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Raft decorated like a dragon drifts down the Arkansas River, 1992
Decorated rafts float down the Arkansas River in the ever-popular Saturday morning raft race, 1992. Photo: Larry Fleming

Wichita River Festival

This ten-day-long event, founded 28 years ago, has not only survived, but prospered. It features over 100 events, including live entertainment, cook-offs, a fishing derby, and canoe, automobile, and bathtub races. A mainstay of the Festival since 1976 is the Saturday morning raft race in which decorated rafts float down the winding Arkansas River, their occupants spraying the many spectators on the banks with river water. Festivities are concluded with a pops concert by the Wichita Symphony Orchestra and fireworks over the Arkansas River. First held in 1972, the festival is an outgrowth of the 1970 Wichita Centennial Celebration.

Originally submitted by: Todd Tiahrt, Representative (4th District).

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The Local Legacies project provides a "snapshot" of American Culture as it was expressed in spring of 2000. Consequently, it is not being updated with new or revised information with the exception of "Related Website" links.

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