As autumn brings the forgiveness of cooler temperatures after the harsh summer heat, Wichita explodes with reds, oranges and yellows. It is the perfect time to partake in some of the incredible festivals and events happening in the community.
Immerse yourself in culture with Autumn & Art at Bradley Fair. The event is one of the region's largest fine-art shows and sales with 100 juried artists and nearly 20,000 attendees each year. Head to the beautiful Bradley Fair Parkway each September to browse the work of locally and nationally-renowned artists. Mingle with fellow art enthusiasts while shopping for the perfect piece, or stop and watch live art demonstrations throughout this three-day event. Kids can get involved by creating their own masterpieces directed by art educators or send them to the youth gallery to play art-themed games.
Art lovers can also check out the North End Urban Arts Festival in September to support Wichita's north side. The festival is free to spectators and exists to bring together culture and community. Don't miss live music, local food vendors, an arts market, live street art and demonstrations at Nomar International Market in north Wichita.
If you're looking for an educational escape from modern day drama, head back in time to the Middle Ages at the Great Plains Renaissance & Scottish Festival at Sedgwick County Park. Held biannually, the fall fair happens in September with a full royal court and exotic features only seen in Wichita. From actual hand-to-hand combat to authentic jousting and Scottish Highland games, the Ren Faire brings out the best of medieval times. Learn about how royals used birds of prey in sport hunting, buy authentic chain mail and become part of the show as singing pirates pull you up on stage. Between the children's activities, vendors and live reenactments, there is something fun for the whole family. Don't forget to eat a turkey leg!
Are you a fan of BBQ? Head just south of Wichita to Derby for the Derby BBQ Festival in September. Enjoy the Backyard BBQ Cook-off and even choose your favorite kind of barbecue. Be sure to check out the car show, food trucks, beer garden and live music. There are event plenty of activities for kids.
Music lovers will get a kick out of the annual ICT Fest in downtown Wichita. With more than 30 bands playing in one location and an endless supply of fun, join the crowd at this two-day festival. From noise rock, pop, punk and hip-hop to electronic and grunge bands, get exposed to a variety of musical styles and talents from local and regional bands. ICT Fest is held each September.
September also brings music just north of Wichita in the small community of Valley Center. GrooveStock 2017 brings camping, live music, fire performances, sand volleyball and multiple workshops over the span of two days. From electronic dance music to new sounds mixing electronica, blues and funk, find yourself a part of this all-out dance experience.
Learn about the history of trains and the railroad in Wichita with the Great Plains Transportation Museum's Kansas Railfest. Happening at Union Station in downtown Wichita, proceeds go toward helping the museum preserve the history of railroading through restoration and education. Don't miss the rare opportunity to see an authentic Lehigh Valley Coal Company train. Buy a ticket for a short ride through the fairgrounds. Attendees will also get a chance to see a Union Pacific Diesel-Electric Locomotive.
As we continue to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Chisholm Trail, the Historic Delano District welcomes all people to the Delano Fall Fair in early October. This family-friendly event allows an up-close-and-personal experience with cowboys, saloon girls and life in the Wild, Wild West. Learn about historic Wichita and its development with a horse parade, old-fashioned games, vintage baseball and a Civil War encampment. Listen to campfire ghost stories and munch on s'mores, try cowboy food and listen to storytellers talk about life on the Chisholm Trail as part of this three-day celebration.
Thousands of people will fill the streets of downtown Wichita in mid-October for the annual ICT Bloktoberfest. With fan favorites like the Bloktober Beer Fest, Classic Car Show, King Wiener Competition and ICT Burger Battle, the two-day event is jam-packed with food, fun, friends and family. Don't miss out on the Walktoberfest: Walk a Block in My Shoes event with a 5k and 1-mile Fun Run option. All proceeds will go to KETCH to support adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Film buffs can see independent films showcased during the five-day Tallgrass Film Festival each October. The event allows the public to interact with writers, directors, filmmakers and actors while fostering creativity and building interest in the industry. The festival screens more than 200 feature and short films at locations around Wichita. Many of the films shown at Tallgrass Film Festivals in the past have been nominated for or received Sundance or Independent Spirit Awards. At least two films featured in Tallgrass have gone on to battle for Oscars.
Learn how Wichita is rich in Asian heritage at the annual Wichita Asian Festival. Every October, volunteers and coordinators of the Wichita Asian Association organize the event to include art, traditional clothing, performances and food. The long-running event has been a part of the community for nearly 40 years. The Wichita Asian Festival is the only time and place people can taste authentic food from as many as 15 Asian countries under one roof. The festival is free, but bring cash for food and merchandise booths. Don't miss more than a dozen performances highlighting different countries or the Miss Wichita Asian Festival pageant.
To look at all of the upcoming events around Wichita, click here.