Saturday, June 4, 2016

First Night of the Wichita River Festival is in the Books

And, what a night it was! The weather was perfect (exactly as forecast by AccuWeather!).

As always, the 9-day festival began with the Sundowner Parade.


Then, Kathleen and I moved toward the stage area. Master of Ceremonies for the evening, KSNW-TV meteorologist and National Weather Association President Dave Freeman, did his usual outstanding job.

We had a special bonus as the commander of McConnell AFB swore in the US Air Force's latest recruits.

While I had no business sharing a stage with these amazing musicians, it was a thrill to get to welcome everyone on behalf of AccuWeather.
Photo by Martin Ufford
The Symphony moments before the concert began.
The view of thousands of my friends from the stage. 
The Wichita Symphony Orchestra performed a perfect concert of popular favorites. As always, it ended with the 1812 Overture complete with Army cannons. Unfortunately, the cannons were behind a row of trees so I was not able to get a good photo of them.

The Kansas Sky added to the festive atmosphere. The crowd cheered when I mentioned its beauty.
One of the highlights is the first night fireworks which were sponsored by AccuWeather.

As usual, the fireworks were spectacular. The fireworks were set off over the Arkansas River which runs right through downtown Wichita. Here are a couple of brief samples:
video

video
Starting today (Saturday), there will be a zipline across the river and many other activities focused around the river.


P.S. I will not be doing any more comprehensive reports on this year's festival. I wanted to provide these two reports so people from outside Wichita would understand what a wonderful event it is and, hopefully, come and join the "party on the prairie." 

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