This year’s Wichita Riverfest has been canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic, but there’s another party in the works for later this year.
Wichita Festivals President Ty Tabing and officials from the City of Wichita and Sedgwick County held a news conference on Tuesday to make the announcement. It’s the first time Riverfest has been canceled in its 49 year history.
The 2020 Riverfest was scheduled for May 29 through June 6. Concerts that included hip hop star Shaggy, De La Soul and The Struts were expected to draw big crowds.
“When you’re the biggest event in the state with a large economic impact on the local community, it takes longer to assess and coordinate with local public health officials,” Tabing said “We’ve been very thoughtful about this decision and are doing the right thing as a matter of public health and safety, and there is no higher priority.”
Festival organizers said 440,000 people attended Riverfest last year.
In addition to Autumn & Art at Bradley Fair scheduled for Sept. 18-20, Wichita Festivals is working on a large-scale, community party—a salute to the 150th anniversary of the founding of both Wichita and Sedgwick County. The downtown event is scheduled for Nov. 5-8, with St. Francis street at the heart of the festival.
Fidelity Bank River Run is one of a select number of Riverfest 2020 events that will take place during the fall event. KAKE TouchATruck and the Wichita Eagle Medallion Hunt will also take place at the festival, along with a number of new events and activities.
Also today, Biking Across Kansas announced its annual bike ride across the state has been canceled due to COVID-19 concerns.