Ken Vandruff
Director of Communications


Sept. 25, 2009
For immediate release

Fall festivals bring tourists to Wichita area

(Wichita, Kan.) Two major events this weekend kick off the fall festival season in the Wichita area.

Jousting knights, fair maidens, falconers and magicians will fill Sedgwick County Park for the 10th Annual Great Plains Renaissance Festival, Sept. 26-27. The festival creates a medieval village complete with reenactors who take visitors on a time trip to the days of chivalry. There will be six event stages along with artisans and vendors.

Secret recipes and a pepper-eating contest are on the menu for the 2009 Wichita Wagonmasters Downtown Chili Cookoff, Sept. 26. The festival takes place on Douglas between St. Francis and the railroad tracks. The Chili Cookoff is sanctioned by the International Chili Society and open to chili cooks from across the region.

Other major Wichita festivals this fall include the Midwest Beerfest, Oct. 16-17; the 29th Annual Asian Festival, Oct. 17; and the Tallgrass Film Festival, Oct. 23-25. These events, plus community fall festivals, bring tourists from across the region to Wichita. They also entice former residents to "come home" for a visit.

"We're all celebrating community pride, and at the same time providing a boost to our regional economy," said Maureen Hofrenning, vice president, Go Wichita Convention & Visitors Bureau. "The visitors who attend, and the vendors who make the festivals possible, stay in our hotels, eat in our restaurants, visit other attractions and shop in our stores."

Visitors pay $6 million a year to the city of Wichita through the transient guest tax on their hotel bills. Visitors also pay $3.6 million in sales tax each year to local governments, according to statistics from Randall Travel Marketing.  

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About Visit Wichita

Visit Wichita markets the greater Wichita area as a major convention and tourism destination, thereby enhancing the economic development of the city, county, region and state. Visit Wichita is led by President and CEO Susie Santo, and in 2013 travel and tourism contributed more than $1 billion in economic impact to the Wichita MSA.