River Festival

Your guide to Wednesday’s Riverfest events

Big G’s orangeade has a hint of natural flavor from real fruit, enveloped in a thin blanket of sweet.
Big G’s orangeade has a hint of natural flavor from real fruit, enveloped in a thin blanket of sweet. The Wichita Eagle

Today’s best fest bets

1. Free food court admission: No button is needed for admission to the main food court from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Those who wish to take advantage of the deal should go to the main food court entrances, where they’ll receive a special bracelet.

2. Riverfest Zipline: Riverfest daredevils can fly across the Arkansas River from 5:30 to 8 p.m. A round-trip ride is $10 with a Riverfest button, and the launch spot is in Ackerman’s Backyard, which is in A. Price Woodard Park.

3. Hiland Dairy Ice Cream Social: The annual distribution of giant scoops of free vanilla ice cream plus toppings is from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at the intersection of Douglas and Water.

4. Village People: The band famous for the songs “YMCA” and “In the Navy” will headline the Wet n’ Wild Disco Dance Party on Kennedy Plaza. They’ll take the stage at 9 p.m., though the party starts at 5 p.m.

5. Buckaroo Buckarette Rodeo: Itty-bitty cowboys and cowgirls are invited to Cox Kids Corner on the Hyatt Lawn to ride, rope and pan for gold. The event is designed for children ages 2 to 10 and lasts from 5 to 9 p.m.

Festival food find

Orangeade

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Where to find it: Big G’s, main food court

What is it? A giant cup filled with ice, water, a thick slice of orange and sugar

How is it? The people I tried this drink with said it tasted like Tang or even Sunny D. They were wrong. This orangeade is like a Mexican “agua,” which, in contrast to juice, is not for someone who wants to taste the full flavor and heaviness of a naturally squeezed fruit. The purpose of an “agua” is to quench your thirst with a healthy dose of sweet to ease it down. But it’s less nourishing and intense than natural juice. The closest drink you’ve probably had to it is fresh-squeezed lemonade, another common fair drink in which people will tolerate a large amount of sweetness for fear of the intense sour that unadulterated lemon would bring. This orangeade uses the same, subtle concept: a hint of natural flavor from real fruit, enveloped in a thin blanket of sweet. This makes orangeade a perfect drink to carry with you throughout a long, hot festival day. The cup is large and has lots of ice, but because it’s so sweet, the drink still tastes good even an hour later after the ice has melted. Save the cup and Big G’s will refill it for $3.

Cost: $5 (five tickets)

Oliver Morrison

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