After a rainy end to Saturday’s events, sunshine returned to the Smoky Hill River Festival on Sunday and so did the crowds.
Brad Anderson, Executive Director of Salina Arts and Humanities tells KSAL News that after losing four hours of activities on Saturday due to stormy weather, 8,873 festival goers returned for the final day. “It just continues to amaze me how this community shows up, and supports this festival,” he said.
The nearly 9,000 visitors through the gate Sunday beat 2012’s pace by 1,000.
A thunderstorm early Saturday evening, prompted organizers to cancel stage performances that were scheduled at 6:00 and 7:00. The 8:30 Mingo Fishtrap concert was ultimately washed out as well. The group is currently negotiating to come back in the near future for a free concert.
A big draw throughout the four days in the park was the expanded children’s area dubbed “Artyopolis.” Hundreds of Fruit-Loop necklaces and super-hero masks were designed and decorated by their young creators. 8-year-old Dakota Kindlesparger of Salina was hosting her 6-year-old cousin Jilly Minor from Indiana under the big art tent.
The two were busy decorating bags and making memories. “We are cousins and we’re having a lot of fun at the festival,” Dakota said.
As volunteers began to tear down tents and pack up the party, Anderson said they are already thinking about what’s next, “We’re planning 2014 while we take down 2013.” Part of those plans Anderson revealed comes by listening, “The staff carrys around note pads and jots down everything they observe or hear that we can do better next time around.”
Thursday, June 6th – 10,773.
Friday, June 7th – 21,841
Saturday, June 8th – 20,621
Sunday, June 9th – 8,873
Total Attendance 2013 Smoky Hill River Festival: 62,308