It’s time again to head east to SALINA, KANSAS, for the Smoky Hill River Festival. I first did this show probably 12 or 14 years ago when I was driving Belugasaurus, a well-worn 1987 Toyota Van (the pointy-nosed one that predated even the Previa). I pulled into the show to set up on the morning the show started and discovered I had a flat tire. Before I had time to freak out, the van was swarmed by the football team (does Salina have more than one high school?). They quickly got to work not only changing my flat but also unloading the stuffed van.
Turns out, this is not unusual… Riverfest is a BIG DEAL, and the entire community of Salina takes pride in making sure everyone at the festival feels special. From volunteers coming around literally every 15 minutes to see if exhibiting artists (like yours truly) need water, to an artist dinner at the downtown deli/coffehouse, to now the soccer team helping load & unload artists vehicles, Riverfest is unparalleled for hospitality.
There are all kinds of activities for kids, sculpture installations all over Oakdale Park where the Festival happens, live music on 3 (or is it 4?) stages, and loads of folks excited to be there. There’s even a treasure hunt to find the Festival Medallion—-the winner gets $2000 in cash as well as $2000 in Festival gift certificates!
Anyone who knows me knows that going to an art fair is an epic undertaking for me, but I look forward to this one… I now have good friends that I get to see just once a year, in Salina. Like I say on our home page, if you are ANYWHERE nearby, you should experience Riverfest!