Arena’s Ribfest set to return in May

Intrust Bank Arena has scheduled its second annual Ribfest, a big outdoor¬†gathering¬†of professional slab-ists from across the country, for May 16-18 in the same spot it was last year — City Lot D at 777 E. Waterman.

The event will feature six national rib vendors from Texas, Illinois, Virginia and Arkansas — the same ones that were in attendance last year.

Attendees pay $4 to get in the event (it’s free for children 12 and under) then buy their slabs and sides from the vendors. Live music and activities will be staged throughout the area.

The festival will go on from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. May 16-18. Lunch will be half-price on Thursday, May 16, and on that day, attendees can get in free if they have a Wichita River Festival button.

A few additions this year: Arena officials are hoping to have a biker night on Thursday and put on a classic car show on Saturday. They’re also devising a way to get local barbecue vendors involved but are still working on those plans.

About 10,000 people attended the event last year, said Christine Pileckas, marketing manager for the arena. But organizers are hoping for more this year, mainly because they’re hoping that unlike last year, Saturday night won’t be canceled because of high winds and lightning. But it is May in Kansas, so…

To read up on the Ribfest, visit the arena’s website.