41,008 Attend River Festival

It started with the sounds of the Festival Jam Thursday night and ended late Sunday afternoon with the smooth sounds of “Papa Green Shoes”.  The 48th edition of the Smoky Hill River Festival wrapped up Sunday evening in Oakdale Park. In between there was a little rain, a little wind, a little heat, and a little over 41,000 people who came and went from Oakdale Park.

According to Salina Arts and Humanities, unofficial totals indicate 41,008 people attended the festival this year. That includes:

  • Thursday – 4,459
  • Friday – 14,599
  • Saturday – 16,766
  • Sunday – 5,184

A combination of wind, lightning, and rain cut the Festival Jam short Thursday night, after four acts.

After about 3/4 of an inch of rain drenched the area late Thursday night, there was a mix of clouds and sun throughout the day Friday, creating ideal conditions for a large crowd that mingled among 125 exhibiting artists from 23 states, including 58 first-time artists.

After the mild day on Friday, weather was a factor again on Saturday. Strong wind caused damage, and one minor injury. There were 8 – 10 tents which sustained major damage in Oakdale Park, and a large amount of artwork was destroyed. A large limb fell and hit one person, who suffered minor injuries and refused treatment.

Sunday was a more laid back day, highlighted by a scavenger hunt, with 275 glass tuits hidden on Festival grounds.

Planning for the 2025 Smoky Hill River Festival has already started. The 49th Smoky Hill River Festival will be in June 12 – 15 0f 2025.