For many, fall is a wonderful time to get out and enjoy some of Wichita’s best events. It’s no surprise that autumn in Wichita will look a bit different in 2020, though we are happy to report you can still enjoy some of the annual events locals and visitors have come to love. Organizers for a number of fall festivals in Wichita have implemented extra safety precautions or moved to a virtual format to bring the fun this autumn.
There’s something for everyone among the variety of Wichita festivals scheduled during the next couple of months. Here’s a rundown of upcoming festivals; be sure to check websites and social media channels for the most current schedules and attendance guidelines.
ICT Burger Battle
Rather than gather in one place to try all competing burgers, the 8th annual ICT Burger Battle is designed for you to sample burgers on your own schedule during the months of September and October. Go online to purchase a Burger Pass for $30 and then start making visits – in person or carry out – to the five participating restaurants: PourHouse by Walnut River Brewing Company, Bricktown Brewery East, Red Robin Gourmet Burgers and Brews, Southeast Carryout and Fizz Burgers and Bottles.
Use your Burger Pass one time at each of the participating restaurants during the two months to receive a free competition burger with the purchase of a burger from their menu. For example, PourHouse is entering its veggie burger that includes a mix of black beans, Portobello mushroom, broccoli and seasonings while Bricktown Brewery is competing with its 6 ounce Black Angus patty topped with American cheese, lettuce, onion, tomato, pickle and burger sauce.
Once you’ve sampled the burgers, vote online for your favorite and become eligible to receive a free T-shirt. Proceeds from Burger Pass purchases benefit the programs and services for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities provided by the nonprofit KETCH.
This year’s Zoobilee fundraiser for the Sedgwick County Zoo has transformed into Zoobilee To-Go. Purchase a discount card for $100 for access to limited time offers from the zoo’s sponsors and partners. There’s also an online shop where you can purchase event T-shirts and Zoo Pal sponsorships, and don’t miss the virtual auction Sept. 6-12 where animal adoption and tour packages will be available.
ICT Yoga Fest
This two-day festival on Sept. 11-12 is packed with classes and activities inside at the Wichita Boathouse and outside on the Arkansas River as well as among the Wichita WaterWalk gardens and field. ICT Yoga Fest is a celebration of all things yoga with more than 30 classes/workshops/activities representing different styles of yoga and movement.
Flow yoga, meditation, aerial and acro yoga, paddleboard, Ashtanga yoga, energy work, yoga philosophy, mindfulness and soundbath and vibration restoration are just some of the areas covered. There’s also a marketplace with vendors and local artisans.
Tickets range from a day pass for $40 to a weekend pass for $60 that includes Friday night yoga and cocktails class. There are also a few free events, such as outdoor kids yoga and a 2-mile morning jog followed by a yoga class designed specifically for runners.
Autumn & Art
This annual alfresco fine art event is morphing into Autumn & Art: An Online Art Fair for its 11th year. Via the festival website during festival hours Sept. 18-20, you’ll be able to browse through artists’ booths and buy the works for sale; visit with them about their work via video chat; enjoy jazz, dance or theater performances; and take in a demo or tutorial.
Normally, there is a cap of 100 artists who can participate in this juried event. This year, there will be 52 artists chosen by a jury alongside alumni artists who have been juried into one of the previous 10 years of the festival.
As always, the main festival is free to attend. However, there is a ticketed Opening Night Patron Party that this year will be presented as a party-in-a-box with local food, drink and entertainment delivered to your door. Tickets begin at $100 per person. Learn more about this year's event.
The Wichita Open, voted the Korn Ferry Tour’s Tournament of the Year for 2019, moved from the spring to Sept. 24-27 for 2020 and will be played without spectators at Crestview Country Club, the only 36-hole country club in Kansas.
This is the Professional Golf Association’s top minor-league tour and features some of the best golfers in the world competing in multiple events on a challenging course. The Wichita Open is one of four remaining stops to play in all 31 years of the tour.
This free annual event on Oct. 2-3 will move to the Wichita Boathouse this year. The 2020 ICT Bloktoberfest will be a smaller event but expect a Biergarten, music, food and games in a kid- and dog-friendly setting.
Prairie Fire Race Series
Run through the heart of Wichita on Oct. 11 and enjoy fast courses and beautiful views during the Prairie Fire Marathon fall series.
Full marathon, half marathon, Visit Wichita Mayor's 5K Challenge, and Youth Marathon are among the options.
Tallgrass Film Festival
The 18th annual Tallgrass Film Festival will take place entirely online with expanded dates, going from five days to 10 days. The virtual festival takes place Oct. 16-25 and will feature the same great mix of film screening and social events. Expect short and feature films from around the world, guest Q&As, happy hours and more, all accessible across most digital devices and Smart TVs. There will be all access passes as well as general admission options per film. Educational roundtables and industry panels will be available free to the public.
Watch the Tallgrass Film Festival website for pricing and event details, along with the selection of films typically announced in late September.
For a preview of the main virtual festival, register for TallShorts, a fundraiser on Sept. 12 that is a virtual evening of curated short films paired with food and wine from three Wichita chefs. Each $70 TallShorts ticket comes with a VIP box of wine and recipe cards to follow along and make unique appetizers with guidance from Jennifer Ray of Monarch, Don Wright of Old Mill Tasty Shop and Joumana Toubia of Two Olives.
Annual fall festivals that have been canceled for 2020: