Wichita Riverfest cuts CEO and staff, announces fundraising campaign

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WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Wichita Festivals, Inc., officials today announced that Ty Tabing, president/CEO for the last 10 months, has been cut.

With the announcement, Wichita Festivals has eliminated three staff positions due to the cancelation of this year’s Riverfest due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The thought of leaving Wichita Festivals would have been unthinkable before the pandemic,” Tabing said. “But when revenue is down 90% and it’s impossible to know when events and festivals will return to normal, dramatic moves are required to keep the doors open. The staff is already taking furlough days and we’re trying to do as much as we can with as little money as possible. This organization needs the good people of Wichita to consider all the memories they’ve made at Riverfest over the years and donate what they can so we can all see another Riverfest.”

Wichita Festivals officials also announced the Hey Neighbor campaign, an emergency fundraising campaign, will kick off on Oct. 8. Expect to see drive-thru donation stations and other opportunities to contribute. Those who wish to help keep the organization during these tough times will be able to donate online, in person, and by mail.

Wichita Festivals postponed the launch of Wonderfall, an event that was scheduled for the first week of November. The popular River Run race—traditionally a Riverfest event—will be presented virtually on Nov. 7. Runners can register at RiverRunWichita.com and will receive a race T-shirt and medallion.

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