Rain not enough to spoil 1st day of Riverfest

Festival organizers said rain or shine, they're ready to get the celebration started.
Published: Jun. 2, 2023 at 3:58 PM CDT
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - While rain presented a challenge for the opening day of Riverfest, the weather didn’t spoil the party. The weather Friday evening cooperated enough for the “Shaggy” concert and Sundown Parade to carry on as scheduled. As of late Friday evening, plans were also still on for a fireworks show to cap opening night.

The part caries on through June 10. You can find a full schedule of events here: https://wichitariverfest.com/event-schedule.

Riverfest opened Friday morning in downtown Wichita with the Admiral’s Breakfast and the opening of the food court, but the weather decided to make things difficult for the other events scheduled throughout the day.

“Of course, it rained but that’s to be expected, especially at Riverfest. Seems like every year it happens,” said Festivalgoer Don Gray.

Showers and storms started moving across the state Friday afternoon threatening to impact the Sundown Parade, opening night acts and the fireworks. Organizers said they pay close attention to the weather.

“First and foremost, we want to make sure that our guests are safe. We watch the weather and if we know there’s going to be a pop-up storm, we will typically delay the start of an event,” said Jen Remsberg, Wichita Riverfest Director of Marketing and Communications.

Remsberg said that if it’s a series of constant storms, that’s when an event could be canceled, but typically, “Riverfest goes on rain or shine.”

Those who made it out Friday afternoon, like Gray, who came out to support his friend on the food court stage, said the weather was perfect - earlier in the day.

“It’s a beautiful day. Want to enjoy the beautiful weather while we can and to hear the house band,” said Gray.

Rain or shine, everyone’s excited about the food!

“I’m sure that I’m going to be here all nine days. I’m guessing that I’ll see you at least five of those days. I’ll meet you for a chicken on the stick,” said Admiral Windwagon Smith XLIX Kaye Monk-Morgan.

Cheri Shillng, who is new to the Wichita area agrees.

“I’m fairly new to Wichita so this is my first. I’m very excited. This is great with the community and the turkey leg’s the biggest I’ve ever seen,” she said.

Riverfest said if a change to the schedule is made, it will be updated on their website. You can find a full schedule here https://wichitariverfest.com/