You know that feeling when you get down to Riverfest and realize you needed to register two weeks ago to be a human bowling ball?
Well, you actually don’t have to sign up in advance to be a bowling ball. You can just show up and be prepared to roll.
But you do need to register for the human foosball tournament, and rappeling off the Ambassador Hotel, and pulling a fire truck. And Wichita’s expert raft builders need to get going on their projects if we’re to have a race to watch this year.
There are several events at the festival, which runs June 3 to 11, that require prior registration or for which registration is recommended. They include sports, from horseshoes to dodgeball to kickball to paddleboating. And they include others listed below, including the bicycle parade if you want to be in the running for a prize, and the Habitat for Humanity Build.
For the whole list, go to the website wichitariverfest.com and click under “Events” on “Participatory/Athletic Event Registration.” (Some events have separate websites where noted.)
Riverfest Recyclable Raft Race The raft race is back by popular demand. It was back last year, too, but there was only one entry by the time the festival had to switch weekends to avoid swift-running currents, so the event was canceled. Organizers — and those who want to watch from the banks — are hoping builders will come forward this year. And there’s a twist for 2016: The rafts should be made of recyclable materials. Cost: $60 per team. The race will — hopefully — be at 5 p.m. June 11 at the Douglas Avenue Bridge.
River Run It’s back on the first weekend of the festival, and a button comes with your packet, so you’re good to go for the festival. You can register the morning of the race, but it will cost $20 more. Register by May 31 and the cost is $40 for the 10K and $30 for the 2-mile. The event will be from 7 to 11:30 a.m. June 4, setting off from the RedGuard Stage Area near Waterman and Water.
Beard and mustache contest Photographs must be uploaded for pre-judging in the non-freestyle categories by 5 p.m. May 25. There is a $10 entry fee, which includes a Riverfest button. People who want to compete in the freestyle categories can just show up before the competition, which is noon to 2 p.m. June 11 on the Star Lumber Stage at the Century II Food Court.
Human foosball There are a couple of different ways to play human foosball. You can show up and try it out during open play for $5 during these three time periods: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. June 4 and 5, and 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. June 11 in Ackerman’s Backyard in A. Price Woodard Park near Douglas and the Arkansas River. Or you can register a team of six by June 2 to play in a tournament from 2 to 6 p.m. June 11, when cash prizes will be awarded. Sign-up will also be available during open play.
Pedal Parade Bicycles, strollers, wagons and other human-powered vehicles will be part of this parade at noon June 11 at the RedGuard Stage, Water and Waterman. Register by 5 p.m. June 9 in order to be considered for prizes; just show up and parade otherwise.
Sandcastle competition Sixteen teams will be accepted at a cost of $20 per team. The event will be from noon to 2 p.m. June 5 at Main and William streets, and registration is at 11 a.m. that day.
Cardboard Regatta It costs $20 per team to build a river-worthy vessel in 90 minutes or less with cardboard, duct tape, pool noodles and a box cutter. Awards for fastest time, best design and most spectacular sinking will be given. The event will be at 1:30 p.m. June 5 at the Douglas Avenue Bridge. The event is limited to 30 teams.
Civic Hackathon Go to Register.hackathonict.com to register for the 24-hour event during which participants will brainstorm tech ideas for improving the community. It will be from noon June 4 to noon June 5 at Century II Exhibition Hall.
Over the Edge Raise $600 for the Boy Scouts in order to register as one of 73 people who will rappel from the Ambassador Hotel. Go to OverTheEdgeKansas.com or contact Mike Johnson at email@example.com or 316-264-1772.
Habitat for Humanity Riverfest Build Corporate sponsors are fielding teams to build a house south of the RedGuard Stage during the festival, but additional volunteers also are welcome. Volunteers raise $250 each and are encouraged to form 10-member teams. Contact Jonathan Rivers at firstname.lastname@example.org or 316-269-0755. More info: www.wichitahabitat.org; click on “Riverfest Build.”
Wichitalks People are invited to talk about or perform something creative while quickly advancing 20 slides to get a message across, as long as it does not pitch any business, organization or product. Applications will be taken until Friday. The event will be at 7 p.m. June 7 (doors open at 5:30 p.m.) at the Wichita Boathouse. A $10 donation is requested. More info: wichitalks.com.
Pink Firetruck Pull Teams of 10 raise $250 per team, with a portion going to Victory in the Valley, to pull a fire truck 100 feet. Registration also will be accepted the day of the event, which is 5 p.m. June 9 on Douglas Avenue.
Oh, and by the way, for human bowling, you can show up and pay $3 per frame (two rolls) or $5 for two frames (four rolls). One person gets in the ball, and another rolls it. You can take part or watch from 5 to 9 p.m. June 9 and June 10 and noon to 5 p.m. June 11 at Ackerman’s Backyard.