How to stay hydrated for free at Riverfest with 'Water Monsters'

You can get refills at two giant water coolers

WICHITA, Kan. - Friday is the first day of Riverfest, and festival organizers set up two new giant water stations to help you beat the weekend heat.

"They're actually called 'Water Monsters,'" said Wichita Festivals President and CEO Mary Beth Jarvis. "They're 12-foot high. Imagine that five-gallon cooler you see out at a kid's soccer game. Well, this is 25 times that big, with six spigots to fill up your water."

Festival goers are allowed to bring either a sealed water bottle or an empty water bottle through the festival gates. Then, you can fill up those bottles at one of the Water Monsters.

While you can bring a sealed or totally empty water bottle into the festival, you will not be allowed to bring other drinks through the gates.

"Once you come in the festival gates, we're responsible for you," Jarvis said. "So, if we don't know what's in that bottle, then we've got to have you keep it at the gate."

Jarvis said furniture will be in place at some of the Riverfest gates. 

"So, if somebody walks up with a Quik Trip slushie or whatever, you can sit down, finish that up, and come into the festival," Jarvis said. "We try to make it as least-restrictive as possible, while still taking good care of people's safety and security."

Jarvis said one Water Monster will be on Douglas, and the other will be on Waterman by the Hyatt.

Recap of what kind of drinks you can bring into the festival from outside:


  • Sealed water bottles
  • Empty water bottles (you can fill them up at the Water Monster stations)


  • Open bottles with liquid still inside
  • Fountain drinks or other cups
  • Any other food or drink
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