News Releases

6/1/2016 - New Stuff for River Festival 2016

Contact: Kay Quinn 785-309-5770


(Salina, KS 05-16) As the 40thanniversary River Festival approaches, Festival-goers can celebrate cherished traditions and discover new things to eat, see and do. Among the new or notable elements for Festival 2016 are:

*A nostalgic River Festival Print by Lawrence artist Michael Krueger. The serigraph print entitled “Festival at 40,” juxtaposes actual and imagined icons over the years, including a fiddler, colonial drummers and the long-remembered organ-grinder monkey. A signed, original Festival Print is available to anyone who donates $100 or more to support the Festival. The coordinating 40thanniversary Festival T-shirt and tank top depict the Dixieland jazz band in a vintage fire truck that used to entertain up and down Food Row and across Oakdale Park,. It will return to the Festival this year to entertain. 

*Eighteen first-time exhibiting artists will debut at the Fine Art Show and Four Rivers Craft Shows, plus three brand-new Art Demonstration artists—John Keeling of Kansas City with watercolor painting, Barb Quaney of Topeka with dyed wool and Hollie Rice of Shawnee with whimsical ceramic works. Demo artists show their technique and materials at scheduled times each day.

*The River Festival’s 21 colorful ‘set in nature’ Art Installations for 2016 feature seven new ones. Each is designed to engage Festival-goers and awaken their senses. Among the new Installations are “Hip- Hop Connection” by Kansas City graffiti artist Gear, “Invasive Species: Offered to the Earth” by Neil Goss of Lawrence and “Reach For The Skies,” a surprise project commissioned to celebrate the Festival’s 40th anniversary with soaring energy and beauty.

*The Festival partners with local Target management and associates to present “Hope, Dreams and Visions,” an Art Installation interactive write-on board that invites Festival-goers to add comments throughout the weekend.

*For the second year, power-operated scooters or power wheelchairs provided by Jay Hatfield Mobility will be available for rent on a first-come, first-served basis for $5 an hour with a two-hour minimum. They will be located in Oakdale Park near the on-grounds Shuttle Stop west of the Eric Stein Stage. 
*Six new tempting Festival foods are on tap: Fried Oysters, Cheese Enchiladas, Turkey Strawberry Sliders, Chicken & Waffles, Fried Cheese Curds and a Grilled Pork ‘n’ Mac Sandwich. The more than 30 food vendors are open on-grounds from 4 to 10 p.m. on Thursday for Festival Jam night and 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday through Sunday.

*Music lovers can catch genres including bluegrass, alt rock, outlaw country, Electro Afro, acoustic and hip-hop on four live stages. Main Stage headliners Reckless Kelly (Friday 8:30 p.m.), The Rocketboys (Saturday 8:30 p.m.) and SUNU (Sunday 3 p.m.) and several dozen other acts will play on the hour from 10 a.m. on, Friday through Sunday. The kid-friendly Arty’s Stage features Richard Renner’s crazy Recycle Cycle, 14-year-old vocal sensation Ciera Mackenzie and popular returning acts Drum Safari and Big Bang Boom.

*Guest services available at the River Festival include an EMS First Aid Center, a complimentary mobiledevice charging station, an ATM, the Baby Station, Ident-A-Kid and Lost & Found. See the printed Festival Program, pages 24-25 or for guest-service locations and other details.
Helpful final reminders about what to bring or not to bring to the  Festival and Oakdale Park can be found at, on pg 47 of the printed Festival Program, or will be publicized starting Friday, June 3.

For needed accommodations, please call Amanda Morris at Salina Arts & Humanities at 785-309-5770 between 8:00 a.m. - Noon and 1:00 - 5:00 p.m.  Every effort will be made to accommodate known disabilities.  For material or speech access, please call at least five working days prior to the event.

The Smoky Hill River Festival is the flagship event of Salina Arts & Humanities. A department of the City of Salina, SA&H has served a unique role in arts advocacy and support since 1966.  The Smoky Hill River Festival, Horizons Grants Program, Smoky Hill Museum, Arts Infusion Program in schools, Community Art & Design, Cultural Connections, and Friday Night Live series are among the programs of Salina Arts & Humanities, located at 211 W. Iron Avenue in Salina.