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“Like None Other”: Much New at 2019 River Festival

Todd PittengerJune 9, 2019

The 2019 Smoky Hill River Festival is nearly here. Organizers say this year’s festival offers a “Summertime Feast” of things to see and experience.

Among the notable things to watch for at Festival 2019 are:

  • Salina artists Katy England and Neil Ward designed the 2019 Festival Print and the Festival T-shirt, respectively. Check out England’s limited-edition Print and Ward’s T-shirt design at The Festival Print is available for a $100 or more Festival donation. T-shirts retail for $10 to $15 and are available at the SA&H offices at 211 W. Iron Avenue downtown, until Wednesday, June 12 at noon.
  • Five first-time or “new back” food vendors will offer delectable Food Row treats, including buffalo burgers, BBQ pork kabobs, French gougeres pastry, pancakes-on-a-stick and homemade milk shakes. This and other Food Row fare will tempt Festival-goers from 4 to 10 p.m. on Thursday, June 13, from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, June 14-15, and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, June 16.
  • Forty-seven new artists will exhibit at the Fine Art and Craft Show and in the Art/Craft Demo area, in various media. The 135 Festival 2019 artists, including eight Art/Craft Demonstration artists, hail from more than 30 states.
  • More than 50 entertainers will grace the Festival’s four stages, along with popular returning acts. Eric Stein Stage headliners include mash-up dance band Lost Wax on Friday night, Nashville-based sister duo Larkin Poe on Saturday evening and Sunday-afternoon hometown favorite Joe’s Pet Project. Genres of music represented include blues, jazz, rock ‘n’ roll, hip-hop, roots, international folk and more. Returning favorites Victor & Penny and the Loose Change Orchestra, Papa Green Shoes and the Joseph Vincelli Group perform alongside numerous new regional and local acts.
    Roving and kids acts entertainment includes Drum Safari, Duke Otherwise, Magic Bubbles, Amado’s Junkyard Orchestra, the Hip Hop Wagon and the always-popular balloon-artist duo Up Up & Away.
  • Among the fun in the Artyoptolis kid’s area is new Creation Crossing make-and-take crafts “Shake Your Music Maker” and “Bubble Wand,” plus professional face painters “Color Me Crazy!”
  • Five new Art Installations commissioned for Festival 2019 are among the 20 site-specific Installations on-site:
  1. “Community” by Neil Ward and Lori Wright, Salina
  2. “Snake Oil” by Matt Farley, Lucas
  3. “The Resound Fields” by graffiti artist Scribe, Kansas City, MO
  4. “Fauna Fantasma” by Erika Nelson, Lucas
  5. “Returning Art Installation artist Juniper ‘TJ’ Tangpuz of Lawrence, will design custom pieces to adorn and rove on four more Festival golf carts, to depict the “Four Elemental Directions.”
  • Three first-time Button Retailers are among the 41 Salina and 25 regional Retailer locations for 2019. They are the two Salina 24/7 Travel Stores, on North Ninth and on Westport Blvd north off of W. Crawford, plus the Lawrence Arts Center in downtown Lawrence.
  • Guest services available at the River Festival include an EMS First Aid Center, mobile-device charging stations, a Selfie Spot, an ATM, the Baby Station, Ident-A-Kid and Lost & Found. See the printed Festival Program or for guest-service locations and other details.

2019 will be the 43rd year of the annual celebration of the arts in Salina. This year’s festival is June 13th – 16th.

The popular Festival Jam will get things started Thursday night. The Big Band Dance will be back again as well, Friday night inside the Tony’s Pizza Events Center.

Helpful final reminders about what to bring or not to bring to the River Festival and Oakdale Park can be found at, in the printed Festival Program, or will be publicized on Monday, June 10.
For additional details, call 785-309-5770, visit or to go

Copyright © Meridian Media, 2022. All Rights Reserved. No part of this story may be reproduced without Meridian Media’s express consent.





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