That’s two big events drawing two different crowds into one area of downtown.
Many people who are seeing “Hamilton” at the Concert Hall haven’t purchased Riverfest buttons, but that’s OK. They can still access the “Hamilton” entrance by walking through Riverfest with the assistance of a special group of volunteers.
“They’re called ‘Hamilton’ Ambassadors. These group of young kids will help our ‘Hamilton’ people that are coming to see ‘Hamilton’ through the gate so that they don’t have to purchase a Riverfest button. And we want to be great ambassadors with them. So, they will welcome attendees and then get them over to the entrance of ‘Hamilton,'” said Jill Massey, Riverfest Director of Volunteers.
“Hamilton” Ambassadors. That’s kind of wordy.
“Hambassadors is what we’re calling them,” explained Massey.
“Oh, we came up with Hambassadors because ‘Hamilton’ Ambassadors, it’s just really long, and we just finished the ambassadors because, one, it sounds funny, and two, it’s just a shortened name,” said Hambassador Ava Grimes.
Being a “Hambassador” has its perks, like free food. But these 10 and 11-year-olds from Wichita’s Earhart Elementary know they have a job to do.
“Hello. Welcome to the super fun, amazing Riverfest. How can I help you,” asked Hambassador Lydia Horseman.
“So, they don’t have to buy a button if they’re just coming to watch the movie. And we help them come over here if they don’t know where it is. So, we make sure they don’t just go to a carnival ride instead,” said Hambassador Claire Cutler.
“I’m most looking forward to greeting the people into ‘Hamilton’ because I just think it’s a really nice thing to do is just volunteer at Riverfest,” added Grimes.
Back to that name. Wouldn’t it be easy for someone to think “Hambassadors” has something to do with pork?
“So, one of them are people that are escorting to the ‘Hamilton’ show, and then the other kinds of actual ham ambassadors are talking about ham. But we’re also ‘Ham’ ambassadors that are escorting people,” said Hambassador Abigail Hux.
Got it. And what’s with the shades? Do they have to wear them?
“No, it just makes us look cool,” said Horseman.
These are just four of 82 Hambassadors lined up from now through the end of Riverfest. Those who are seeing “Hamilton” are encouraged to park on the east side of Century II.