I usually don’t attend events at the Wichita Riverfest. I finally quit making fun of it years ago because it just never changes. This year we wanted to see the Go Gos, so we went to the festival.
I’ve written before about how lame the festival has gotten. The used to have events such as a sand castle contest and bathtub races in the Arkansas River. But now the pollution is so bad the river is not used at all. Now it is mostly just the food court and some shows. The whole event has always been used as an excuse for many local businesses to promotion their commercial services and products. And, as I was reminded tonight, we also have to listen to preachers who use their booths to preach and promote their tasteless right-wing religious blather to those of us who have no interest in it. That has been the case since Reverfest was started in 1972.
Another problem with the festival has been complaints from the more conservative people, for years, about young people drinking in public and creating an atmosphere that many of these conservatives considered “not-family-friendly.” By making the festival more “family friendly” a lot of young people have been run off and the festival makes less money than it did when it was friendlier towards young people.
Another problem was parking. They had a full parking lot by the old baseball stadium and they put carnival rides there making it harder to find a parking space. Luckily the weather was bad enough that parking wasn’t as heaving as it normally would have been.
The festival was moved years ago because it rained too much in May, when it was originally held. This year it rained much of the festival even though it is now held in June. This year I wanted to watch The Go Gos outside, but the concert was moved because of rain and many of us in attendance didn’t realize they had moved the concert. Many people we talked with thought the concert was canceled so we left.
Perhaps someday Wichita will revise the Riverfest and make it the kind of to notch event it could have been all along. But that hasn’t happened yet and I’m not holding my breath right now.
The GO-GOs - We Got The Beat