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Relaxing River Fest Style

Jeff Garretson - June 14, 2015 11:22 pm

Andrea Unzicker and her 7-year-old daughter Elena enjoy the groove under the tent at Stage II

Sunday’s Festival finale had more cottonwood seeds falling from the sky than raindrops – as thunderstorms held off until closing time at the 2015 Smoky Hill River Festival.

It was the perfect weather to stretch out under the tents and soak up the last musical performances floating through the park for 7-year-old Elena Unzicker and her mother Andrea of Newton, Kansas. “We’ve had a wonderful time,” Andrea said.

An elated Brad Anderson, Executive Director of Salina Arts and Humanities told KSAL News that plans were in place throughout the weekend to shift and move events as needed, but never employed, “The weather did not interrupt any of our scheduled events,” he said.

“We are truly blessed. All weekend long the forecast called for 70-percent chance of rain and we just kept on going.”

According to Anderson’s count late Sunday night, 7,201 patrons crossed into the Oakdale Park for the final day of festival while the final count for the entire weekend edged over 60,000 visitors.

Anderson praised his staff as he took time to reflect on the their effort – and added the vendors felt the same way.

“We always get feedback from the vendors and artist throughout the weekend and time and time again they talked about our staff and volunteers attention to detail. They’re second to none.”

“It’s great to have another festival in the can, he said.

As volunteers began to tear down tents and sound equipment, Anderson said they are already thinking about what’s next, “We’re planning 2016 while we work.”

Part of those plans Anderson revealed comes by listening, “The staff jots down everything they observe or hear so we can do better next time around.”

Jeff Fellows

June 15, 2015 at 9:05 am

Mr Anderson count is very inaccurate. Most of his figure is of repeat people coming back. Let’s say you have an event for 3 days and you sell 1000 tickets. But the same 1000 people show up each day for 3 days making the attendance 3000 people a much larger figure but in fact only 1000 tickets were sold. Mr Anderson how many tickets were sold and how many free admissions were given? Then and only then can a true figure be gotten.

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