River Festival boasts big attendance numbers

Published On: Aug 06 2014 06:33:33 AM CDT   Updated On: Jul 20 2014 06:15:26 PM CDT

Good weather and popular concert headliners boost Wichita's River Festival attendance again this year.

More than 380,000 flocked to downtown for the annual 9-day event, that's 20,000 more than last year.

While little rain and milder temperatures had an impact, Festival President Mary Beth Jarvis attributes the increase to what she calls ramped up and first-time events including hot air balloon rides, a laser light show and a day-long tribute to aviation.

Button sales and sponsorship revenue were also up.

While there were many bright spots this year, celebrations for a cause experienced a big drop in participation.

The initiative allows people in need to get in to River fest, providing buttons to social service organizations. Organizers say it's mainly for lack of a big donor but Jarvis says it's an important part of the event because it allows the festival to be truly inclusive.

Overall she says community support is growing, which Jarvis says is crucial to the events success.

Planning for next year's river festival is already underway. Volunteers clocked nearly 22,000 hours donating their time to make it all come together.

Next year's River Festival is May 29 - June 6.

If you would like to be a sponsor for next year's river festival, it's not too early, click here.