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PHOTO GALLERY: 30th Festival Jam Rocks

Todd Pittenger - June 11, 2015 10:00 pm

80s hair rock band "The Banned" performs at the Festival Jam.

A large crowd gathered in Salina’s Oakdale Park Thursday night to be a part of the official opening event of the 2015 Smoky Hill River Festival. The Festival Jam officially started the annual party in the park, in front of nearly 11,000 people.

Steve Hanson organized the first Jam 29 years ago, and he is still going strong.┬áHe told KSAL News that he has “seen it all” through the years. A threat of rain hovered over the event this year. “I used to stress about things, but not anymore,” Hanson said. “I control what I can, and what I can’t, I don’t worry about,” he concluded.

The jam wasn’t scheduled to start until 6:00. But there were fans waiting when the gates opened at 4:00. Within a matter of minutes, many people already claiming their favorite spots. One woman told KSAL News that she had been waiting since 11:30 in the morning.

The crowd enjoyed a warm, humid evening. Salina Arts and Humanities Executive Director Brad Anderson told KSAL News that he was pleased with the large crowd.

Along with the music, some also enjoyed the food. Though not all of the food booths were open, those located in the area of the Eric Stein stage were. Fans munched on things like funnel cakes, corn dogs, corn-on-the-cob on a stick, Indian Tacos, “Grater Taters” and much more.

Festival officials tell KSAL News that 10,930 people passed through the gates Thursday night.


Fred Hanson

June 12, 2015 at 7:44 am

Why were not all the food stands opened? Entertainment has continued to decline since the good old days 29 years ago when they had top entertainment.

Donna Rowe

June 12, 2015 at 10:36 am

Fred, they probably weren’t open because it wouldn’t have paid them to begin a day early. The Jam was the only thing going on, so there wouldn’t have been very many people wandering along the main food area. As they say in business, “Location, location, location!”

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