As Festival-goers prepare to enjoy the Smoky Hill River Festival’s “Epic Arts Party” this week, here are some reminders about the event and what to bring and what to leave at home:
The Smoky Hill River Festival takes place in scenic Oakdale Park, one of Salina’s oldest and most beautiful spaces. To lessen the impact of more than 60,000 Festival-goers and provide a comfortable experience for everyone, the Festival asks for cooperation during the event.
Parking and Admission
Parking is free and available in the lots adjacent to the Tony’s Pizza Events Center and in the general vicinity of the Festival or on public streets where permissible. No unauthorized vehicles, skateboards, or bikes are allowed in Oakdale Park.
Limited Handicapped Parking is available in the parking lot directly north of the 4th Street bridge (former Salina Journal parking lot, along the river.)
The Festival gates open to the public at 4 pm on Thursday, June 8, and at 10 am Friday through Sunday, June 9-11.
Volunteers reporting for early shifts should come to the Mulberry Street or Tony’s Pizza Events Center bridges wearing their weekend-admission wristbands for security to see and check.
Daily and weekend admission wristbands will be available for purchase at the Mulberry, Fourth Street, or Tony’s Pizza Events Center entrance bridges or the north Oakdale gates, but not at the Kenwood Bridge entrance. Festival-goers may enter over Kenwood Bridge only if they have already purchased and are wearing their wristband. Advance-price four-day wristbands are on sale at all regional Wristband Retailer locations until the close of business on Tuesday, June 6.
Coolers with snacks and beverages are permitted on the Festival grounds. No glass containers of any kind are allowed.
Guest services are available at the River Festival, including Information Booths, the EMS First Aid Center, the Baby Station tent, Lost & Found, Ident-A-Kid, Public Restrooms, and ATMs on site.
Shuttles and Mobility
New and Improved for 2023:
- Mobility carts will be available on a first-come, first-served basis for rent near the shuttle drop-off by the Statue of Liberty. The carts will rent for $10 an hour with a two-hour minimum.
- Presbyterian Manor is offering a free “wave and ride” shuttle service through the park to support access to all of the most trafficked areas of the event.
Two free shuttle trams and one free CityGo shuttle bus from the Tony’s Pizza Events Center parking lot shuttle stops into Festival grounds are accessible on:
- Friday: 10 am – 8 pm
- Saturday: 10 am – 8 pm
- Sunday: 10 am – 4 pm
After regular shuttle hours, OCCK provides transportation for people with movement impairments on an on-call basis. Check-in at Festival Headquarters for assistance. Friday and Saturday: 8 pm – 10 pm
Free rides to the Festival on the CityGo Bus System are available to anyone wearing a Festival wristband (Thursday, Friday & Saturday). CityGo offers expanded bus service of regular routes within Salina city limits during the Festival: Thursday & Friday: 6 am – 10 pm. Saturday: 9 am to 10 pm to Oakdale Park (Oakdale entrance and Events Center Foot Bridge).
Be a Good Festival Neighbor
Blankets and chairs cannot be left overnight. Festival staff takes all blankets, chairs, and other forgotten items to the Lost & Found trailer after the Festival closes each day.
No one is allowed on the steps of the Eric Stein Stage except for the Festival staff and crew. Please keep children at a reasonable distance from the stages and speakers.
Place your trash or recycling in a marked receptacle. Help leave Oakdale Park in great shape!
Shade umbrellas are allowed behind designated and marked sight lines only. No canopy tents are permitted anywhere in the park by the general public.
Per City Ordinance No 12-11052, no smoking, electronic cigarettes, or tobacco products are allowed anywhere in Oakdale Park during River Festival 2023.
The Smoky Hill River Festival is documented each year through photographs and video. These images are used in subsequent years for marketing purposes. The purchase of an admission wristband gives implied permission to use your photo. Press that the Smoky Hill River Festival approves will have credentials.
No pets on the Festival grounds. Only authorized, designated service animals are permitted.
See the Festival Program on-site or here for guest-service locations and details. Helpful final reminders about what to bring or not bring also can be found on the site.
Admission to the River Festival is by weekend wristband ($15 in advance through close of business on June 6 and $20 at the gate) or daily wristband ($10, sold only at the gate). Children 11 and under get in free. General Festival hours are Thursday, June 9, from 4 pm to 10 pm, Friday and Saturday, from 10 am to 10 pm, and Sunday, June 12, from 10 am to 5 pm.
For more information and details or to see volunteer opportunities, visit or call 785-309-5770.