Want something fun and frugal to do? Visiting the Keeper of the Plains area downtown is on the list of the Top Free Things to Do in Wichita as voted on by Wichita on the Cheap readers, and is one of my personal favorites as well. The sculpture has become known as the centerpiece of our city, standing at the confluence of the Little and Big Arkansas Rivers, flanked by the striking spires of the pedestrian bridge and surrounded by fire drums.
The Keeper is free and open to the public year-round (closed only between the hours of midnight and 5 a.m.), and in the evenings, the fire drums are lit for about 15 minutes – weather and river conditions permitting. In the spring and summer, the fires are lighted at 9 p.m.; in the fall and winter, they are lighted at 7 p.m.
You can access the walking bridge from the Mid-America All Indian Center, or from either West Central Avenue or North McClean Boulevard where there are small parking lots, or reach it by walking on the paved paths along the Arkansas River downtown.
Around the base of the sculpture are plaques with information about the sculpture, which was donated to the city in 1974 by Blackbear Bosin, and the lifestyle of the Plains Indians.
Bring your camera; taking pictures of the Keeper and the walking bridges is practically a competitive sport in our city! 🙂