Tuesday, March 15, 2011

And The Winner Is...?

Wichita, Kan. - Wichita Festivals, Inc. (WFI), producer of Riverfest, today announced the winning design of the 2011 poster artwork competition. Artist Scott Dawson created the design that will be used for the 40th annual Riverfest. The design reflects this years' theme "Rediscover Riverfest" with a butterfly coming to life.

Dawson originally created his poster concept a few years ago, before the poster competition began, and filed it away. "I came across it last summer and decided to try and rework it and see if I liked [the art] better," says Dawson. Once Dawson learned the poster competition was being re-introduced, he decided to enter and requested an entry form.

"Once I read the theme "Rediscover Riverfest," I thought it was a good fit with my idea," says Dawson. Like Riverfest, butterflies are seasonal and there are new forms of butterflies every season.

"Scott's art and the theme are representative of the changes and new additions being implemented for this years' Riverfest," noted Janet Wright, WFI President/CEO. "The change in dates for the festival and the new venues we will be using, all work together to reflect the theme and the art," explained Wright.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

And the Winner Is...?

In honor of the 83rd annual Academy Awards, we're going to play a guessing game today on the 94th day till the 40th annual Riverfest begins. In November Wichita Festivals, Inc., announced that they would be reinstating an annual tradition that was on a 4 year hiatus. Yes that's it, the poster artwork competition is back, and I'm here not to announce the winner of the competition but to give you a clue to who the artist is. The winner of the poster artwork competition is a freelance illustrator, working for over 20 years. The winner is a children's book illustrator, whos first book was published last year called "Fearless." Stumped? The winner's name will be released March 15th, 2011 at 1:30 p.m. at a press conference held at Wichita Festivals, Inc. at 1820 E. Douglas. Happy Guessing!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Behind the Scenes at Wichita Festivals

While many people think that Wichita Festivals, Inc. is a city agency, that idea is not entirely correct. While the city of Wichita is a huge supporter of Riverfest and Wichita Festivals, Inc. by underwriting many of the events at Riverfest, most of our money comes from sponsors, and the vast majority comes from the community in the form of button sales. Think of buying a button as spurring community celebration.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

101 Days to Riverfest: Volunteer Business of the Day

We are quickly approaching the starting date of Riverfest 2011 June 3-11. Today I wanted to thank our official volunteer sponsor, Wichita Downtown Development Corporation,! WDDC has been extremely helpful in encouraging businesses to sponsor Riverfest events, sending out weekly volunteer e-blasts, networking with other businesses, and the WDDC has been promoting Wichita Festivals on their website as well http://www.downtownwichita.org/ . Thank you WDDC for your support!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Rediscover Riverfest

Rediscover Riverfest, that’s the theme for the Sundown Parade this year so start thinking about your float entries. The entry can either be a float, an inflatable, a band, horses, or a walking unit. All Entries need to reflect the theme and be entertaining. There will be $3,500 awarded in prize money, so don’t delay, start working on your parade idea. To apply go to www.wichitariverfest.com beginning in April. Application deadline is May 6th, 2011.

Monday, February 14, 2011

40th Riverfest but not 40th Admiral

To celebrate Wichita's 100th birthday, an event called the Wichitennial River Festival in 1970 was organized, which was part of a year-long celebration for Wichita's 100th birthday, and was only a weekend long. Organizers wanted all segments of the community to participate in this day-long spree of events. The celebration was free to the public and featured down-home, all-American, non sophisticated activities drawing citizens from every corner of the community. Some of the events were a Sing Out Salute for the Centennial followed by a Kids' Bike Parade, beginning at Kansas Gas & Electric's reflecting pond and ending at Cowtown where a Country Fair, Centennial Carnival, Sidewalk Cafe and Art Exhibit were held.

The First Wichitennial River Festival began with a smoking of the peace pipe by Mayor Enoch (Wichita) and Mayor Secretain of Orleans, France. Most of the events were free to the public and the total budget for the 1970 festival was $9,717 and included in-kind contributions from the Wichita Art Museum, Cowtown and others. The response from the Community was overwhelming with approximately 2,000 event goers. Now Riverfest has almost 300,000 event goers.

Because the Wichitennial River Festival was so popular, community leaders decided to make the Wichitennial River Festival a yearly event and formed a non-profit, Wichita Festivals, Inc. to organize it beginning in 1972. After the centennial, the even was named what we know it today as the Wichita River Festival "Riverfest."

Because of increasing popularity of the Wichita River Festival, a mascot for the Festival, Admiral Windwagon Smith, was created in 1974. An Admiral has been named every year since. Surprisingly the Admiral is normally male; however, in 1999 Riverfest got its first female admiral, Linda Davidson, to represent the Wichita River Festival.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Happy Holidays

The staff at Wichita Festivals, Inc. would like to wish you and yours a very safe and happy holiday season.

Our office will close from December 24 - 31, but will be back in full swing on January 3.

We will see you in 2011!