by John Boyd
KWCH 12 Eyewitness News
6:53 AM CST, February 13, 2013
Wichita's Riverfestival isn't just getting a new look, but new buttons to mark the celebrations this year.
For the first time in the event's 42-year history, a $3 child button will be offered for kids ages 6 to 12. Children 5 years old and younger get into the festival for free.
Mary Beth Jarvis, Wichita Festival's president and CEO, said she hopes the changes encourage families to enjoy the festival together.
"A family of five can now attend Riverfest for less than $20 on everyone's buttons," she said.
Adult buttons can still be purchased for $5.
Local artist Dustin Commer won this year’s button and poster artwork competition, with a playful design for Ollie the Octopus. Ollie, who will appear on 150,000 buttons using his many arms to hold items representing Riverfest favorites, will be the mascot for this year’s festival that will have the theme, “Let the good times flow!”
Jarvis said Ollie is the perfect festival goer.
"He can grab on to the many things Riverfest has to offer – the water, the music, the ice cream social, a pronto pup from the food court, the fireworks, and a pinwheel that spins in the Kansas wind (the pinwheel is a signature icon for the festival). He also has his running shoe on to hit the River Run," she said.
Riverfest organizers are also planning for every event, including concerts, to be free with a button purchase. Buttons go on sale in March, and will be available at retail locations beginning May 10.
As part of the effort to plan a welcoming, inclusive event, Wichita Festivals has also reintroduced its Celebrations for a Cause program, aimed at brightening the lives of local children in need. Through this program, businesses and individuals can purchase Riverfest buttons for donation to Wichita children’s charities such as Big Brothers & Big Sisters, the Boys and Girls Club, Heartspring, and others.
RiverFest runs from May 31 to June 8. Click here to see a list of events.
Copyright © 2013, KWCH-TV