Riverfest in Wichita went out with a bang Saturday night but even after the fun was over, not everyone went home.
As soon as the show ended Saturday night, cleanup of the festival began. Volunteers began the trash pickup efforts in downtown Wichita late Saturday night and then more volunteers were back out Sunday morning to do the 'heavy lifting' parts of the cleanup like breaking down staging, fences and food court booths.
"Nearly 5,000 volunteers make this event happen and whether they were helping set up days before festival-goers arrived, working throughout the day and night or they're out here today helping tear down, I mean, they really make this possible," said Mary Beth Jarvis, President and CEO of Wichita Festivals.
Jarvis said although most festival-goers are respectful and attempt to throw away or recycle most of their trash, it's impossible to keep all of the downtown area clean when that many people are cycling through. Plus, volunteer crews have also been collecting a wide variety of items that have been 'lost' or 'left behind' throughout the week. They're holding onto all of those items in their "Lost and Found."
"You name it, we've got lawn chairs people leave behind after the concerts, to baby shoes," added Jarvis. "We've got cell phones and wallets. We'll have those at the Wichita Festivals office beginning Monday morning."
Organizers expect most of the cleaning up to be finished by Sunday night, although there may still be a few items from the food court left to be packed up on Monday.
Although Wichita Festivals won't have official data for several more weeks, Jarvis said preliminary numbers indicate attendance to Riverfest 2014 was up five percent from the previous year in 2013, with roughly 380,000 people attending throughout the entire festival.