Home 2017-10-17T22:14:15+00:00

Wichita Pride 2017 Questions & Answers

You spoke and we listened. We developed a survey after the 2017 Pride Festival and promoted it on our website and our Facebook page. The results of the survey are now available on our website. Over the previous year(s) we heard several times that the board wasn’t listening. We want to make sure that the LGBT+ community in Wichita knows that we are listening and that we are dedicated to bringing you the best Pride Festival possible. We are still learning and figuring out the best way to make that happen. We have collected our survey results and we have spoken to lots of you in the community personally. We have compiled a list of the most commonly asked questions and after much discussion here are the best answers we can provide. We are always open to questions and will try answer them as promptly as possible.

Click on each of the questions below to view the answer. Click here to view the Wichita Pride 2017 Survey results.

#1 – If June is international Pride Month, why do we have our Pride Festival in September? 2017-10-17T21:12:56+00:00

Four years ago the Board of Wichita Pride decided to move the Festival to September due to the extremely hot weather. That last year in June there were several people that passed out from heat exhaustion. That was also the year that the festival was held at Old Cow Town, which had very limited inside air-conditioned space. So the decision to move the festival to September had to be made. Many other cities have made the same move to combat heat issues. September seems to work for many cities, including Wichita because there are no other major holidays in September and the weather is generally cooler. To clarify the 2017 Festival; it was in June because that was the only time we could reserve The Indian Center. We were not intentionally trying to move the festival back to June. That is also why we had our Festival on Father’s Day Weekend. We knew it would affect our attendance, but it was the only available weekend for 2017.

Attracting out of town entertainers is another factor for holding our Pride Festival in September; there is less competition with other larger Pride Events that typically occur in June. In 2017 we had a difficult time booking out of town entertainers to come to Wichita, because they prefer to perform in the larger cities, where the bigger crowds are. We even had one of our scheduled entertainers cancel on us at the last minute to perform in a larger city this past June.

While we understand the importance of celebrating in June, we have to look at the best and safest way to serve the most people. We have had many responses and much feedback about which month we go to, June or September. The current Board believes the safest way to serve the greatest number of people is to continue to hold the Festival in September. However the board also sees the importance of recognizing the traditional month of June. So, to reach out to as many people as possible, the Board has decided to honor everyone’s wishes. We will be having a two-day celebration the last weekend of June and a three-day Festival in September. We will announce the final plans in a few months. So far we are planning to bring back the Equality March and the Scavenger Hunt for June and we are working out some other events as well. The plan is to have the June celebration on a Friday and a Saturday. The September Festival will be similar to what we have done in the past. We are making a few changes and tweaking a few things, and incorporating suggestions from the last festival.

Our intentions with presenting two different celebrations is to give as many people in the local community a chance to celebrate Pride as possible. As soon as we have the exact event details we will start announcing them on our Website and our Facebook page.

#2 – Why do you keep using the Mid-America All Indian Center? 2017-10-17T21:15:33+00:00

We had a few questions about why we use the Mid-America All Indian Center and some request to change venues. We have continued to use the Indian Center because for now it works with our attendance levels and our vendors and the staff there have been extremely generous in helping us. And that means a lot to us and makes our jobs easier. The board has looked at other venues, but there is nothing that we can afford at this point that can serve our needs as well as the Indian Center. Century Two is out of our price range at the moment and it also places a lot of restrictions on outside food vendors and having alcohol at the festival. Another consideration we have to look at is the proximity of the venue to a suitable parade route. We have had a great experience with having our parade end at our festival venue and we would like to continue that if possible. Changing the parade route could result in more cost due to the amount of road closings and Police Officers needed. If we do outgrow the Indian Center, and that would be very bitter-sweet for us, we will definitely seek other venues. Our goals are always to look forward and keep growing.

We welcome any suggestions that you have on new venues for 2019 and beyond. Please come to one of our Wichita Pride Board meetings and share your ideas.

#3 – Why don’t you bring in more Food Trucks? 2017-10-17T21:22:17+00:00

That is a great question. In preparation for the 2016 and 2017 Pride Festival we contacted (repeatedly) almost all of the Food Trucks in Wichita (yes almost ALL of them, over thirty trucks). We followed them on Facebook and kept up with their events, we went and ate their food and gave them our vendor packets and our business cards, we emailed them, and we messaged them on Facebook, if they had a mailing address, we mailed them vendor information. We did get some responses but could not get anything confirmed. We are going to continue to reach out to them, but we need you to help encourage them attend. We had approximately 2,000 people at our Festival this past year on Sunday, and we hope to go above that next year, so we have the crowd to support the trucks, if they will just come. We will continue to search out food vendors in hopes of offering you more variety next year.

#4 – Why are there so few Vendors and so many Community Organizations? 2017-10-17T21:22:48+00:00

The Pride Festival is about the Community and should always include the Community Organizations. We hear what you are asking for and we are looking for more vendors that have merchandise and we are always up for suggestions. We are making plans to shift our vendors around inside the Indian Center to make it easier for the public to move around.

#5 – We need more kid-friendly Activities / adult activities. 2017-10-17T21:23:20+00:00

In 2017 we had seven events, two of those, the Scavenger Hunt and The Drag Show were adult only. The other five were family friendly and included The Family Picnic, The Block Party, and The Rally at the Courthouse, The Parade and The Festival. In planning our events we try to make sure that we have something for everyone in the community. We know that not everyone can go to or wants to go to everything so we are always looking for new ideas. The Scavenger Hunt was new this year and was a huge success. We are bringing it back again for 2018, for both the June and September celebrations and we are working out the plans for an All-Family Scavenger Hunt that will let the kids in on the hunt during the June celebration. We are also working on some alternative activities/entertainment during the Saturday afternoon Dance Party in September.

#6 – Where do you advertise? I almost missed some of the events last year. 2017-10-17T21:23:46+00:00

We do the bulk of our advertising on our website and through our Facebook page. We create Facebook events for our activities throughout the year. We also advertise some events in the local LGBT+ publications. Moving forward we will be increasing our advertising and marketing efforts.

#7 – Why do you only feature local / out-of-town Drag Performers? 2017-10-17T21:24:14+00:00

This question is asked almost as often as the June/September one. And it is just as difficult to answer as well. The responses we received form our survey this year as well as the feedback we have received directly form the community is almost split fifty – fifty on this question. We always want to be inclusive of as many people in the community as possible. That is why we try to make sure that the local drag community is represented during our events, as well as other types of local entertainment. However, the other side of this discussion centers around the fact that local entertainers can be seen throughout the week all year around and some members of the community want to see someone different. So, moving forward we will attempt to include some local entertainers as well as continue to try to bring in out of town performers. Attracting out of town entertainers is another factor for holding our Pride Festival in September; there is less competition with other larger Pride Events that typically occur in June. In 2017 we had a difficult time booking out of town entertainers to come to Wichita, because they prefer to perform in the larger cities, where the bigger crowds are. We even had one of our scheduled entertainers cancel on us at the last minute to perform in a larger city this past June. Moving forward we will be requiring signed contracts of all of our entertainers. Just as with the Food Trucks, we try to reach out to other types of entertainment, but we don’t always get a good response. We will continue to encourage all types of entertainers to perform at our Festival.

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