The Riverfest party kicks off Friday with a parade and fireworks in downtown Wichita. Here are six things you should know about this year’s event.
1. Admission: This year’s event will set adults back $10 for a nine-day admission button – up from the previous $5. Children 5 and under will be admitted free. Buttons for children 6 to 12 years old are $3.
2. Fireworks: Fireworks will open and close the festival this year, rather than appearing just once as in previous years. You can catch the show at 10 p.m. Friday and at 10:30 p.m. Saturday, June 6. The best viewing is along the Arkansas River from Lewis to First Street.
3. Music: The Village People will be this year’s headliner, playing at the Wet n’ Wild Disco Dance Party from 5-10 p.m. June 3 in Kennedy Plaza, next to Century II. The 1970s pop group is best known for the hit “YMCA.” Other music events during the week include Gospelfest, Opera Kansas, the Coleman Country Concert and Local Rock Showcase.
4. Raft races: Raft races are back after a hiatus last year. Teams can build rafts, boats or any other water-racing vessel from recycled materials. The race is limited to 15 teams, and prizes will be awarded for various categories. You can see the rafts starting at 11 a.m. Saturday and catch the race at 2 p.m. at the Douglas Avenue Bridge.
5. Participation events: Riverfest organizers tried to incorporate more participatory-style events in this year’s lineup. They include a soccer tournament, pickleball, laser tag and a learn-and-play bridge event.
6. Farmers market: For the first time, Riverfest will host a farmers market, which will be open from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. June 1-4 at Kennedy Plaza.