Things to Know About Visiting Wichita (Tournament Edition)
Dear tourists, welcome to Wichita.
First, we’ve been told by government officials that you’re here to watch basketball, but we have come to learn there is a very high risk that during your stay you will eat all of our cheeseburgers. This is very concerning to us as a community, so on behalf of the entire city, I’d like to formally request that you limit your cheeseburger intake to no more than one cheeseburger per person per day.
In exchange for your cooperation in this matter, we will happily make available an unlimited supply of local pizza and chicken fingers with ranch dressing. If we run out of any of these items, please direct your angry Tweets to famous Wichitan (and hater of the great Olympic sport, Curling) Kirstie Alley.
We hope you enjoy your stay here, but we also realize that NCAA basketball is an emotional roller coaster, and half of you are likely to leave Wichita really upset with a referee, a coach, a last second shot, or that kid with the man bun. For those of you who end your season in Wichita, I might suggest a locally brewed beer to celebrate a solid year.
Now, I’m sure you're curious about our city, so here are the eight things you need to know about visiting Wichita.
Our Trolley is Free
Wichita’s downtown Trolley system is called The Q. (Don’t spoil it for the locals, only a few of us have noticed these trolleys are actually just neat looking buses.)
The Q is clean, safe, efficient, and it stops almost exclusively near fun places. This is kind of a problem for the local population, because sometimes you want to go to work, but end up at a trampoline park or bar. Here’s a handy Q map.
Colloquialism, or the correct way to say Arkansas?
We are not proud of this, but the river running through the middle of town, the Arkansas… we pronounce it “Are-KANSAS”, not “ARE-kan-saw”.
It’s best if you just accept this. I don't think if 360 people from Arkansas floated down the Arkansas river on a giant rubber duck, wearing Arkansas Razorback basketball jerseys, waving the Wichita flag, shouting "peaceful death to the silly Are-KANSAS colloquialism", we'd let this one go. Well, maybe if they bring ice cream. Arkansas, ball's in your court.
We're Super Friendly
We'll do our best to restrain ourselves, but look out, we're huggers.
We will smile and say hello to total strangers. We'll hold the door for you. We'll help you with that heavy box. We'll ask you how you're doing, and we're genuinely interested.
If you're from the East Coast and you're accustom to throwing more elbows and side-eyes, than handshakes and high-fives, leave that attitude at the state line. If you don't... well, we'll still be super nice to you. It'll just be a little awkward with the elbows and all.
We're Bad Drivers
We're friendly, but when it comes to driving, we're quite rude. A few tips for driving in Wichita:
- Letting someone pass is unthinkable. If a driver attempts to pass, we typically just go faster and faster until we no longer question our vehicle's ability to take flight. You should not do this, as it is dangerous and a generally jerky thing to do.
- Turn signals are only to be used at completely the wrong time. For example; three seconds after you have braked suddenly, on a long straight stretch of road with no possibility of turning, or sitting in a parking stall eating a cheeseburger. (Please, I beg you, do not eat all of our cheeseburgers.)
- Merging... much like passing, forget about it. For some reason we do our best to keep anyone else from getting on the highway. If you need to merge, your best bet is a high speed "Dukes of Hazzard" style jump.
We Enjoy Four "Seasons"
You've probably heard that Kansas gets all of the extremes when it comes to weather. That's true. Oddly, the extremes can happen at literally any time. They do not follow any calendar.
There's a decent chance during your stay here that you will experience sunshine, rain, wind, hail, snow, something called a microburst (we don't know what this means, but the weather people get really excited about it), and temperatures that range from -8 to 137.
The only season you can truly count on is food truck season, which lasts seven glorious months. Om nom nom.
What's with all the Murals?
You might look around downtown and think, wow, these murals are beautiful. Wichita must have a thriving art community.
Wrong, we have a real criminal element in town. The Bob Ross Boyz have been making “happy little accidents” all over our city for years. Their disrespect for flat to semi-flat surfaces is unparalleled.
I believe it’s a coincidence that all of the messages in these murals are positive, community focused, and/or inspiring. Actually, now that I really think about it, it could be that Wichita just has a thriving art community. That’s probably it. BRBz for life, I guess.
QuikTrip is a Wondrous Place
If you don't know what a QuikTrip (QT) is, or if you think it's just a gas station, take a moment to familiarize yourself - Why Wichita Loves QT.
Colorful slushies, big ‘ol donuts, tubular foods cooked on rollers, industrial chili vats… basically all of the things that make life worth livin'.
QuikTrip's are also a handy reference point, as they are located approximately every ten feet. If you find yourself lost at any point, enter the nearest QuikTrip and simply ask the direction, and quantity of QuikTrips away your destination is.
The Wichita Flag
Quick, what are your favorite city flags? Can’t remember any? Not sure if your city even has one? That’s probably normal, but not in Wichita.
We love our flag. I’ve long claimed that a group of nameless hipsters somehow took our forgotten flag and turned it into a source of civic pride by tattooing it to their bearded, flannel draped, patchouli laden bodies. However it happened, in the past few years the Wichita flag has really brought our city together. It’s probably because we now have a use for all the wind. Regardless, our flag looks great on hats, t-shirts, stickers, and particularly awesome tattooed on shirtless hipsters. Who knew the symbol of our city could become the symbol of our city?
Have a Good Time
Well, that’s it folks. We recognize Wichita is not a fancy tourist destination like... Boise… or Dayton, but we’ll do our best to help you have a good time. Now, remember, and I cannot stress this enough... one cheeseburger per day.