Riverfest 2019 saw 4% drop in attendance

The Wichita River Festival saw a small dip in attendance this year. Festival organizers say 440,000 people attended the nine-day festival.

That's down 4%. But, festival officials say the 48th Riverfest ended on a high note, with the largest single day in 13 years.

The largest crowds gathered on the opening and closing days. An estimated 75,000 people participated in Riverfest events on each of those days, with Saturday tallying the festival’s highest food and beverage sales since May 13, 2006.

“A rushing river and some storm clouds can’t keep Wichitans from having a great time and supporting their community celebration,” said Mary Beth Jarvis, president and CEO of Wichita Festivals, Inc. in a press release. “Without events like paddleboats and jet-ski races, folks just turned their attention to our wonderful concert line-up and diverse events. We’re so grateful to the generous sponsors and hard-working volunteers who power this event to success decade after decade, no matter what.”

Overall attendance was down about 4%, as were food court ticket sales, due to stormy weather on Wednesday night and Thursday afternoon

Among the largest-drawing events within the festival were the Capitol Federal Fireworks Finale (60,000 people), the Safelite® AutoGlass Sundown parade (45,000) and the Textron Aviation Opening Night Fireworks (40,000)

The festival’s largest stage show was the Spirit AeroSystems’ Rockin’ on the River concert starring Sublime with Rome. Thirty five thousand people packed Kennedy Plaza on Saturday for that show on the Wichita Acura Dealers Stage