The stage is set up, banners of all the previous posters have been hung on the outside of Century II, and food vendors have set up their tents for the next week and a half. All of this is just some of the prep work for this year's Riverfest. 

The festival kicks off Friday and for Gary Morris, it'll be his first time back as a food vendor since 2019.

"We love it because we was out with COVID and it's just awesome to be back. See all the people and have a good time, sell some food.”

The 2022 edition of Riverfest is a special one for a few reasons. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the event and it marks the return of the full nine day schedule of the festival after the last two were either canceled due to Covid or split in half. 

Wichita Festivals director of marketing, Jenny Venn, says, "The excitement is just booming. Its booming down here on the grounds. It's booming, and the office, everyone's thrilled and excited to be back to the nine day festival and to be back in full force from where we've been for the last couple years.”

Venn says crews have been working for over a week to get everything ready, adding that Tuesday night's rainstorm hasn't slowed them down. She says the festival staff have several back up plans when it comes to weather and other situations that could impact the schedule. "We're monitoring the river level, of course, with the the weather we monitor that daily. During the festival, we monitor the weather constantly and have a meeting every day about it. Same for the river. So as of right now everything is on we're excited looking forward to good weather, lots of sunshine, tons of community, we're ready."

The 2022 Riverfest kicks off on Friday, June 3rd. Food vendors open up at 11 a.m. and the Sundown Parade starts at 6:30 p.m. 

For a full list of events, visit the Riverfest website here or download the Riverfest App.