Wendy Johnson to serve as Admiral Windwagon Smith

WendyJohnson-WindwagonRiverfest 2017 concert line-up announced

WICHITA - Wichita Festivals, Inc. revealed Wendy Johnson as Admiral Windwagon Smith XLIV, ambassador of Riverfest 2017 which runs June 2-10. Johnson, division director of marketing and communications for the Wichita Public Schools, grew up in Wichita and graduated from Wichita High School East. The recipient of Wichita Festivals’ Galaxy Award in 2013 recognizing more than 20 years of outstanding volunteer service, Johnson served on the WFI Board of Directors for six years and was its chair in 2006.
    “When I was a kid rolling down the hillside in A. Price Woodard Park during Riverfest, I never thought I would experience this amazing community event as Admiral Windwagon Smith,” Johnson said.
    In addition, nine days of concerts were also recently announced. Riverfest 2017’s concert headliners include four Grammy Award winners, an Academy Award recipient, a Golden Globe winner and a Kennedy Center Honoree.


    Riverfest’s entertainment kicks off Friday, June 2 with the traditional Twilight Pops Concert featuring the Wichita Symphony Orchestra. That Kennedy Plaza concert takes place while the Chroma Paint Party – a colorful combo of paint cannons, a light show and EDM provided by a team of DJs – will take place in the RedGuard Stage area.
    On Saturday, June 3, California indie rock nine-piece band Foxygen, will open for cult favorites Flaming Lips on the Kennedy Plaza Stage. La Raza Fest will bring a Latin-flavored dance party to the RedGuard Stage area that night.
    Sunday, June 4 country duo LoCash will perform on the Kennedy Plaza Stage. Also that evening, the RedGuard Stage will play host to Magic Giant from Los Angeles, and regional favorites, Carrie Nation & the Speakeasy.
    Gospelfest welcomes Stellar Award winner and Dove Award nominee Jonathan Nelson to the Kennedy Plaza Stage on Monday, June 5 and will include performances by local groups and choir members.
    Wichita’s talented theater community will strut their stuff when “Festival of Broadway” returns to Kennedy Plaza on Tuesday, June 6, featuring performances by Music Theatre Wichita, Roxy’s Downtown, Mosley Street Melodrama and Laughing Feet Performers. On the RedGuard Stage, popular local singer-songwriter-musician Jenny Wood will host the “Don’t Let Them Get in Your Head” Concert, a special performance inspired by her anti-bullying anthem which has become a rallying cry in area schools to stand up and speak out.
    The driving pop punk of Less Than Jake will keep everyone moving at the Wet & Wild Dance Party Wednesday, June 7 on the Kennedy Plaza Stage. Opening act The Toasters will bring old-school, NYC ska to the party.
    Brett Young, known for his West-Coast-meets-Southern “Caliville” country style, will play the RedGuard Stage that night, Mountain Deer Revival will open.
    Soul, R&B and Gospel superstar Mavis Staples, a two-time Grammy winner who was recognized for lifetime achievement at the Kennedy Center Honors in December 2016 and will be inducted this spring into the Blues Hall of Fame, will perform on the Kennedy Plaza Stage on Thursday, June 8, roots rocker J.D. McPherson will be the opening act.
    June 9, rapper, actor and writer, Common will perform on the Kennedy Plaza stage. Denver hip-hop artists Flobots, will open.
    The RedGuard Stage will play host to Louisiana-raised blues pianist and singer, Marcia Ball.
    The closing celebration of Riverfest 2017 kicks off at Kennedy Plaza on Saturday, June 10 with Rockin’ on the River starring OK Go. Experimental pop duo Lewis Del Mar will also perform. Fiesta del Rio, featuring a variety of Hispanic bands, will take place on the RedGuard Stage that night.
    A number of local and regional acts also will perform at Riverfest 2017, including DJ Carbon, Sunshine Trucking, The Travel Guide, Mountain Deer Revival, Herd of the Huntress, Sloan Moon, Keen Kutter, Marrque Nunley and many others.
    Admission to all Riverfest concerts is free with a Riverfest button. Adult buttons are $10, and children’s buttons are $5. Buttons are available at an early bird discount price of $7 for adults and $3 for children via preorder at SelectASeat.com, and in person April 10-May 4 at Cox Solutions stores: 2240 N. Rock Road, 446 S. Ridge Road and 2556 N. Maize in Wichita; and 1636 N. Rock Road in Derby. Full-price buttons will be available at Dillons and QuikTrip beginning May 5. l

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