there will be at least a foot of sand covering the pavement. Here are the events, plus a few others in the vicinity:
• Limbo, sand-castle building and hula dancers plugged in throughout the day
• The Riverfest Marketplace inside Century II (Exhibition Hall), featuring more than 70 local artisans selling their Etsy-type creations, from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. (Friday, too, from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.)
• Tug-of-war: 2 to 3:30 p.m.
• Cardboard Regatta, 2:30 p.m. under the Douglas Avenue Bridge. Teams will receive the same supplies – cardboard, a box cutter, duct tape and floaty noodles – to build a device that will float at least one person. The team that stays afloat the longest wins. Registration is on-site for the first 12 teams, starting at noon. Construction begins at 1 p.m. Launch is at 2:30 p.m.
• Sunshine the Bunny concert, 4 to 4:30 p.m.
• Jenny Wood Band concert, 5 to 6:15 p.m.
• Funnel-cake-eating contest, 6 p.m. on the Food Court Stage
• Me Like Bees concert, 6:45 to 7:45 p.m.
• Go-Go’s concert: 8:15 to 9:45 p.m.
• The attempt to break the world record for number of people wearing sunglasses at night, either during the Go-Go’s encore, or immediately afterward, just before the fireworks:
10 p.m. Saturday, Arkansas River downtown
The best viewing for the fireworks will be along the riverbank between Lewis and First streets.