News Releases

6/1/2015 - "New Stuff" for River Festival 2015

Kaye Quinn or Brad Anderson
Arts and Humanities



As the 39th annual River Festival approaches, Festival-goers will delight in long-held traditions as they discover something new. Among the new elements for Festival 2015 are:

*A Kansas-centric River Festival T-shirt, adapted from the 2015 Festival Print by Topeka artist Justin Marable, entitled “Prairie Mystique.” The image features a rich-toned sunset with prairie bison and birds underneath a starry twilight sky. A Festival Print is available to anyone who donates $100 or more to support the Festival.

*A total of 74 new artists who didn’t exhibit in 2014 at the Fine Art Show and Four Rivers Craft Shows, plus two brand-new Art Demo artists--Kim Brook, to demonstrate ceramics and Neil Goss, who will work with natural dyes and weaving.

*Five oversized picture frames installed across Festival grounds to help “picture yourself at the Festival” by taking and posting selfies to social-media sites using #SHRF2015.

*Power-operated scooters or power wheelchairs from Jay Hatfield Mobility for rent on a first-come, first-served basis at $5 an hour with a two-hour minimum; located in Oakdale Park near the on-grounds Shuttle Stop west of the Eric Stein Stage.   

*Five new Festival food vendors offering treats such as Shrimp on a Stick; Fresh Turkey Veggie Wrap; Teriyaki Beef Ribeye with Mashed Potatoes & Gravy; Peachy Pig Dessert Specialty and Chicken Cranberry Pecan Wrap.

*Stage acts including Friday-night Steely Dan tribute band Twelve Against Nature, Melbourne, Australia-based Jakubi, and the David Basse Orchestra from Kansas City. The Band of Heathens from Nashville will headline on Saturday evening, while the raucous Bon Ton Soul Accordion Band will be a high-energy, Sunday-afternoon Main Stage headliner to round out Festival weekend.

*Four new Art Installations integrated into Oakdale Park’s natural environment are more highly collaborative than ever before, between artists and the community. They are:
*Bubblegum Bison, a crowd-sourced mural for young and old, the landscape-based Ersatz Estuary by the Salina Art Center resident artist Erin Latham, and Beyond the Horizon by returning artist Ann Arkebauer.
The first two works are collaborations that will evolve throughout Festival week. The fourth new 2015 Art Installation, entitled Hot Draw, was conceived by professors John Hachmeister of KU and Neil Ward of KWU. Hot Draw will feature select local artists who will write or draw with molten aluminum onto a heavy steel plate to make free-standing dimensional works. Also for 2015, returning Art Installation The Big Picture will haves new images from local artists Stephen Hoffman, Rick Frisbie and Cary Brinegar.

*Arty’s Stage, the renamed and redecorated Children’s Stage, offers entertainment for children of all ages. Acts include Mr. Stinky Feet & the Hiccups, Drum Safari, Ann Zimmerman and Eulenspiegel Puppet Theatre, on the hour from 10 a.m. to late afternoon or early evening, Friday through Sunday.

Other guest services returning to the River Festival include the Red Cross & EMS First Aid Center, a fully staffed mobile-device charging station, an ATM, the Baby Station, Ident-A-Kid and Lost & Found. See the printed Festival Program, pages 24-25 or for guest-service locations and details.
Helpful final reminders about what to bring or not to bring to the  Festival and Oakdale Park can be found at, on pg 5 of the printed Festival Program, or will be publicized starting Friday, June 5.

For needed accommodations, please call Kathy Burlew at Salina Arts & Humanities at 785-309-5770 between 8:00 a.m. - Noon and 1:00 - 5:00 p.m.  Every effort will be made to accommodate known disabilities.  For material or speech access, please call at least five working days prior to the event.

The Smoky Hill River Festival is the flagship event of Salina Arts & Humanities. A department of the City of Salina, SA&H has served a unique role in arts advocacy and support since 1966.  The Smoky Hill River Festival, Horizons Grants Program, Smoky Hill Museum, Arts Infusion Program in schools, Community Art & Design, Cultural Connections, and Art a la Carte concert series are among the programs of Salina Arts & Humanities, located at 211 W. Iron Avenue in Salina.