News Releases

6/3/2013 - 2013 Festival Quest Medallion Winnter Confirmed

Salina Arts & Humanities announces that the winner of the 2013 Festival Quest is Denise Tarver from Salina. Tarver, along with her friend Rebecca Schoenecker, were the first to discover the Kentucky bean pod-shaped Medallion shortly after the early-morning clue was released on Sunday, June 2. The pod-shaped Medallion was found in a public green space just north of Schilling Road, approximately six feet into a tree line.

Tarver is the fifth-ever winner of the Festival Quest. Started in 2009 by the Smoky Hill River Festival, in partnership with Craig and Brenda King of King Industries, Inc. the Quest’s goal is to foster a sense of creativity and connectivity in a way that reflects the spirit of the River Festival.

Quest 2013 winner Denise Tarver with the pod Medallion

A five-year Quest participant, Tarver is a native of Salina who works in the trucking industry. Along with Schoenecker and their committed Quest team, Tarver estimated she invested at least 40 hours to find this year’s Festival Medallion. At the Sunday press conference, Tarver shared that reading and correctly interpreting the clues as well as respecting the property and grounds on which she searched, were among the keys to her Quest success. Active social-media posts spurred on Tarver’s team and other participants, as the Smoky Hill River Festival Facebook page gained about 1,400 new ‘likes’ during this year’s Quest. The 2013 Quest lasted for two more days than in 2012, before the Medallion was found.

In addition to the winner’s prize package claimed by Tarver, a $100 Gift Certificate to the Festival’s Art and Craft Shows was awarded to each of two local Quest participants, Darcy Leech and Leslie Mangrum, who had the top Facebook ‘likes’ for their respective posts of what they thought the Medallion would be. The actual 2013 Medallion was designed by Wichita artist Randy Regier.

Salina’s Festival Quest is unique in that both the Quest process and the prize package are designed to emphasize the arts. The finder of the Medallion wins a prize package of $2,000 in cash, as well as $2,000 in gift certificates to be used specifically for shopping at the Festival’s
upcoming Fine Art and Four Rivers Craft Shows or in the Art/Craft Demonstration area. King Industries is the sole Sponsor of the Festival Quest prize package. Other prizes include four Festival admission buttons, a complimentary on-grounds Festival parking pass, an invitation for four to the Saturday-morning Art Patron Breakfast in the formal Rose Garden in Oakdale Park, and assorted Festival T-shirts, Festival entertainer CDs and other event memorabilia.

The Smoky Hill River Festival, now in its 37th year, is the flagship event of Salina Arts & Humanities, a department of the City of Salina. The River Festival draws more than 60,000 local residents and out-of-town guests annually to Salina to enjoy outdoor art installations, Fine Art and Four Rivers Craft Shows, four stages of live entertainment, the Artyopolis kid’s area, Festival food, and more. The River Festival generates approximately $3.5 million for the Salina economy in May and June.

For more information on Festival Quest or the Smoky Hill River Festival in general, call 785-309-5770 or visit To see the full set of 2013 Quest clues, visit the Festival Quest event page at, or the Smoky Hill River Festival Facebook page.
Advance-price admission Buttons are available until Thursday, June 6 at 1 p.m. at 30 locations across Salina and in 10 other regional cities. Children 11 and under get in free.

For needed accommodations, please call Kathy Burlew 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. 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, Cultural Connections, and Art a la Carte concert series are among the programs of Salina Arts & Humanities, located at 211 W. Iron Avenue in Salina.