All those in favor of summer, say I!

Written by Amy Palser

If you’re like us, you’re ready to embrace a new season full of outdoor concerts, leisurely activities and al fresco dining. And this year Wichita does not disappoint, with a bevy of things to do and see from May to August. So get your calendars out and make a date, whether it’s a bike ride with the family on some of the city’s 100 miles of bike paths or a night out with friends and food trucks. These are just a few of the many activities and events in store — check out Wichita.com for even more. Let the summer begin!

Farmers’ markets

Farmers’ Market season has begun, and that means you can stock up on local honey, farm-fresh eggs, cool plants, flavorful veggies and handmade stuff of all kinds. Wichita’s two biggest farmers’ markets are open every Saturday from now until October, while smaller markets are open throughout the week. Some of the most popular are:

Old Town Farmers’ Market, First and Mosley, 7 a.m. to noon Saturdays oldtownfarmersmarket.com

Kansas Grown Farmers’ Market, 7001 W. 21st Street N., 7 a.m. to noon Saturdays kansasgrownfarmersmarket.com

Kansas Grown in Derby, 512 Madison, 7 a.m. to noon Saturdays kansasgrownfarmersmarket.com

Green Acres Market, Bradley Fair, 3–6 p.m. Tuesdays

Lincoln Heights Farmers’ Market, Douglas and Oliver, 7–11 a.m. Wednesdays

Kansas Grown at Whole Foods, 1423 N. Webb, 3–6 p.m. Wednesdays

Great outdoors

Bike Wichita — If you haven’t explored Wichita’s 100 miles of maintained walking and bike paths and lanes, this is the year! Many of the paths travel through and along scenic areas, such as the Arkansas River. Printed copies of the Greater Wichita Bike map are available at City Hall, neighborhood city halls, libraries, bicycle shops, and many other locations. You can also check them out at wichita.gov.

A Walk in the Park — At the Great Plains Nature Center near 29th and Woodlawn, you and the family can explore Chisholm Creek Park’s 2 1/2 miles of paved trails, which cross native and restored prairies, wetlands, ponds and woodlands on 282 acres. Be on the lookout for turtles and other wildlife! Visit gpnc.org.

Festivals and parties

Wichita Riverfest — You won’t want to miss the city’s biggest festival of the year May 31 through June 8. It features outdoor concerts, children’s activities, food, fireworks, water events and the River Run race. New additions this year include a drone race, cornhole tournament, Heavy Metal Karaoke, and The Big Float on the Arkansas River. This year’s music headliners include Sublime with Rome, The Toadies, Trombone Shorty, Los Lobos and Yolanda Adams. For a complete list of events visit wichitariverfest.com.

Capitol Federal Amphitheater — Enjoy music in the great outdoors at the new Capitol Federal Amphitheater in Andover, now in its second concert season after its official opening in April 2018. Bring lawn chairs and blankets for one of the theater’s three summer concert offerings. Visit capitolfederalamphitheater.com for more information or to buy tickets.

Red Dirt Roundup — June 29, featuring Pat Green, Wade Bowen, Jack Ingram, Mountain Deer Revival and Morrison County

Blues & Brews Festival — July 20, featuring Walter Trout, Tab Benoit, Terry Quiett Band, and Dustin Arbuckle and the Damnation

Alt 107.3 5th Birthday Bash — Aug. 10, featuring Fuel, Spin Doctors and Eve6

SPLURGE! Party

Celebrate summer with your favorite Wichita magazine for the Wichita Open 30th Birthday Bash hosted by SPLURGE! at Crestview Country Club, June 15 from 6:30–10:30 p.m. Festivities begin in the air-conditioned 18th Green BKD Suite. Then at 8:30, the Fabulous Shirtheads, a fixture of the Wichita music scene, will perform on a specially built stage on the course. The band is known for onstage comedy and antics, along with a danceable playlist. The evening ends with fireworks on the green, donated by Krehbiel Wholesale Fireworks.

Concerts and Entertainment

Music Theatre Wichita — The Century II Concert Hall will be bursting with song and dance during Music Theatre Wichita’s 48th season. The five Broadway-scale musical productions, all self-produced by MTWichita, feature the impressive mix of Broadway and Hollywood professionals working alongside talented Midwesterners. For more information visit mtwichita.org.

2019 SEASON SHOWS

“Sound of Music” — June 12–16. After an extended absence of 20 years from MTWichita, the plucky Maria and her stern Captain return to charm audiences once again.

“An American in Paris” — June 26–30. Inspired by the Academy Award-winning film, this new Broadway classic combines a compelling story with glorious ballet and the symphonic music of George Gershwin.

“A Chorus Line” — July 10–14. This iconic backstage musical returns to MTWichita, with its kicklines, gold costumes and personal glimpses into the lives of the individuals who make up the line.

“Chicago” — July 24–28. Based on a true crime drama of Chicago’s Jazz Age, the tale of murderesses Velma Kelly and Roxie Hart has captured the imaginations of audiences since the musical premiered in 1975.

“In the Heights” — Aug. 7–11. Before he created the international sensation “Hamilton,” Lin-Manuel Miranda wrote this exciting and tuneful musical about the area of New York where he grew up: Washington Heights.

Wichita Grand Opera

Introduce the entire family to the magic of opera with Wichita Grand Opera’s production of “Noah’s Flood” at 7 p.m., May 23 at Century II's Mary Jane Teall Theater. This heartwarming children’s opera is returning to the WGO stage after debuting to wide acclaim in June 2017. The production incorporates both adult and young singers accompanied by a full orchestra, and a cast of children of all ages as the parade of animals boarding the Ark.

Then, don’t miss the opera’s gift to the community, “Opera on the Lake” at Bradley Fair at 7 p.m., May 30. Bring a chair or blanket as you and the family enjoy this year’s theme, “Rock Opera!” featuring favorites from “Rent,” “Aida,” “Miss Saigon” and “Jesus Christ Superstar.” The event is free. For tickets to “Noah’s Flood” or more information on WGO events, visit wichitagrandopera.org.

Food Trucks

Food Trucks at the Fountain — Mark the last Sunday of each month on your calendar for this food truck extravaganza that also features live music and free yoga. Hosted by The Flying Stove, this rally of local food trucks means there’s plenty of new and favorite foods to try. The event goes from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Check out the group’s Facebook page for more information.

ICT Pop-Up Urban Park — Whether for coffee, brunch, lunch or dinner, grab food with friends at this hip park near Douglas and Market, featuring umbrella-covered tables and games. Compete against a coworker in a game of ping-pong or explore the local artwork scattered throughout the park, all while enjoying free Wi-Fi. Visit the park’s Facebook page for the food truck schedule.

WSU Food Truck Plaza — Wichita State University partners with Wichita Food Trucks to feature a rotation of area food truck vendors on weekdays. Located on the Innovation Campus, the plaza is a rotating smorgasbord of favorites like Urban Skillet, Uno Mas Burgers and Neives’ Taco Truck. Each week’s schedule is posted on the group’s Facebook page.

 
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