WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — Wichita Festivals, Inc. has announced Admiral Windwagon Smith XLVIII (48) as Barry Schwan.
“Riverfest is fortunate to have Barry at the command this year, as our admiral and official ambassador,” said Nancy Duling, president and CEO of Wichita Festivals, the not-for-profit organization that produces Riverfest. “We’re delighted that Kansas’ largest community celebration is honoring Barry for his years of service to Riverfest and to all of Wichita.”
Schwan is the president and owner of House of Schwan Inc., a local Anheuser-Busch, craft beer, nonalcoholic beverage, and spirits wholesaler. It was founded in 1960 by his father, Barney Schwan.
This is the 50th year of Riverfest and Schwan, Inc.’s 50th consecutive year of being a major sponsor.
“Community involvement has always been a pillar of House of Schwan’s commitment to this community,” Admiral Schwan said. “We are proud to have been a sponsor throughout the 50 years of the festival’s history. And I am extremely honored to have been chosen to represent the Wichita Riverfest in its 50th year.”
Schwan and his wife, Cindy, have been married 42 years. Together they have two children, Devon and Mallory and one grandchild, Lyric. In his spare time, Schwan says he enjoyed spending time with family and friends, exercising and traveling.
The tradition of Admiral Windwagon Smith began in 1974, when John Bell wore the first red coat during the third Riverfest, then known as Wichitennial River Festival. Schwan is the 48th admiral.
As the official ambassador of Riverfest 2022, Schwan will visit children in local hospitals, speak to Wichita civic organizations and help host dozens of events during the nine days of Riverfest, on June 3-11.
Schwan will be assisted in fulfilling his duties as Admiral by his Prairie Schooner Mates. Prairie Schooner Mates are high school juniors who are selected by their schools to be youth representatives for Riverfest.
The Prairie Schooner Mates for 2022 are the following:
- Francisco Arreola — Wichita Heights High School
- Baxter Berry — Andover Central High School
- Marcus Blackman — Wichita Southeast High School
- April Burnett — Mulvane High School
- Israel Cervantes— Wichita West High School
- Rhian Collins — Bishop Carroll
- Camden Curry— Andover High School
- Piper Eckhart — Sunrise Christian Academy
- Sterling Fanning — Maize High School
- Raena Ford — Wichita Northwest High School
- Brookyln Freund— Eisenhower High School
- Jamillete Garcia — Wichita North High School
- Liyah Huynh — Valley Center High School
- Olivia Kirera — Maize South High School
- Chance Koopmann — Maize South High School
- Joseph Kotkin — Wichita Collegiate
- Peter Mander — Pratt High School
- Elizabeth Maxwable — Wichita East High School
- Mehala Muthukumar — Independent School
- Lisa Nguyen — Wichita South High School
- Samuel Onken — Derby High School
- Jade Simeona — Goddard High School
- Steph Stevens — Andover Central High School
- Addison Swinger — Campus High School
- Ivalea Tien — Circle High School
- Sloan Vazer — Kapaun Mt. Carmel
- Bowe Warner — Trinity Academy
- Gabriel Williams — Northeast Magnet
- Traci Baker — Prairie Schooner Mate ‘Mom
The Riverfest concert lineup, as well as other events, will be announced later this spring.