News Releases

7/17/2014 - Smoky Hill River Festival Celebrates 38 Years of Growth and Family Fun

Contact: Brad Anderson or
Kay Quinn



Strong community partnerships and committed volunteers proved to be key ingredients of a strong River Festival 2014. The Festival’s essence, as a visible and influential “community masterpiece,” remains its vibrant mix of outdoor art, live entertainment, exhibiting artists, children’s activities and tempting food, all in a memorable park setting.

Alongside the many personal anecdotes and memories, the River Festival’s story is told in part “by the numbers.” Following are some highlights that give an overview of how Festival 2014 fared, even as evaluation continues.

WHO CAME: Festival attendance was 62,860 for 2014, an increase of 552 over the 62,308 in Oakdale Park in 2013. 

WHO SHOPPED: Local and regional art lovers took home $483,576.24  in work from the Fine Art and Four Rivers Craft Shows and the Artist Demonstration area. A new ‘The Art of Taste’ party held a week before Festival, targeted young professionals and others who might be newer to selecting and owning original art.

WHO PLAYED: About 3,000 children played, created and learned within Artyopolis—the Festival’s kid-sized metropolis with lots to see and do. Game Street activities generated $7,870.99 in revenues for the seven host community groups to share.

WHO BUTTONED UP: Overall button sales accounted for $218,072 of Festival revenue, compared to $217,038 in 2013. Thirteen thousand and ninety two buttons were sold pre-Festival in Salina alone, with 2,393 of those purchased by local employers for their staff and families. In the 18 regional cities around Salina, 505 buttons were sold--an increase of 46 percent over 2013. More than 700 Festival Families First buttons were underwritten by nine community businesses and organizations, to provide to children and families in need.

WHO ATE: Festival-goers near and far enjoyed longtime favorites and brand-new treats, resulting in $305,692.92 in net food sales by 33 vendors.
WHO GAVE: Three hundred and fifty-nine local and regional Festival Sponsors contributed more than $300,000 in cash or in-kind services, to support River Festival 2014. It takes about $525,000 to stage the Festival and its many components each year. Sixty-eight percent of the Festival’s income comes from Sponsor contributions and button sales.

For more information on the Smoky Hill River Festival or the other programs of Salina Arts & Humanities, call 785-309-5770, visit or, or e-mail

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, Community Art & Design, 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.