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Riverfest Sees 11 Percent Increase In Attendance For 2016

Sean Sandefur
KMUW/File photo

This year’s Riverfest celebration in downtown Wichita saw an 11 percent increase in attendance over last year, according to event organizers.

Wichita Festivals, Inc. counted a total of 455,000 people who traveled to the banks of the Arkansas River to enjoy concerts, food and other attractions. It continues a trend of increased attendance over the last two years.

Event organizers say the most popular attractions were the fireworks finale last Saturday, which attracted about 60,000 people, and the Sundown Parade, which kicked off Riverfest’s first night on June 3.

The Wichita Police Department reports that crime was down this year. There were only five arrests on or near the festival grounds. As recently as 2012, there were more than 100 law-enforcement issues tied to the event. Improved safety has been attributed to putting gates up around festival grounds.

Total revenue numbers aren't yet available.

More results from the 45th annual RiverFest:

  • ?Food and beverage sales are estimated to be up 17 percent from good results in 2015.
  • More than 7,200 volunteers assisted with the festival, up from 6,000 in 2015. Festival officials expect work hours for these volunteers to total more than 35,000 hours.
  • ?In its inaugural year, STEAM City welcomed 4,500 attendees who learned about companies and careers in science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics.
  • More than 22,000 buttons were sold during the early-bird sales period when adult buttons were available at $7. In addition, more than 23,000 buttons were sold at the festival gates, up about 10 percent from 2015.
  • ?There were 30 new events at Riverfest 2016, including the Blacktop Nationals car show.

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