Bye Bye Festival

Four sun-soaked days led to another well attended Smoky Hill River Festival in Salina’s Oakdale Park.

As crews were packing gear and striking tents late Sunday, Brad Anderson, Executive Director of Salina Arts and Humanities was still smiling about the weather, “That’s the first time in six years we weren’t dodging thunder storms and rain,” he said.

According to Anderson, over 60,000 people attended the 40th annual arts festival during the four-day run.

Patrons and performers alike were buzzing about the new art installation that brought more shade overhead to the crowd near the Eric Stein Stage. “Reach for the Skies” also helped bring the crowd closer to the artists.

“The sunny concrete was a wasteland during the hot afternoons. Adding some shady spots helped bring the crowd in,” Anderson said.

“We’ll evaluate whether to add some more down the line when we gather and compare notes.”

The process of making the 2017 River Festival another unique success is already in progress as teams of volunteers and leaders compile reports on what worked and what needs a makeover for next June.

“We’ve got a full day tomorrow following up with vendors and artists but overall the vendors were very pleased with sales and turnout, he said.


Shots from the Smoky Hill River Festival 2016