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Top Picks - Capture Arkansas


The top things to do and places to be

By The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

This article was published May 23, 2013 at 3:31 a.m.


Daughtry will headline Riverfest this year.

It’s Memorial Day weekend. Which means it has to be Riverfest weekend, Friday-Sunday along both sides of the Arkansas River in downtown Little Rock and North Little Rock. Gate admission, $35, gets you an Iberia bank wristband good for all three festival days (and yes, you must wear it all three days if you go first on Friday and back on Sunday). Children 6 and younger get in free. Visit Presenter, for the fifth consecutive year, is Verizon/Nokia Siemens Networks.

Don’t like the crush and rush of trying to find a downtown parking space? Take the $3 shuttle ($2 with a nonperishable food item) from the east side of War Memorial Stadium (West Markham and Van Buren streets) in Little Rock or from North Little Rock High School-West Campus, 22nd and Main streets.

Here are 10 Riverfest 2013 highlights:


Daughtry — fronted by American Idol fifth-season finalist Chris Daughtry — headlines Friday’s show on Riverfest’s Bud Light Stage, near the Clinton Presidential Center on the Little Rock side of the river, at roughly 9:45 p.m. Opening act Aranda goes on at 8:15.


This time last year, country rocker Darius Rucker was opening for Lady Antebellum at Verizon Arena. This year he’s the 9:30 p.m. Friday headliner on the Miller Lite/ Arkansas Federal Credit Union Stage in the newly named First Security Amphitheatre, Julius Breckling Riverfront Park, on the Little Rock side of the river. Jana Kramer and Rodney Atkins are the opening acts, starting at 6:30 p.m.


British rock band Bush headlines Saturday’s show (9 p.m.) on the Bud Light Stage. Sugar Ray opens at 6, followed at 7:30 by Blackstone Cherry.

4 BELEW & BENTLEY Arkansas’ own Cody Belew is the 6 p.m. opening act Sunday on the Bud Light Stage, followed at 7:30 by Florida Georgia Line and at 9 by the First Security Fireworks Display (with music simulcast throughout Riverfront Park and broadcast on KKPT-FM, 94.1 “The Point”). Headliner Dierks Bentley takes the stage to close out the festival about 9:45.


And Sunday on the Miller Lite/ Arkansas Federal Credit Union Stage, Drive-By Truckers open at 7:30 p.m., followed at 9 by the fireworks and at 9:30 by legendary rocker Peter Frampton.


Before Riverfest even gets under way, the River Market pavilions will be swimming in wine and craft beers for the Flowing on the River tasting event, 5:30-7:30 p.m. today. Admission is $35 in advance, $40 at the door and proceeds benefit the Argenta Community Theater’s Summer Camp program.


Families looking for child-friendly fun can find plenty at the Deltic Timber KidZone Area and the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette Family Zone. The KidZone, on the Little Rock riverbank, includes hands-on crafts and activities, a playground and water park as well as performances by Radio Disney, Trout Fishing in America and other groups on Yarnell’s KidZone Stage. Tournaments, cultural activities and special performances can be found in the Family Zone, on the east side of the Clinton Presidential Center and Heifer Village.


As usual, a wide variety of merchants and food trucks will let you fill your stomach and empty your wallet. Food offerings will include pizza, funnel cakes, ice cream, gyros, roasted corn and caramel apples. And it will be hard to miss the massive Johnsonville Big Taste Grill, cranking out about 2,500 bratwursts an hour. Meanwhile, Merchant Row vendors will sell various image-enhancers, including clothing, jewelry, temporary tattoos and, appropriately, sunglasses. Men looking to spruce up their look can support prostate cancer research by stopping by the Wahl Mobile Barbershop for a free facial-hair trim.


You can work off some of those funnel cakes, hot dogs and fried foods on sticks Sunday at the Rock-N-Stroll Fun Run & Walk. Participants are encouraged to come in costume for the 5K, which starts at 9 a.m. at Heifer International. Same-day registration starts at 7:45 a.m. $35, $15 for children under 10, which includes a three-day Riverfest pass.


Take your camera-ready canine out for a strut at the annual Ruff on the River Pooch Parade, 10:30 a.m Sunday in the Family Zone. The fundraiser for local animal organizations features a Hollywood-themed costume parade and the Weenie Dog Derby for short legged pups. The registration “Pawty” starts at 9 a.m. at Second Street and River Market Avenue. Registration is $15 (Ruff only), $25 for Ruff and a Riverfest ticket, $5 more for additional human escorts.

And if you want to see super-skilled dogs show off their jumping, running and fetching prowess, stop by the Super Retriever Series, 10:30 a.m. Saturday and noon Sunday at Heifer International.

Weekend, Pages 33 on 05/23/2013

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