About This Event

Secret Wichita: A Guide to the Weird, Wonderful, and Obscure, Published by Reedy Press.

Where in the city can you find an underground troll, an alley crawling with spiders, or a bar hidden behind a bookcase? Secret Wichita: A Guide to the Weird, Wonderful, and Obscure takes you on an adventure to find the city’s interesting places and artifacts, unveiling the stories of people that make it unique.

Discover a warehouse of military tanks and a room of ancient coffins. Find out where to conduct a paranormal investigation, follow the yellow brick road, and view an extensive collection of sewing machines. Locals probably remember Joyland amusement park, but do they know the story of the Giant Thriller rollercoaster once located on an island in the middle of the city? How about the electric guitar’s debut in Wichita? Or Pizza Hut’s sauce recipe written on a napkin? Learn the stories of people who left their mark, like mischief-maker Carry Nation, the original Buffalo Bill, and aviation pioneer Olive Ann Beech. Which man is responsible for establishing the city and naming it?

Crack the spine of the book to find out.

Vanessa Whiteside will be on-hand to sign and personalize books for sale, including limited copies of her first book, 100 Things to Do in Wichita Before You Die. Buy copies for yourself or for a friend who wants to learn about unknown facts about this city.

After the book signing — stay and enjoy our “Family ARTventure” at WAM! Bring the whole family to explore the museum on this special day when the works of art are the stars of the show! Participate in a variety of fun, family-friendly activities and hear music played on our community-painted piano.

About the Author

Author Vanessa Whiteside

Vanessa is a native Wichitan whose curiosity keeps her looking for new places to discover. She is a travel writer who seeks Midwest adventures and dining destinations to feature on her blog,, which earned her Midwest Travel Network’s 2022 Blogger of the Year. Her articles have appeared in Midwest Living, AAA Explorer, Kansas Living, and Travel Kansas. The author of award-winning 100 Things to Do in Wichita Before You Die, Vanessa avidly supports all things local.

Whether you’re a Wichitan or a tourist exploring the city for the first time, you’ll get to know a different side of the Doo-Dah.