Exploring the economic benefits to Riverfest

WICHITA,Kansas – Numbers are up for this years Riverfest attendance, drawing thousands to downtown Wichita.

“It’s turned back into more of a family type of affair here and we appreciate,” said Dwight Wedel of B&J Pups.

Just a few of the numbers are in showing a 30 percent increase in attendance within the last two years, making the grand total of visitors 380,000 during the nine day festival. Button sales dropped to 12,000 sold on-site, but children’s buttons remained the hot item with nearly 5,500 sold on site.

Studies show that Riverfest has generated between $25-$30 million dollars, officials believe it does more than just bring in the big bucks.

“I also think it has the upside of getting more and more people to downtown and seeing our river alive,” said Mary Beth Jarvis with Wichita Festivals Inc. “And seeing our downtown alive and we want to keep this up just more than nine times a year.”

Local business shared mixed feeling with KSN about the economic impact. Some business like the Drury Inn praised the festival for keeping traffic flowing for them.

“We want to make sure people get access to their businesses get back and forth safely,” said Jarvis.

Others hoped for more steady traffic.

“Hopefully, we can make something better for buttons during the noon crowd to bring more people down here at noon time,” said Wedel.

“We don’t want to impact downtown not anymore than we have to,” said Jarvis. “We want to impact in a good way so that festival goers are happy and our neighbors are happy.”

Wichita Festivals Inc. wants to hear about your Riverfest experience. Click on the links below to share.



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