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33rd Jam Kicks of Smoky Hill River Festival

Todd PittengerJune 7, 2018

A large crowd enjoyed a picture-perfect evening in Salina’s Oakdale Park Thursday to be a part of the official opening event of the 2018 Smoky Hill River Festival. The Festival Jam officially started the annual party in the park.

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 were already claiming their favorite spots. The crowd enjoyed a mild evening.

This year’s Festival Jam could possibly be the last one for organizer Steve Hanson. The Salina musician and music store owner organized the first Jam, 33 years ago. He told KSAL News that though the event never gets old, there will come a time when he needs to step down. Will this year will be the last one for Hanson? He told KSAL News that he would make that decision after the festival wraps up.

 

Along with the music, many also enjoyed the food. As the jam started, all of the food booths opened.  Fans munched on things like funnel cakes, corn dogs, corn-on-the-cob on a stick, Indian Tacos, “Grater Taters” and much more.

The Jam kicked off a full weekend of art and entertainment in the park. Entertainment highlights include:

Papa Green Shoes Friday , 6:30 P.M., Eric Stein Stage
Papa Green Shoes
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Friday Night supporting headliner and throughout the weekend!! – A high-energy, four-piece band rooted in modern blues with touches of soul, funk and rock. The band was founded by the Cottengim Brothers and named in tribute to their late father Jimmy Guy Cottengim, a popular songwriter and entertainer from the Ozarks. The Cottengim name has always been synonymous with hard work and great music. Papa Green Shoes carries on that tradition with the funkiest blues band you’ll ever hear.

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The Main Squeeze Friday , 8:30 P.M., Eric Stein Stage
The Main Squeeze
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Friday Night Headliner!! The Main Squeeze is a blend of soul, hip-hop, funk and rock. With deep musical roots that sprouted in the Midwest, this group started as a party band playing clubs and other small venues and secured their place in the national music scene through hard work and dedication. Rolling Stone magazine’s take of the group is, “Lead singer Corey Frye’s powerfully soulful vocals form the foundation of an energetic set.”

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Josh Hoyer & Soul Colossal Saturday , 6:30 P.M., Eric Stein Stage
Josh Hoyer & Soul Colossal
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Saturday supporting Headliner A combination of soul, funk and R&B is, in a word, electric. Best displayed in their high-energy live show, the blend of Hoyer’s honest lyrics and his soulful vocals merge with his top-notch band to create an undeniable chemistry. Hoyer formed Josh Hoyer & Soul Colossal in 2012 in the famed blues of town Lincoln, Nebraska. The award- winning, six-piece band includes some of the area’s most revered and accomplished musicians. Hoyer himself gained national recognition in 2017 as a contestant on NBC’s The Voice.

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Jessica Hernandez & The Deltas Saturday , 8:30 P.M., Eric Stein Stage
Jessica Hernandez & The Deltas
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Saturday Night Headliner Explosive and theatrical, Jessica Hernandez & The Deltas are a celebration of rock pop and dark soul. A second-generation Cuban and Mexican- American, Hernandez felt it her duty to further explore her Hispanic heritage in her music, singing in both English and in Spanish. Hernandez’s lyrics are intensely personal and undeniably provocative. With influences such as Gogol Bordello and St. Paul and the Broken Bones, JHTD is a crowd-pleasing, energetic act.

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Ash is also excited about a couple of new acts this year, including an Elton John tribute band.

KU Brazilian Steel Band Sunday , 2:00 P.M., Eric Stein Stage
KU Brazilian Steel Band
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The KU Brazilian Steel Band, under the direction of Prof. Brandon Draper performs the music of Trinidad and Tobago’s dynamic “Panorama” culture, focusing on calypso and soca styles fused with the Samba drumming of Brazil! The band performs compositions written just for the group, plus music in a wide range of popular and classical genres. If this is your first time hearing the music of Brazil and the Caribbean, be prepared, because the party never stops!!

Elton Dan & The Rocket Band Sunday , 3:30 P.M., Eric Stein Stage
Elton Dan & The Rocket Band
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Sunday Closing Act! This band pays tribute to one of the greatest artists of all time – Elton John. Elton Dan’s stage presence is one-of-a-kind and his magical piano playing engages the audience in a full Elton John experience. This captivating group includes incredible backup singers and over- the-top costumes. Skilled at playing for large crowds, Elton Dan has an intimate way of sharing the emotions and experience of this great music with each listener.

Video Web Site Performer Web Site

 

 

Copyright © Rocking M Media, 2018. All Rights Reserved. No part of this story may be reproduced without Rocking M Media’s express consent.

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