Festival First Friday: Free Music, Ice Cream

Free live music and free ice cream are on tap this Friday night in preparation and celebration of the upcoming 45th Smoky Hill River Festival.

The first Festival First Friday celebration begins at 6:30 this Friday evening at the Eric Stein Sage in Oakdale Park. Minneapolis, Minnesota, based band  Good Morning Bedlam will provide the music and Freddy’s Frozen Custard will provide free ice cream sandwiches to the first 175 Festival Friday attendees.

Also taking place that evening is the sale of River Festival T-shirts, tank tops, and four-day wristbands, which are $15 in advance, payable by check or cash that night. While no other snacks or beverages will be available on- site, coolers, lawn chairs and blankets are welcome.

Good Morning Bedlam, from Minneapolis, MN, an innovative force in the Midwest folk scene, joins in the Festival fun. They are known for their contagious energy and three-part harmonies, as they captivate audiences regionally. “We want to surprise our audience from song to song,” says Isaak Elker, band front man. “Rather than creating our music to fit a genre, we allow it to be an outpouring of our own stories and unique sound.”

Organizers say after pausing last year because of the pandemic, there is great anticipation for this year’s festival.

Normally held in June, this year’s 45th Smoky Hill River Festival will be Labor Day Weekend, Thursday to Sunday, September 2-5 . The festival of the arts will feature 4 stages, 158 artists, 151 performances, and 35 food vendors.