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Riverfest underway in downtown Wichita

Published: May. 30, 2019 at 3:38 PM CDT
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kicks off Friday and carries on through June 8 downtown.

The 2019 Riverfest kicks off at 7:30 a.m. Friday with the Admiral's Breakfast and wraps up nine days later with the Capitol Federal Fireworks Finale at 10:30 p.m. June 8. A fireworks show also wraps up the opening night, sponsored by Textron Aviation.

In between, the days and evenings are chalked full of shows, demonstrations, contests and concerts.

On Thursday, June 6, KWCH 12 is sponsoring the

However, at least for the start of the Riverfest, the river itself is closed due to recent flooding.

The City of Wichita announced Thursday afternoon that the Arkansas River is closed until further notice due to high flow rates and increased debris

the city says it is working with the Riverfest and will "let the community know when river activities become safe."

Ahead of the 2019 Riverfest, city crews twice put in long hours to

Marybeth Jarvis with Wichita Festivals, Inc. last week said rain, shine or flooded banks, she's not worried about the Riverfest's success.

"Either way, we're going to have a great Riverfest will all the activities around the river, and on the river, we'll just have to make it up as we go," Jarvis says.

Also among the changes to the Wichita Riverfest is the parade route. This year, the Riverfest parade will not travel down Douglas or Waco. The parade will begin at Second Street and Main, proceed south on Main to English and turn east. It will then head back north on Market Street. The Safelite Autoglass Sundown Parade starts at 6:30 p.m. Friday (May 31).

"Gathering anywhere in that area will get you a great view of the parade," Teri Mott with Wichita Festivals, Inc said earlier this month. "It should be a lot more comfortable than years' past."

Another change with the 2019 Wichita Riverfest has to do with carnival rides. In previous years, the rides have been in the Lawrence-Dumont Stadium parking lot and the carnival has not been an official part of the festival. It will be this year, and at a new location near Broadway and William.

They cost $10 for adults and $5 for children between the ages of 6 and 12.

Children younger than 5 get in free.