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New Stuff For River Festival

Todd PittengerAugust 15, 2021

The 45thanniversary Smoky Hill River Festival will be an “Epic Arts Party” of things to see, hear, taste and feel.

According to Salina Arts and Humanities, among the notable things Festival-goers can enjoy Sept 2-5 in Oakdale Park, are:

Seven first-time food vendors with delectable Food Row treats including frog legs, soft pretzels, meatball sliders, coconut shrimp, and bacon-wrapped sausage on a stick. Each provider has affordable food items priced from $4. All Food Row options can be viewed in advance at riverfestival.com/food/.

The Festival’s Food Row fare will tempt Festival fans from 4 to 10 p.m. on Thursday, September 2, from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., on Friday and Saturday, September 3 and 4, and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, September 5.

Nearly 60 new artists will exhibit at the Fine Art and Craft Show and in the Art/Craft Demo area, in a variety of media. The more than 120 Festival artists, including eight Art/Craft Demonstration artists, hail from nearly 20 states.

More than 50 performing groups will perform on the Festival’s 45th-anniversary four live stages. Eric Stein Stage headliners include New Orleans-based Cowboy Mouth (Friday) , the Grammy-winning Phantom Blues Band from Los Angeles (Saturday), and local favorites Sunset Sinners on Sunday afternoon.

Genres of music represented this year include blues, jazz, rock ‘n’ roll, hip-hop, reggae, folk and more. Among the acts making their first-ever appearance at the Festival are Brooklyn, NY-based SunDub, Kansas City jazz group The Marcus Lewis Band, and Jarabe Mexicano from San Diego. Festival fans will remember popular returning acts Acoustic Eidolon, That 1 Guy, plus roving performers Drum Safari, Magic Bubbles and balloon artists Up Up & Away.

Lots of Fun is planned for the Artyopolis kid’s area, including Creation Crossing make-and-take items “Fuzzy Flexible Art,” “Imagination Station,” and “Make Your Mark.” Returning professional face painters “Color Me Crazy” will provide airbrushed arm or leg tattoos this year. Among the free Game Street activities are a football plus a baseball toss. Artyopolis hours are Friday and Saturday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday 12n to 4 p.m.

Three new outdoor Art Installations commissioned for Festival 2021 are among the more than 20 site-specific Installations to discover across Oakdale Park:

  • The “Big Fan” sculpture by Juniper ‘TJ’ Tangpuz of Lawrence, KS
  • “Standing Wave,” on the Tony’s Pizza Events Center Bridge, by Mike Miller of Wichita, KS.
  • “World’s Largest Collection of World’s Smallest Versions of World’s Largest Things Sideshow Extravaganza,” Erika Nelson of Lucas, KS.

Convenient weekend-admission Wristband Retailers at 40-some Salina and 20+ regional Retailer locations in 18 other cities are now available. Advance-price four-day Wristbands are $15, then $20 at the gate, from Thursday Sept 2 at 4p.m. on. Daily wristbands will be available for $10, at select Festival gates, same-day.

Guest services available at River Festival 2021 include an EMS First Aid Center, a staffed mobile-device charging station, 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 http://www.riverfestival.com/visitorinfo.cfm#admission, in the printed Festival Program, or will be publicized on Monday, August 30.

Copyright © Meridian Media, 2021. All Rights Reserved. No part of this story may be reproduced without Meridian Media’s express consent.

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