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Smoky Hill River Festival 2018: “A Sensory Feast”

Todd PittengerApril 3, 2018

It is billed as a “A Sensory Feast”. Organizers Tuesday morning unveiled plans for the 2018 Smoky Hill River Festival. This years’ theme is “A Sensory feast”.

The popular Festival Jam will get things started Thursday night. The Big Band Dance will be back again as well, Friday night inside the Tony’s Pizza Events Center.

Along with the mainstays, there will be plenty of new things this year.

Arts Education Coordinator Stacy Ash tells KSAL News she is excited about the entertainment this year. She says they are doing things a bit different.


There will be two main acts on the Eric Stein Stage, both Friday and Saturday night. They include:

Papa Green ShoesFriday , 6:30 P.M., Eric Stein Stage
Papa Green Shoes
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Friday Night supporting headliner and throughout the weekend!! – A high-energy, four-piece band rooted in modern blues with touches of soul, funk and rock. The band was founded by the Cottengim Brothers and named in tribute to their late father Jimmy Guy Cottengim, a popular songwriter and entertainer from the Ozarks. The Cottengim name has always been synonymous with hard work and great music. Papa Green Shoes carries on that tradition with the funkiest blues band you’ll ever hear.

Video Web SitePerformer Web Site

The Main Squeeze

Friday , 8:30 P.M., Eric Stein Stage
The Main Squeeze
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Friday Night Headliner!! The Main Squeeze is a blend of soul, hip-hop, funk and rock. With deep musical roots that sprouted in the Midwest, this group started as a party band playing clubs and other small venues and secured their place in the national music scene through hard work and dedication. Rolling Stone magazine’s take of the group is, “Lead singer Corey Frye’s powerfully soulful vocals form the foundation of an energetic set.”

Video Web SitePerformer Web Site


Josh Hoyer & Soul ColossalSaturday , 6:30 P.M., Eric Stein Stage
Josh Hoyer & Soul Colossal
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Saturday supporting Headliner A combination of soul, funk and R&B is, in a word, electric. Best displayed in their high-energy live show, the blend of Hoyer’s honest lyrics and his soulful vocals merge with his top-notch band to create an undeniable chemistry. Hoyer formed Josh Hoyer & Soul Colossal in 2012 in the famed blues of town Lincoln, Nebraska. The award- winning, six-piece band includes some of the area’s most revered and accomplished musicians. Hoyer himself gained national recognition in 2017 as a contestant on NBC’s The Voice.

Video Web SitePerformer Web Site

Jessica Hernandez & The Deltas

Saturday , 8:30 P.M., Eric Stein Stage
Jessica Hernandez & The Deltas
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Saturday Night Headliner Explosive and theatrical, Jessica Hernandez & The Deltas are a celebration of rock pop and dark soul. A second-generation Cuban and Mexican- American, Hernandez felt it her duty to further explore her Hispanic heritage in her music, singing in both English and in Spanish. Hernandez’s lyrics are intensely personal and undeniably provocative. With influences such as Gogol Bordello and St. Paul and the Broken Bones, JHTD is a crowd-pleasing, energetic act.

Video Web SitePerformer Web Site


Ash is also excited about a couple of new acts this year, including an Elton John tribute band.

KU Brazilian Steel BandSunday , 2:00 P.M., Eric Stein Stage
KU Brazilian Steel Band
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The KU Brazilian Steel Band, under the direction of Prof. Brandon Draper performs the music of Trinidad and Tobago’s dynamic “Panorama” culture, focusing on calypso and soca styles fused with the Samba drumming of Brazil! The band performs compositions written just for the group, plus music in a wide range of popular and classical genres. If this is your first time hearing the music of Brazil and the Caribbean, be prepared, because the party never stops!!

Elton Dan & The Rocket BandSunday , 3:30 P.M., Eric Stein Stage
Elton Dan & The Rocket Band
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Sunday Closing Act! This band pays tribute to one of the greatest artists of all time – Elton John. Elton Dan’s stage presence is one-of-a-kind and his magical piano playing engages the audience in a full Elton John experience. This captivating group includes incredible backup singers and over- the-top costumes. Skilled at playing for large crowds, Elton Dan has an intimate way of sharing the emotions and experience of this great music with each listener.

Video Web SitePerformer Web Site


There will be some changes, but festival food this year won’t disappoint. There will be seven new food vendors for festival goers to visit. New food includes:

  • street tacos
  • gourmet burgers
  • gourmet hot dogs
  • Hawaiian pineapple cups
  • 40 flavors of egg rolls
  • Mediterranean food

There will be 135 artists at the festival this year, including 20 new ones. There will also be 20 art installations scattered throughout the festival grounds.

There will again this year be a medallion search in the days leading up to the festival. It will begin on Friday, May 25th, with an event and concert during the noon hour at the Eric Stein Stage in Oakdale Park where the first clue will be released.  Clues will be released daily until the medallion is found.

Smoky Hill River Festival Buttons go on sale May 1st. Buttons are $10 in advance, $15 at the gate.

Salina Arts and Humanities Executive Director Brad Anderson gave all of the credit for the continued success of the festival to seven staff members, twenty committees, and over 2,000 volunteers who work together.

The 2018 Smoky Hill River Festival will be June 7th – 10th.

Smoky Hill River Festival Online


Copyright © Meridian Media, 2022. All Rights Reserved. No part of this story may be reproduced without Meridian Media’s express consent.





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