VIDEO: Planning an #EpicArtsParty

Salina Arts & Humanities 48th Smoky Hill River Festival is just over 60 days away.  The organization on Thursday unveiled highlights of this year’s epic arts party, which is June 13-16 in Oakdale Park.

The popular Festival Medallion Quest will kick off at 4 pm on Wednesday, May 15, on the front steps of the Smoky Hill Museum, where the first clue for the $3,000 prize package will be unveiled. Twice daily, clues will be released at 7:30 am and 4:30 pm until the Medallion is found.

Festival gates will open at 4 pm on Thursday, June 13, with 35 food booths, an art patron party, and the Festival Jam produced by S.M. Hanson Music. Music will start at 5:45 with a special guest who has been invited to perform.

Highlights of the Festival include 125 exhibiting artists from 23 states, including 58 first-time artists. There are five returning craft demonstrators as well, along with two new ones. There will be three live paintings that are created during the festival, along with the river bank mural.

Artyopolis, an interactive children’s area full of arts, crafts, face painting, and games, will also feature three new games on Game Street.

Headliners on the Eric Stein Stage include Monophonics on Friday night, William Beckman on Saturday night, and Papa Green Shoes will be the final act Sunday afternoon.

The 43rd Smoky Hill River Run is back. The Saturday morning event event includes a two-mile walk, children’s races, and a two-mile and five-mile electronically timed race.

Kids and families rush into the park when the gates open to get a spot at First Treasures on Saturday, a special patron tent for kids 4-13 years old. Participants can select hundreds of items priced from $1 to $5, provided by exhibiting artists.

Food Row will feature over 30 food vendors, including a mix of new additions and returning favorites. New food vendors this year include:

  • Brazita Bites Taste of Brazil
  • Bucket List BBQ
  • German Kitchen
  • Ma Ma-Ci’s Meet and Sweet Pies
  • Mac Daddy’s
  • Sam and Louie’s Mobile Pizzeria
  • Hot Off the Press
  • Honey and Rue’s
  • Fargo Fillies

In addition to art, food, music, and activities for kids, the Smoky Hill River Festival relies on approximately 2,000 volunteers each year.

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*Admission to the River Festival is by weekend wristband ($15 in advance, $20 at the gate) available in many local locations and regional cities starting May 1st, or by daily wristband ($10, sold only at the gate). Children 11 and under get in free. See a list of all local or regional wristband retailers at: General Festival hours are Thursday, June 13, from 4 pm to 10 pm, Friday and Saturday, from 10 am to 10 pm, and Sunday, June 16, from 10 am to 5 pm.

For more information and details or to see volunteer opportunities, visit or call 785-309-5770.