Unless you live downtown and walk, finding parking at Riverfest can be stressful, especially on its busier nights.
This year, though, festival organizers are trying to make it easier for you to get in and out.
The Q-Line trolley, which was recently expanded in downtown Wichita, is adding two Riverfest-specific stops on Douglas, and the festival has designated specific areas for Uber and Lyft drivers to pick up and drop off customers.
What does that mean for you?
If you plan ahead, you can park away from the festival’s main grounds and use the Q-Line – or an Uber/Lyft, technically – to avoid the vehicle congestion near the festival grounds.
If you can’t walk far, the loop around the downtown library, 223 S. Main, is open for drivers to drop people off outside Century II. While parts of Main will be closed, both William and English streets will stay open during the festival.
Here are some ways to making parking easier at this year’s Riverfest.
Take the Q-Line
If you don’t want to deal with the potential congestion close to the festival, try taking the Q-Line.
The free downtown trolley has added two stops at Riverfest: at Douglas and Water and Waco and First.
Midday trolleys run from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, and evening routes are 5 to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 5 p.m. to 1 a.m. Friday and 8 a.m. to 1 a.m. on Saturday.
The trolley will stop at Old Town Square approximately every 10 minutes, which makes parking in Old Town parking garages a feasible option.
At night, the trolley will be extended to Clifton Square every day this week, so College Hill is also an option parking-wise.
Find special Q-Line Riverfest routes accompanying this story.
Available parking lots
Here are some public parking lots close to the festival grounds:
▪ Gander Mountain Garage, 333 W. Dewey (free, but often fills up quickly)
▪ Lawrence-Dumont Stadium, 300 S. Sycamore (free)
▪ Market Centre Garage, 202 N. Main ($5 flat fee)
▪ Market and William Parking Garage-Sutton Place, 215 S. Market ($1 every half-hour, $6 daily max)
▪ WaterWalk Parking Garage, 515 S. Main (free)
▪ Bank of America Parking Garage, 123 N. Broadway (free)
▪ On-street parking, up Market and Broadway (meters enforced between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. weekdays)
Handicap parking is available along English Street near Century II, right next to the food court.
For more parking lots close to Riverfest, visit www.parkdowntown.org.
Take an Uber or a Lyft
Last year, just as Uber was ascending into widespread popularity, Riverfest patrons found themselves in a dilemma.
The festival grounds were considered a sort of “blackout zone,” and people who wanted to take an Uber out of the festival had to walk about a block to be picked up.
This year, the festival has worked with Uber and Lyft to designate specific pickup and dropoff locations at Riverfest gates.
Those stops are at:
▪ Douglas and Waco
▪ Douglas and Water
▪ William and Main
▪ William, next to the food court
▪ Waterman, near WaterWalk
▪ Waterman, near the Hyatt
▪ Wichita Boathouse