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Sand, sparks and world-record attempt planned for Saturday’s Riverfest

The future may be bright for Saturday’s Riverfest attendees.

But first, they have to wear shades. At least 1,643 pairs of them.

That’s the Guinness World Record for most people wearing sunglasses in the dark, a record that festival organizers hope to break Saturday night at Kennedy Plaza. The event is part of the Riverfest Beach Party, scheduled to take place Saturday from noon until 10 p.m.

The all-female rock band the Go-Go’s is scheduled to take the stage from 8:15 until 9:45. Immediately afterward, the official world-record attempt will take place.

The Airbus Americas Fireworks Finale is scheduled for 10 p.m. The fireworks will launch from the west bank of the Arkansas River, between Lewis and First streets.

“We can only hope that the fireworks will be as well-attended as the rest of this year’s festival events,” Charlee Hale, a Wichita Festivals spokesperson, said Friday.

Hale said she thought the weather was partially responsible for strong attendance numbers, which she said would be released after the festival ends Saturday. The forecast calls for a high of 83 degrees and a 30 percent chance of rain during the day Saturday. At night, the forecast calls for a low of 64 and a 60 percent chance of rain.

During the day, festivalgoers can get a workout in with a Zumba party at the WaterWalk or a bike tour of Wichita’s public art. To gain the calories right back, they can head over to the funnel-cake-eating contest, where host Chris Allison said the record number of funnel cakes ever consumed is a whopping four.

“You would think it would be a lot more, but they just eat those first two and then they hit the wall,” Allison said.

“Last year, we had a professional eater, and he could only get through about two and a half.”

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