The 2018 Smoky Hill River Festival offers an amazing “Sensory Feast” of things to see and experience. Among the notable things to watch for at Festival 2018 are:
- Another amazing Festival T-shirt designed by exhibiting artist Angie Pickman from Lawrence, KS. Featuring a folksy design that includes an artist palette, guitar, sunflowers and a river stream, the 2018 T-shirt is printed on a soft, heather-orange T-shirt or tank, or on light purple for kids. Shirts retail for $10 to $12 and are available at the SA&H offices at 211 W. Iron Ave. Pickman also designed this year’s popular limited-edition Festival Print, entitled ‘Smoky Hill Sun Song.’
- Seven brand-new food vendors will offer delectable treats such as street tacos, flavored funnel cakes, fried ravoli, designer hot dogs and philipino lumpia. Thirty-six Festival food providers will tempt Festival-goers from 4 p.m. on Thursday, June 7 through 5 p.m. Sunday, June 10.
- Thirty new artists will exhibit at the Fine Art and Four Rivers Craft Show and in the Art/Craft Demo area, in various media. The 120+ Festival artists hail from more than 30 states. The second annual “PREMIERE” Art Patron party on Thursday evening will bring art lovers face-to-face with Festival artists for meaningful discussion in a relaxed setting. Enroll in the Patron Program by calling 785-309-5770.
- Thirteen first-time entertainers will grace Festival stages along with popular returning acts. Headliners include Jessica Hernandez & The Deltas, The Main Squeeze, Josh Hoyer & Soul Colossal and Sunday-afternoon tribute band Elton Dan & the Rocket Band. Genres of music represented include blues, jazz, rock ‘n’ roll, hip-hop soul R&B, blues, calypso and more. Returning favorites Victor & Penny and the Loose Change Orchestra from Kansas City and Papa Green Shoes from Springfield, MO perform alongside numerous new regional acts.
- Roving and kids acts include Mr. Kneel & DJ Stretch, Drum Safari, The Que Pastas, Jason D’Vaude and popular balloon artists Up Up & Away. New to the Bravo Stage this year are Mahan, Fed Up and Funtabi. The BRAVO Day Party returns to Bravo for a second year.
- Three new Art/Craft demonstration artists will show and sell: Julie Cates of Salina with playful, colorful, energetic wood pieces that spread “happy”; locals Gary Hobbie and Ross VanderHamm turning wood and Ken Sims of West Des Moines on the forge.
- Five brand-new Art Installations commissioned for the Festival are among the nearly 20 AI’s on site. Among the first-time Installations are “Polycultural Prosperity: Systemic Disruption” by Neil Goss of Lawrence, KS; “Something In The Air” by Jim Martin and Co, of Charlotte, NC; “Lego Printing” by Two Tone Press of Kansas City and new graffiti artist Scribe, with “Friends for Life,” inspired by the work of the Salina Animal Shelter. Returning Festival artist Juniper ‘TJ’ Tangpuz will decorate four Festival golf carts with roving sculptures that represent the cardinal directions of Chinese constellations in “Four Directions,” so watch for the white tiger, blue dragon and more!
- 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 riverfestival.com/pdfs/festivalmap.pdf for guest-service locations and other details.
Helpful final reminders about what to bring or not to bring to the River Festival and Oakdale Park can be found at riverfestival.com/visitorinfo/admission, in the printed Festival Program, or will be publicized on Monday, June 4.
Also, the first clue for the 2018 Festival Medallion Quest will be read live at the Eric Stein Stage during the noon hour at the Festival Friday in the Park party and concert, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Friday, May 25. Live music, Chapman’s Takeaway truck and free Pepsi will be on site. Find all Medallion Quest details and rules at http://www.riverfestival.com/festival-quest-rules.cfm