16 Things Wichitans Did in 2016
It’s been a crazy year Wichita! We went new places, tried new things and had a lot of fun along the way. Check out these 16 things Wichitans did in 2016.
1. Celebrated Cargill Staying in Wichita
Cargill’s decision to keep operations local was also a decision to keep hundreds of jobs in the city, too. Now that is something worth celebrating. Hats off to you, Cargill!
2. Bought Earthquake Insurance
Okay, this wasn’t the first year we have experienced earthquakes by any means. It was, however, the first time we started to see them as a serious issue. With quakes increasing in size and number this year, Wichitans realized that maybe earthquake insurance isn’t such a crazy thing after all.
3. Rocked Out
With Elle King, The Violent Femmes and Naughty by Nature at Riverfest; Blake Shelton, Carrie Underwood and I Love the 90’s at Intrust Bank Arena; Blue October and Skillet at the Cotillion and many, many more, it was a big year for music in Wichita. We had a great lineup for 2016, and next year looks to be just as promising!
4. Wondered What Happened to Fall
As Wichitans, we’re no strangers to unusual weather patterns, but we’ve got to admit, we’re still not sure what happened to the fall of 2016. It was 90 degrees out one day and 16 the next. We can’t complain too much, though. We got to swim for an extra month or two.
5. Landed a New Chief of Police
Gordon Ramsay was named the WPD’s new Chief of Police early in 2016, and I think I speak for all of us when I say that Wichita is glad to have him. (Though we may have made a few Hell’s Kitchen jokes here and there...Oops!) In less than one year, Ramsay has made big strides in improving our city and bringing people together.
6. Went Viral - First Steps BBQ
One of the ways Ramsay helped bring the city together was through the First Steps BBQ, where Ramsay worked together with local activists to host a barbecue in place of a protest. There was food, dancing and fun for all. Video of the WPD dancing with citizens went viral, drawing national attention.
7. The Running Man Challenge
When WPD Sgt. Nikki Woodrow came across an international Running Man dance-off video for police departments, She decided to make it local, too. Five branches of the WPD responded with their own videos and Wichita’s Bomb Squad won the international challenge according to the results from policeone.com. How cool is that?
The oldest building at Wichita State University, Fiske Hall, was renovated this year, making at an ADA Compliant facility. The completion of this project, which added an elevator and an exit stairwell to the building, made it the last building on WSU campus to become ADA compliant.
9. Launched 1 Million Cups
One Million Cups is an entrepreneurial program that launched in February of this year. This program serves to strengthen entrepreneurship in local communities. Designed to engage, educate and connect entrepreneurs to the community, Wichita’s 1 Million Cups team featured startups Fliphound and Atlas.
10. Ate at the new Bramble Cafe at Elderslie Farm
Elderslie Farm officially opened the Bramble Cafe in June of this year. Adding outdoor dining spaces and renovating the indoor area, Elderslie added a menu for the cafe, which highlights things like muffins, scones and coffee. Elderslie also serves farm-to-table dinners for guests to enjoy!
11. Opened the Elephants of the Zambezi River Valley exhibit
This year, six African elephants found a new home at the Sedgwick County Zoo’s Elephants of the Zambezi River Valley exhibit that opened in May. Since many Wichitans have been to the zoo to visit the newest members of the Sedgwick County Zoo Family.
12. Shopped at Pottery Barn
Bradley Fair brought another national brand to Wichita this year. Opening on Oct. 28, Wichita’s first-ever Pottery Barn is a pretty big deal. The National retailer offers a variety of furniture, home decor, bed and bath products and more.
13. Rode the New Train at Watson Park
In April, A new train was debuted at O.J. Watson Park. When the Original train was taken out of commission after 30 years of dutiful service to Wichitans, the shiny new train picked up right where it left off, continuing the tradition of train rides at the park for many years to come.
14. Saw Doc Take Flight
In July of 2016, WWII’s B-29, Doc, returned to the skies for the first time since 1956. The Bomber, built in Wichita, took off from McConnell AFB after a years-long restoration process.
15. Supported Nico In the Olympics
This year was a big one for Wichita boxer Nico Hernandez, who Represented ICT it the Summer Olympics.
Advancing to the semifinals in the light flyweight division, Hernandez brought home the bronze.
Those of us at home held watch parties and supported Hernandez, welcoming him home with a party!
16. The Mannequin Challenge
It was a year for internet challenges, for sure, and Wichita delivered on all of them. The Wichita Mannequin Challenge video is one of the coolest we've seen. Uploaded by Andrue Allen on Nov. 20, the video features hundreds of people frozen in time at the Keeper of the Plains Plaza taking selfies, riding bikes, break dancing, climbing trees and more. Check it out below!