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Nearly 63,000 Attend Smoky Hill River Festival

Todd Pittenger - June 15, 2014 7:25 pm

The 2014 Smoky Hill River Festival is history.

Organizers tell KSAL News that on Sunday 7,008 people crossed the bridges into the park to enjoy the final day of the festival. The total attendace for the weekend was 62,860, which is 552 more than last year.

Mother nature was a big factor in the large attendance this year. Other than some gusty wind on Saturday, and wind and rain after the festival closed late Saturday night, the weather was beautiful. With daily high temperatures in the 80s and lower 90s, and evening temperatures in the 50s and 60s, festival fans enjoyed some of the most ideal conditions possible.

There are multiple reasons why Salina’s signature event continues to grow in popularity. Festival fans keep coming back to enjoy the wide range of entertainment, arts, crafts, food, and fun activities for kids.

According to Salina Arts and Humanities, it’s not just the festival fans who want to keep coming back. It’s also the artists and entertainers. Officials tell KSAL News that they had several participants on Sunday express gratitude about how welcome and cared for they feel in Salina, and at the festival.

Salina Arts and Humanities Executive Director tells KSAL News that an event like this couldn’t be pulled off without the help of a small army of volunteers. There are seven staff members who work a good portion of the year on the event, 22 – 24 committees, and over 2000 volunteers. “Other festivals that boast about having several hundred volunteers are blown away when they learn about the support we have”, he says.

Even though the 2014 Smoky Hill River Festival just finished, organizers are already working on next year’s festival. Anderson says that planning for the 2015 Smoky Hill River Festival actually started earlier this spring.

Gary Henderson

June 15, 2014 at 8:44 pm

The festival was okay this year…not worth the trip from Michigan but nice to see some old friends. The attendance numbers are bumped up. Stood at the gate for 30 min. waiting for a friend and saw the gate attendant clicking his clicker 2 or 3 times even if only one person walked thru….Lol. What a joke.

Fred Hanson

June 15, 2014 at 11:15 pm

How true you are Gary I to saw them clicking away wondered why. What I do not think they should have let those petition seekers anywhere’s near the festival. These are the same troublemakers who pushed the gay matter and it cost us voters money to vote that out. Now they are trying to take over county government with their twisted idea’s and we need to put a stop to it. This Norlin Gal is a piece of work an we need to do what Minneapolis did and run her out of town. Back to the festival it was pretty poor no longer do they bring in big name acts. Nor will we ever see a good accounting of the funds they made off the event. Someone or group is making alot of money off of this for themselves or their interests. Yes people attend it but I wonder if another group held a similar event with some big name groups if the festival would draw anyone if both were held at the same time.

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