As every Midwesterner knows, we love an excuse to host a good party. The residents of Wichita are no exception! Wichita proves it’s one of the most inclusive cities in the Midwest with a wide variety of LGBTQ+ events, parades, celebrations and festivals. Here are Wichita’s queer-friendly events you don’t want to miss.
Wichita City Pride
Wichita City Pride, hosted by the City of Wichita and Proud of Wichita (Wichita LGBTQ Chamber of Commerce), is held each year in June at Naftzger Park. This Pride Block Party began as a celebration of Wichita adopting the strongest non-discrimination ordinance in the state and now includes food trucks, a bar, vendors, art, family-friendly activities, live music and an all-ages drag show.
Wichita Pride Festival
The Wichita Pride Festival is held each year in September and kicks off with a Unity March/Parade and family picnic. Throughout the weekend, festivalgoers can enjoy a Pride Pageant and traditional pride festival that includes vendors, local artists and drag shows. Local LGBTQ+ health clinic Positive Directions offers free STD and HIV testing and education.
Tallgrass Film Festival
Lights, camera, action! Tallgrass Film Festival is a quirky underground indie film fest hosted throughout downtown Wichita. The festival features five days of screenings, movies, shorts and documentaries and the best galas of the year.
Tip from a local: Fully immerse yourself in the festival by purchasing the all-access Tallpass! This pass includes access to the filmmaker lounge, all of the parties and more films than you’ll have time to watch!
Held in June each year for the past 50 years, Riverfest is an opportunity for the entire community to join together and celebrate the diverse neighborhoods and people that make Wichita unique. Riverfest hosts a number of activities for the entire family over the course of a week, including concerts each night featuring music legends like Willie Nelson, Elle King and the Village People. Buttons are required to attend most events.
Great Plains Renaissance Festival
Although not a queer-specific event, the Great Plains Renaissance Festival is a welcoming and gay-friendly outing for the entire family. The festival is held twice a year (spring & fall) at Sedgwick County Park in northwest Wichita. Over the festival weekend you’ll find larping, jousting, belly dancing, face painting and, of course, more mead wine than you can drink, which is made locally at Wyldewood Cellars.
Monthly & Weekly Events
Rain Cafe & Lounge - Every Thursday night from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. Rain turns into Wichita’s largest karaoke party! Hosted by DJ Sunshine, this small bar in Wichita’s Old Town District quickly fills up with party-goers of all ages, sexual orientations and genders. Drinks are cheap and the service is fantastic.
Tip from a local: The Karaoke Party at Rain is the perfect opportunity to meet locals and make new friends. The high top tables are communal seating and give you the chance to strike up a conversation - or find your next duet partner!
J’s Lounge - Wichita’s LGBTQ+ dive bar throws a karaoke party each Monday at 7 p.m. hosted by DJ Hook Echo. This dive in downtown Wichita has stiff drinks and a heated patio for your breaks in-between singing ABBA’s top hits.
XY - Wichita’s largest gay bar also hosts drag shows and pageants every Sunday at 7 p.m. The show attracts a range of local to regional queens to the Old Town District.
Tip from a local: If you’re bringing a large group and want a good seat, I highly recommend reserving a table in advance!
Find upcoming XY Bar events on Facebook.
Rain Cafe & Lounge - Love brunch? A fan of drag? Once a month, Rain Cafe hosts a Drag Brunch Buffet hosted by the locally-famous Brown Sugar! Enjoy a spread of your brunch favorites while you sip mimosas and enjoy lip syncs from Wichita’s best drag performers. Don’t forget to bring dollar bills to tip the queens!
Find upcoming Rain Cafe & Lounge events on Facebook.
Art & Food
Haute Handmade Art Market - There’s no better combination than art, live music and food. That’s what you can expect at the Haute Handmade Market. This art festival takes place monthly during the spring, summer and fall seasons and features locally-crafted goods and art (many from LGBTQ+ crafters and makers).
Find upcoming Haute Handmade Art Market events online.
Shop & Grub - It’s not Sunday Funday without a stop to this queer-friendly block party! Held monthly during the summer months at Naftzger Park, you can spend your afternoon listening to live music, enjoying food and cocktails from local food trucks and shopping local vendors - selling everything from vintage wares to cosmetics.
Find upcoming Shop & Grub events on online.
Queer Beers ICT - Wichita’s first monthly queer meet-up schedules a new destination each month for members of the LGBTQ+ community and allies to connect, meet new friends and share stories. Stops range from bars across the region to special events and even roller skating!
Find upcoming events on Instagram: @queerbeersict