Salina’s Oakdale Park is undergoing a transformation in preparation of the 2014 Smoky Hill River Festival. The official opening event of the 38th annual party in the park is Thursday night’s Festival Jam.
Entertainment this year includes several traditional favorite acts, along with some new ones. Following Thursday night’s jam session, the Friday headliner on the Eric Stein Stage is a Chicago area group called Funkadesi. Also Friday night, the popular big band dance featuring the Bobby Layne Orchestra will be held inside the the Bicentennial Center. Saturday’s headliner is a group called Simplified from the East Coast, with a beach-party type performance. The Salina Symphony will close the festival with a patriotic performance on Sunday afternoon. Here is the complete list of entertainment: Smoky Hill River Festival Entertainment
Along with the entertainment, many festival fans look forward to the wide variety of food at the event. This year there will be 34 food booths. Many favorites will be back, along with several new ones. The Ninja Express featuring oriental food, and The Baker Man featuring baked food like cannolis, are a couple of new food booths that will be a part of the event.
This year will mark the 20th anniversary of the art patron program at the festival. The patron program is a pledge to purchase at least $250 of art from the fine art show. The program brings in about $135,000. Along with the art purchase, patrons receive several perks including a breakfast event catered by the Salina Country Club.
The fine arts and crafts this year won’t disappoint. Exhibitors from coast to coast, and from as far away as Israel, will be at the show. Over $650,000 worth of arts and crafts will be in the park for the River Festival.
Smoky Hill River Festival Buttons are on sale in advance in 18 cities around Kansas including Salina through noon on Thursday. They will also be on sale at the gates. Advance buttons cost $10, while buttons at the gate will cost $15.
Online: Smoky Hill River Festival