News Releases

4/25/2018 - Smoky Hill River Festival Offers a Sensory Feast This Year

Admission Buttons for the 2018 Smoky Hill River Festival go on sale Tuesday morning, May 1 at 43 locations across Salina and 20 other cities statewide.

Advance-price Buttons are $10 or cost $15 at the gate after June 5. Children 11 and under get in free. Since River Festival admission Button sales account for 40 to 45 percent of the Festival's revenue, purchasing and not sharing your own admission Button is key, organizers say, to keep the Festival a high-caliber, accessible and affordable event for all.

Admission Buttons are good throughout the 3 1/2 day event, beginning with the Festival Jam and food vendors on Thursday night, June 7. The following day, the Fine Art and Four Rivers Craft Show, Artyopolis kid's area, 30+ food vendors, four live stages, art installations and more are open through Sunday, June 10 at 5 p.m. (see complete hours of operation pg 2).

Festival 2018 highlights include 20 new art-show and demonstration artists, stunning site-specific Art Installations plus the fun Artyopolis kid's area with make-and-take crafts and other activities. Seven new food vendors offer fare including Philipino lumpias in 10 flavors, fried ravioli, designer hotdogs, flavored funnel cakes and more.

On the Festival's four live stages, headliner acts The Main Squeeze (Chicago), Jessica Hernandez & The Deltas (Detroit), Josh Hoyer & Soul Colossal (Lincoln, NE), and Sunday-afternoon tribute band Elton Dan & The Rocker Band (KC, MO) lead an entertainment schedule that is hard to beat.

Other new Festival acts include the KU Brazilian Steel Band, Sirens of South Austin and Kansas bands The Skirts, Page 7 and Pale Fire Kinds. Popular returnees include Papa Green Shoes and Victor & Penny and The Loose Change Orchestra.

Roving across Festival grounds and on Arty's stage are Mr. Kneel, The Que Pastas, Jason D'Vaude, the Hip-Hop Wagon and balloon artists Up, Up & Away.

While Festival-goers each have their own favorite Festival thing, all say they love the River Festival's safe and relaxed atmosphere. Many families have set up lawn chairs and blankets under the same trees for years. Groups of friends, family and classmates know exactly where to find one another, adding to the Festival's reputation as the Salina's official summer kickoff.

With more than 300 sponsoring families and businesses plus 2,000 annual volunteers, the Smoky Hill River Festival is a success story in partnerships, from innovative performances to hands-on collaborations to generating revenue that supports the arts year-round.

The Smoky Hill River Festival is scheduled for Thursday through Sunday, June 7-10, 2018 in Oakdale Park in Salina, KS. Hours are Thursday June 7 from 4 to 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday June 8-9 from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sunday June 10 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is by Festival Button only, $10 in advance, $15 at the gate. Children 11 and under get in free. Visit or for details.

Salina Arts & Humanities, a department of the City of Salina, 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 performance series are among the programs of Salina Arts & Humanities, located at 211 W. Iron Avenue in Salina.