Next Best Thing: Virtual Riverfest

May 27, 2020

The Riverfest 2020 button was designed by artists Meghan and Juanta Wolfe.

The Wichita Riverfest would’ve kicked off this Friday, May 29, but for the first time in its 49 years, Riverfest will not go on as planned.

Instead of swarming to downtown Wichita with more than 440,000 other festival-goers, Wichita Riverfest invites you to go virtual, May 29 through June 6.


This year’s Sundown Parade — the beloved opening event of Riverfest — will be made up of shoeboxes. Submissions for the Sundown Parade Shoebox Challenge will be posted at 6:30 p.m. on Friday on the Wichita River Festival Facebook page. To vote for the People’s Choice winner, like the photo of your favorite shoebox float. Then tune in to the Wichita Symphony Orchestra’s annual Twilight Pops Concert that night from 7:00 to 8:30. (BYO fireworks.)


Other opportunities to participate in this year’s Virtual Riverfest include a Virtual Car Show and a Quarantine Style contest. Submit a photo of your ride, or your best terrible stay-at-home look, by 5 p.m. on June 1.


A schedule of daily virtual events, including Kids Corner live performances, coloring pages of past poster art, and spotlights with volunteers and this year’s schoonies, is at


There you can also purchase a now defunct 2020 Riverfest button. It’s an apt memento for this year, and there’s no doubt Riverfest could use the support.


And keep that support coming this fall, when the city presents a new, four-day event in honor of Wichita and Sedgwick County’s 150th birthday. Wonderfall, named in an online contest, is scheduled for Nov. 5 through 8 in downtown Wichita.




"Funk" by Podington Bear courtesy of the Free Music Archive, CC BY NC