There were multiple things to do in Salina’s Oakdale Park Friday, and a large crowd was there to do them. The 2014 Smoky Hill River Festival had promised a wide range of entertainment, arts, crafts, food, and fun activities for kids, and it delivered on that promise. Over 22,000 people packed the park to enjoy it all.
According to Salina Arts and Humanities, 22,559 people gathered in the park throughout the day Friday. That’s about 700 more than last year.
Tyler and Ashley Shaffer of Salina brought their daughter in the stroller to take in her first Festival, “We’re making lots of crafts and having some fun,” Tyler said as he sampled his first 2014 vintage funnel cake. “It is savory, deep fried and delicious.”
The highlight of the entertainment Friday included the Big Band Dance Friday night inside the Salina Bicentennial Center, and Funkadesi on the Eric Stein stage.
While a large crowd danced the night away to the sounds of the Bobby Layne Orchestra indside Heritage Hall, outside in the park an even larger crowd moved to Funkadesi’s unique blend of music. Funkadesi blends Indian music – bhangra, Bollywood, Indian folk, with reggae, funk, and Afro-Caribbean grooves.
The weather Friday was perfect, and similar weather is in the forecast Saturday.