Safety Precautions for the 50th Annual Riverfest

WICHITA, Kan (KSNW) — Celebrating half a century. Wichita’s biggest party starts Friday. Planning and preparation takes a year. With tens of thousands of people expected to flock downtown, safety is at the forefront of everyone’s concerns.

Sargent Kelly O’Brien of the Wichita Police Department said there will be plenty of police at the event to keep everyone safe. They’ll be on horseback, motorcycles, golf carts, and walking around is just one of the many safety precautions planned for Wichita Riverfest.

“You will see police in the neighborhood. We have adopted different strategies and plans to make this event a safe event for the community to enjoy,” said O’Brien.

The last time the city’s biggest party was in 2019, when over 440,000 people came out. Organizers said they expect similar crowds this year.

“We are thrilled that everyone can have a stage of normalcy to participate in Riverfest again. I know there are a lot of people who have come to town in 2020 who haven’t been able to attend the full Riverfest yet,” said Jenny Venn, Director of Marketing and Communications for Wichita Festivals.

With so many people expected at the festival, O’Brien asks the revelers to contact the officers in the area.

“If you see something out of place or you think it’s not fair, let the officers know. See something, say something. They’re there to help you,” O’Brien said.

A private security company will also be working at all four entrances to check bags and use a metal detector rod on everyone who joins the party.

“Safety is a priority for us. It always has been, and it will definitely continue for the 9 days we are together here as well,” Venn said.

Things like bicycles and scooters, even pets are not allowed inside the festival area. For a full list of what you can and cannot bring to the party, click here.

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Susan W. Lloyd