Category Archives: Wichita Festivals

You don’t say

keeper“Watch out, there’s a new renegade Riverfest button very soon … .”

– An e-mail from Wichita hair stylist Michael Robertson, who created a renegade Wichita River Festival button in 2012 and is doing another one to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Keeper of the Plains (e-mail if you want one)

Renegade Wichita River Festival button features a llama instead of a rooster

UPDATED — For what may be only the second time in the history of the Wichita River Festival, there’s a renegade button to spoof the real one that gets people into the event.

In 2007, it was a bottoms-up duck on the imposter button. This time, hair stylist Michael Robertson created a button featuring a llama in protest of the festival’s real artwork, which features a rooster.

“When I saw the original with the rooster, I thought it was the worst artwork pick they ever had,” Robertson says.

“I just made this llama because it had nothing to do with Riverfest.”

He says he’s getting good feedback from people who have seen the button.

“They’ve been saying they’d rather have the llama than the rooster.”

Wichita Festivals president and CEO Janet Wright isn’t going that far, but she does like Robertson’s button.

“I thought it was kind of funny,” she says. “Somebody with … too much time on his hands, I guess.”

Wright says she knows not everyone understands the rooster connection. That could be because there doesn’t appear to be one.

“It is a competition,” Wright says of the artwork that was chosen. “You have to pick from what you have – not to say we weren’t pleased with the direction the artist went.”

Robertson describes himself as “a serious Riverfest collector and volunteer.”

“Seriously?” Wright says.

When he volunteers at the festival this year, Robertson says he may wear his buttons all over his shirt so he can easily hand them out. You can also get one by e-mailing

Wright says she has no problem with the button, though she says that “since it’s not an official button, it won’t work to get into events.”

You don’t say

“It’s so nice of the city to celebrate the opening of Bluebird with fireworks.”

— Consultant Jill Miller, joking about the Wichita River Festival’s fireworks coinciding with Bluebird Arthouse’s grand opening Saturday in Delano

You don’t say

“Walking those three to five extra minutes would probably be good for us before we eat a funnel cake.”

Wichita Festivals president and CEO Janet Wright, responding to complaints from downtown workers who are disappointed the Wichita River Festival food court has moved 850 feet from where it usually is

You don’t say

“Rain predicted for last day of Festival. This is getting ridiculous. I’m waiting for Ashton Kutcher to jump out & tell me I just got punkd.”

— A Friday tweet from Wichita Festivals communications manager Allyson Clark (@allysonclark)

Wichita Festivals Inc. still negotiating for River Festival replacement

It seems Wichita Festivals Inc.’s negotiations with Cheap Trick are still ongoing. Check back tomorrow to see if that’s the act that will replace Wichita River Festival headliner Bret Michaels or if it’s time for Plan C.

Cheap Trick is likely replacement for Bret Michaels at Wichita River Festival

WICHITA — The likely replacement for Bret Michaels as the May 7 Wichita River Festival headliner is a band that wants you to want them.

Cheap Trick has until 5 p.m. today to accept an offer from Wichita Festivals Inc.

“There’s no confirmation of that,” says Festivals CEO Janet Wright. “We have identified several groups that could potentially be ones that might work.”

Wright does confirm that there is a 5 p.m. deadline today for an act to accept a contract.

Michaels is unable to perform after being hospitalized Thursday night following a brain hemorrhage.

A source says Cheap Trick will cost more than Michaels.

There’s also a Plan C in the works, but it sounds like Cheap Trick is likely to work out.

You don’t say

“I would strongly suggest you don’t call till after River Festival. It’s not a good time.”

Wichita Festivals CEO Janet Wright, referring to signing up volunteers for Autumn & Art at Bradley Fair, which she announced Thursday

Associated creates, pulls River Festival video

mike-snyderThere’s a video that briefly circulated about the Top 10 things that can get you in trouble at the Wichita River Festival. But Wichita Festivals didn’t produce it — or even know about it.

Associated, which creates the River Festival poster every year, did the video. But it wasn’t a client job.

“We decided to have some fun,” says chief executive Mike Snyder.

“We don’t talk about funnel cakes,” he says. “We talk about some things that are very real. Very human.”

And very inappropriate to print in a family newspaper.

“When you get 100,000 people out, you see all kinds of different things,” Snyder says.

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