From Wichita Peace and Freedom Party Examiner:
This is the last weekend of the River Festival. Most of my friends and I don’t go any more for a number of reasons.
First of all, it is so “family friendly” that they run off young singles. Most of it has to do with drinking. It is all corralled into on small area because some people complained about their kids seeing people drink. So young people stay away,
Most of the music is aimed at older people. When it isn’t, people are usually crammed into an area open to the hot sun where they can’t bring in their own drinks. They have to buy overpriced bottled water and other refreshments from venders there. They can’t even bring their own water. Many young people I know just don’t go to that.
A lot has been dropped from the River Festival, including bath tub races and sand castle building. That is because the river is too polluted and city officials don’t want to be responsible for people getting sick from all the pollutants that local farmers and companies can just pour into our river. It makes the idea of a “river” festival a sad joke.
River festival has always been a kind of commercial extravaganza for local businesses who want to get their name and wares displayed in a large crowd. There’s still a river run that a local bank puts on. Each year it gets lamer and lamer. Now only middle age people with small kids go to it and they don’t spend enough money. Despite record attendance, the festival didn’t make much money last year.
The festival brings in a lot of outsiders to Wichita, but it really doesn’t do anything for most of us regular working people.