This week’s events in the River Valley & Ozark region

Published December 13, 2012 at 12:00 a.m.
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Dec. 13

Master Naturalists Meeting

DARDANELLE — The River Valley Arkansas Master Naturalists will meet at 7 p.m. at the Lake Dardanelle State Park Visitor Center. For more information, email

Reading and Book Signing

CONWAY — Arkansas author Gwendolyn Graves will read from her latest book, The Fall of Men, at 7 p.m. at the Faulkner County Library. A book-signing will follow. Participants my purchase a copy of the book and of Scorned, by the same author, online and bring them to the library to be signed. Refreshments will be served. All library events are free and open to the public. For more information, call (501)327-7482 or email

Newcomers’ Luncheon

MAUMELLE — A newcomers’ luncheon will be held at 11:30 a.m. at the Maumelle Country Club. The Drugstore Cowboys will provide entertainment, and the menu will include roasted pork medallions, wild rice, glazed carrots, baked apples, rolls and chocolate cake. The cost is $14 and should be paid by check to Maumelle Newcomers. Reservations are required by calling Joan Ann Olsen at (501) 851-4223 by Monday.

Dec. 14

Joint-Pain Seminar

CONWAY — Dr. Grant Bennett, an orthopaedic surgeon with Conway Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine Clinic, will discuss joint pain and dysfunction during a free seminar at 11:15 a.m. at the Faulkner County Senior Center, located at 1620 Donaghey Ave. The seminar, which is sponsored by the Stryker Orthopedics and Arthritis Foundation, will include discussion of osteoarthritis, arthritis of the hip and knee, surgical and nonsurgical joint-pain treatment options, new technology in hip and knee replacement, triathlon Custom Fit Knee with ShapeMatch Technology and the GetAroundKnee. A free meal will be provided, and space is limited. Registration is required by calling (888) 787-9537 or visiting

Christmas at the Capitol

LITTLE ROCK — The Morrilton Elementary School Mighty Pup Singers will perform at the Christmas at the Capitol program at 1 p.m. The 46 members of the group will be among many college, high school, junior high, middle school and elementary school choirs that will participate in this event, hosted by Arkansas Secretary of State Mark Martin. The Mighty Pup Singers are directed by the school’s music teacher, Vicky Bowles Ronk.

Christmas River Walk Festival

DARDANELLE — The Renaissance will present the Christmas River Walk Festival from 5-8 p.m. in downtown Dardanelle. The event will include the lighting of the Front Street Christmas Tree, a tree-decorating contest, caroling, photos with Santa and more. For more information, call (479) 229-3567.

Dec. 15

Fall Commencement

RUSSELLVILLE — Arkansas Tech University will hold fall commencement ceremonies at John E. Tucker Coliseum in Russellville at 10 a.m. The ceremony will feature graduates from the College of Applied Sciences, the College of Arts and Humanities and the Graduate College. Graduates from the College of Business, the College of Education, the College of Natural and Health Sciences, the College of Professional Studies and Community Outreach and all students earning an associate degree will participate in a 2 p.m. commencement ceremony.

Toy Run

CONWAY — Bikers will gather for the 12th annual Conway Regional Toy Run at 10 a.m. at Landers Toad Suck Harley Davidson, 1110 Collier Drive off Museum Road in Conway. At noon, Santa will lead the way for a caravan of motorcycles, trikes and cages (cars) leaving the dealership for Conway Regional Medical Center, where they will deliver the toys. Last year, about 400 people participated in the event. This year’s event includes pre- and post-run live performances at the dealership by Clover Blue and Gypsy Rain. For those who want to help but can’t make it to the run, drop-off locations in Conway include AutoZone, O’Reilly Auto Parts, Napa Auto Parts, Advance Auto Parts Store, Helton’s Wrecker/U-Haul and Landers Toad Suck Harley Davidson. For more information, call Steve “Painter” Polk at (501) 472-1628 or David Hawks at (501) 450-0745.

Community Choir Performance

RUSSELLVILLE — The Community Festival Chorale will present G. F. Handel’s Messiah at 7 p.m. at Witherspoon Auditorium on the campus of Arkansas Tech University. The choir, accompanied by students from ATU, Hendrix and the community, and conducted by Shirley Faulkner, will perform what is known as the Christmas portion of Handel’s Messiah, plus “The Hallelujah Chorus.” Several soloists from within the ensemble will be featured. The concert is free and open to the public, and those owning a copy of the choral music are asked to bring it and sing with the choir on the Hallelujah Chorus. For more information, call (479) 264-9107 or email

Conway Dinner Theater Production

LESLIE — The Ozark Heritage Arts Center in Leslie will present a Conway Dinner Theater production, Dear Abby … Dr. Phil, at 7:30 p.m. Shannah Cummings and Jim Harris have joined forces in this musical display of shy pursuit, falling in love, marriage and family. Tickets are $8 in advance or $10 at the door. Hors d’oeuvres will be provided. For more information, call (501) 941-4828.

Dec. 16

Celebrating the Christmas Season

MAUMELLE — Pastor Tony Auxier and the congregation of First Baptist Church Maumelle invite the public to join them in celebrating the Christmas season. The Celebration Choir, under the direction of Bruce Rodtnick, will give its Christmas concert at 10:15 a.m. Each Sunday in December, Pastor Auxier’s sermons will focus on the true meaning of Christmas. For more information on worship opportunities, call the church office at (501) 851-3547 or visit

Dec. 17

Christmas Carol Sign and Sing

CONWAY — The Faulkner County American Sign Language class will sign and sing Christmas carols at 6:30 p.m. at the Faulkner County Library. All library events are free and open to the public. For more information, call (501) 327-7482 or email

Dec. 18

Retired Teachers Holiday Luncheon

CONWAY — The Faulkner County Retired Teachers Association will have its annual holiday luncheon at 11:30 a.m. in the Activity Center of Conway First Baptist Church. Guests are asked to bring a dish or dessert. Dan and Elisa DeTogni will provide holiday music. Anyone who has retired from any position in education is welcome to attend. For more information, call (501) 327-4216.


Group Study Exchange

CONWAY/RUSSELLVILLE/MORRILTON — Rotary Club members are seeking four outstanding professionals to visit southern Italy as part of the Group Study Exchange program of The Rotary Foundation. A Rotarian will lead the team of four professionals to visit southwestern Italy between May 22 and June 20. The team will make presentations to Rotary Clubs and other groups about Arkansas and their professions. The Rotary Foundation pays for round-trip airfare. Rotary Club members in Italy will provide meals, lodging and group travel in their district. Team members will pay only for personal and incidental expenses. Non-Rotarian team members should be between the ages of 25 and 40; employed full time in a business or profession; and live or work in Rotary District 6170. Applications can also be found at Applications should be submitted by Jan. 15.

Time of Prayer and Reflection

CONWAY — During this Advent season, St. Peter’s Episcopal Church invites the public to a time of prayer and reflection. The church sanctuary will be open for prayer from 11:45 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. Monday through Friday. A brief noonday prayer service will take place at approximately 12:30 p.m. People of all faiths are welcome. The church is at 925 Mitchell St. adjacent to Conway Junior High School.

Adult Education Registration

CONWAY — Registration is under way for December workshops at the Conway Adult Education Center. For more information, call (501) 450-4810, or visit for a class schedule.

Eagle Tours

RUSSELLVILLE — Lake Dardanelle State Park will offer free winter lake cruises for the best chance of seeing the American bald eagle throughout December. Many other birds will be in the area for viewing, including American white pelicans, ducks and snow geese. Participants are asked to dress warmly, as temperatures and winds are more severe on the lake. Tours will take place at 10 a.m. today; at 10 a.m. Wednesday; at 11 a.m. Dec. 22; at 2 p.m. Dec. 27; and at 9 a.m. Dec. 29. To reserve a seat, call (479) 967-5516.

Cookbook Sale

CONWAY — The Conway Symphony Orchestra is selling cookbooks and CDs at the Faulkner County Library. CDs are $5, and cookbooks are $15. The sale will continue until Jan. 1. For more information, call the library at (501) 327-7482.


Gospel Performance

CONWAY — The Nelson Family singers will bring traditional gospel music and Christmas carols to the Faulkner County Library at 7 p.m. Dec. 20. The Larry Nelson family has been traveling for more than 28 years, singing gospel music at churches and other venues. Refreshments will be served. All library events are free and open to the public. For more information, call (501) 327-7482 or email

’Twas the Night Before Christmas 

GREERS FERRY — Children’s Theatre on Tour, a touring company of the Arkansas Arts Center’s Children’s Theatre in Little Rock, will perform ’Twas the Night Before Christmas at 9:30 a.m. Dec. 21 at West Side School, 7295 Greers Ferry Road, in Greers Ferry. This event will take place in the new gym, with plenty of parking. The North Central Arkansas Foundation for the Arts and Education is sponsoring the event. The public is invited to attend.

Master Naturalists Membership Drive

The Central Arkansas Master Naturalists are looking for new members to learn about and preserve the natural world in Arkansas. Classes will begin Jan. 12 on botany, entomology, mammals, meteorology, birding, archaeology and more. After completing the Master Naturalist training program, volunteers are armed with knowledge that can change lives, help the environment and make a difference in the world. For more information, call (501) 837-9634 or visit

Cheerleading and Dance Clinic

RUSSELLVILLE — The Arkansas Tech University spirit squads will hold a cheerleading and dance clinic from noon to 2:30 p.m. Jan. 12 for children ages 5 to 12. The clinic will be held in the Hull Physical Education Building, Room 112. All participants will perform at halftime of the Arkansas Tech women’s basketball game later that evening at Tucker Coliseum. Tipoff will be at 4 p.m. The cost for the clinic is $25 per participant, which includes a clinic T-shirt. For more information or a registration form, visit

To submit an item for the Calendar of Events, mail information to Calendar of Events, River Valley & Ozark Edition, P.O. Box 2221, Little Rock, AR, 72203; fax to (501) 378-3500; or email to Deadlines for calendar-item submissions are noon Friday for Thursday editions and noon Tuesday for Sunday editions.

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