Summer in the city

ICT awaits...

Written by Amy Bird

Between festivals, outdoor performances, sports and food trucks, you won’t want to spend a minute cloistered indoors this summer. Following are just a few ideas to help you celebrate summer the good old-fashioned way: outside!

Festivals

The summer festival season is upon us. Make your way downtown to discover all Wichita has to offer, from concerts, car shows, activities, music and art.

Wichita Riverfest

Wichita’s biggest festival of the year, June 2-10, will feature a parade, fireworks, outdoor concerts, food, children’s activities, contests, a car show, water events and River Run race. You won’t want to miss it. For a complete list of events, go to wichitariverfest.com.

Automobilia's Moonlight Car Show and Street Party

July 8, two miles of downtown Wichita will be blocked off for a car show, live music, vendors and food courts. Check it out at automobiliausa.com.

Wichita Vortex Music Festival

Ever wanted to try urban camping? Wichita’s newest music festival, headlined by Dwight Yoakam, August 4-5, will feature live Americana, alt-country and bluegrass music, craft beers, local food and camping under the watchful gaze of the Keeper of the Plains. Find out more at wichitavortexfest.com.

Emberhope Chalkfest

Watch local artists create masterpieces in chalk or try your own hand at a design at the chalk art festival, August 5, in Old Town Square. The free event is designed to raise awareness for EmberHope’s youth and foster care programs. Get the details online at emberhope.org.

Food Trucks

Summer fare can be found in spots all over the city by food trucks offering everything from crepes, to Mexican food, to BBQ. Visit Wichita Food Trucks online, on Facebook or Twitter, or search ICT Food Trucks on Facebook for a list of local trucks and their locations. Or, catch a local rally at one of the following gathering spots.

ICT Pop Up Urban Park — 121 E. Douglas

Venture downtown for lunch or dinner, maybe even a free concert. Check out the park on Facebook to find out the day’s schedule of food trucks and entertainment.

WSU Food Truck Plaza — 1845 N. Fairmount

The plaza is open daily 11 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. A list of the food trucks, as well as any additional hours of operation, can be found on Twitter @wsufoodtrucks, on Facebook and online at wichita.edu/foodtrucks.

Food Trucks at the Fountain — 515 S. Main

Throughout the summer, a food truck rally hosted by the Flying Stove will be held at Wichita Waterwalk on the last Sunday of each month. Bring your yoga mat for a free class by Satya Moon Yoga at 10 a.m. Donations for a designated local charity will be accepted, and stay for live music, 11:30 a.m.- 2 p.m. For updates, check out the Flying Stove online, on Facebook or Twitter @theflyingstove.

Concerts and Entertainment

There are plenty of outdoor entertainment options to add to your summer bucket list, whether your prefer movies, live music or artistic performances.

Shakespeare in the Park

Take in a production by the Wichita Shakespeare Company performed at Wichita-area parks. This summer, the troupe will be putting on Henry V at 7 p.m. every Friday, Saturday and Sunday, June 9-25. Check out wichitashakespearecompany.com for performance locations.

Ballet in the Park

Ballet Wichita will perform the Wizard of Oz, June 9, 10 and 11 at parks in the greater metro area, including Mulvane, Augusta and Eldorado. Visit balletwichita.com for times and location.

Starlite Drive-In

Watch a movie under the stars at Starlite Drive-In. You can even stay for a double, or triple feature on the weekends. Movie schedules are available online at starlitefun.com.

Outdoor movies at New Market Square

Every Saturday in June, July and August, a free, family-friendly movie will be shown at 8 p.m. at the fountains in New Market Square. The event also includes free popcorn and popsicles. Donations can be made to LovingLearners, a Bless Project of Redemption Church, which provides school supplies to kids in the Maize school district. Check out redemptionwichita.com for a list of the movies scheduled.

Jazz Concerts on Bradley Fair Plaza

Every Thursday in June, Bradley Fair will host a free jazz concert from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. A special fireworks display over the lake will follow the concert Thursday, June 29.

KEYN Summer Concert Series presented by BG Products

Head to Wichita Waterwalk on Friday evenings, July 7-August 11, for a free outdoor concert featuring area bands. Food trucks will open at 6:30, with shows starting at 8 p.m. For a list of the acts, go to KEYN.com.

Botanica Tuesdays on the Terrace

Take in the gardens and enjoy live music, 6-8 p.m. every Tuesday throughout the summer. Tickets are $10 for non-members and $5 for members. A cash bar will be provided by The Bar’s Open and food will be available for purchase from Friends of Botanica and Molino’s. Go to botanica.org for a complete list of performers.

Living Museum

Wichita’s cultural treasure, Old Cowtown Museum, will offer up 19th Century fun at its Celebrate America event, 10-5 p.m. Saturday, July 1, and at activities honoring the 150th anniversary of the Chisholm Trail, 10-5 p.m. July 22-23. Regular admission prices apply. The museum grounds, open year-round, include 54 original and recreated buildings. For details, check out oldcowtown.org.

Hometown Sports

Nothing says summer quite like a game. Cheer on local heroes at Wichita Wingnuts home games, the National Baseball Congress World Series and FC Wichita Men’s and Women’s soccer games.

Wichita Wingnuts

Head to a Wingnuts home game at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium and stay for the fireworks after Friday night games. A complete schedule is available at wichitawingnuts.com.

NBC World Series

The National Baseball Congress consists of 15 amateur and semi-professional baseball leagues operating in the United States and Canada. Games in the series, July 22-August 6 at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium, will begin as early as 2 p.m. and as late as midnight for the die-hards. For more information, go to nbcbaseball.com.

FC Wichita

FC Wichita officially became a member of the National Premier Soccer League, which is made up of 80 teams nationwide, in 2014. Both men’s and women’s teams compete throughout June and July at the Stryker Soccer Complex. For tickets and information, go to fcwichita.com.

The Great Outdoors

Whether you are looking to satiate your inner daredevil or find an elusive bird species on a nature walk, Wichita has something for everyone looking to get off the couch this summer.

Skydiving

The Air Capital Drop Zone, 10 minutes south of Wichita at Cook Airfield in Derby, offers first jump training by tandem or instructor assisted deployment. For more information or to schedule a skydive, go to aircapitaldropzone.com, or call (316) 776-1700.

Horesback riding

Wichita Riding Academy offers private and semi-private riding lessons, along with a variety of summer camp options for kids. Lessons cover saddle seat, hunt seat and western style riding. To find out more, contact Cheryl Manahan at (316) 651-0876 or cheryl@wichitaridingacademy.com.

Walk and Bike Wichita

Wichita has numerous walking and biking paths. For walking, try Chisholm Creek Park near Great Plains Nature Center (gpnc.org). The 282-acre park has 2 1/2 miles of paved trails. For biking, check out wichita.gov for maps of the city’s 100 miles of maintained bike paths and lanes.

 
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