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Renegade Wichita River Festival button features a llama instead of a rooster

WICHITA — For what may be only the second time in the history of the Wichita River Festival, there's a renegade button to spoof the real one that gets people into the event.

In 2007, it was a bottoms-up duck on the imposter button. This time, hair stylist Michael Robertson created a button featuring a llama in protest of the festival's real artwork, which features a rooster.

"When I saw the original with the rooster, I thought it was the worst artwork pick they ever had," Robertson says.

"I just made this llama because it had nothing to do with Riverfest."

He says he's getting good feedback from people who have seen the button.

"They've been saying they'd rather have the llama than the rooster."

Wichita Festivals president and CEO Janet Wright isn't going that far, but she does like Robertson's button.

"I thought it was kind of funny," she says. "Somebody with ... too much time on his hands, I guess."

Wright says she knows not everyone understands the rooster connection.

"It is a competition," Wright says of the artwork that was chosen. "You have to pick from what you have – not to say we weren't pleased with the direction the artist went."

Robertson describes himself as "a serious Riverfest collector and volunteer."

"Seriously?" Wright says.

When he volunteers at the festival this year, Robertson says he may wear his buttons all over his shirt so he can easily hand them out. You can also get one by e-mailing protesttheriverfest@yahoo.com.

Wright says she has no problem with the button, though she says that "since it's not an official button, it won't work to get into events."

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