MOUNTAIN VIEW The 56th annual Arkansas Folk Festival is set for April 20 and 21 in downtown Mountain View.
Rihanna Morrison, executive assistant for the Mountain View Area Chamber of Commerce, said the highlight of the two-day event may be the parade on April 21, which will feature Gov. Asa Hutchinson, Lt. Gov. Tim Griffin and Miss Arkansas Maggie Benton.
“We’re really trying to push the fact that the governor, lieutenant governor and Miss Arkansas are coming to the parade,” Morrison said. “It’s actually huge.”
Morrison said former Govs. Bill Clinton and Mike Huckabee attended the parade in the past, but it’s been a number of years since a sitting governor has attended.
“It’s been several years since we’ve had someone in that high of a rank coming to the parade,” Morrison said. “We’re Mountain View, with 2,500 people in our town. We’re small, but it’s awesome that the governor will take time out of his busy schedule and just come up here for a parade and help us showcase it.”
The parade will start at 10 a.m., and the theme is “Old-Time Pride.” The parade lineup will begin on Blanchard Street, and the parade will proceed down Main Street. For more information about the parade, call (870) 269-8068.
The festivities will start with the opening of the Artisan Market at 11 a.m. April 20. Food vendors will be open all day. Live music will begin at noon on the Courthouse Square, and an old-fashioned contra dance will begin at 6:30 p.m.
On April 21, in addition to the parade, the Artisan Market will open at 9 a.m. Live music will be played on the Courthouse Square all day following the parade. Food vendors will also be open all day.
Morrison, who was born and raised in Mountain View, is proud of her community and the Folk Festival.
“The Arkansas Folk Festival Parade is very near to my heart,” she said. “I’m thrilled to be in charge this year. I have invited so many local schools to be involved. We are hoping for this to be a huge year for the Folk Festival.”
She said the Mountains, Music and Motorcycles festival in the fall is the biggest one for Mountain View.
“[The Folk Festival] has kind of declined the past few years,” she said, adding that around 30,000 people are expected to attend this year.
“It’s our 56th year,” Morrison said. “We’re hoping that this will be one of our bigger years.”
Following the parade, a dignitaries luncheon will be held. It is not open to the public.
“They go there, and we feed them and thank them for coming,” Morrison said. “It brings them into our town and brings revenue into our town. It’s important for people to see the governor and that we are tying to get Mountain View out there more.
“We have the Ozark Folk Center. There are 52 state parks in Arkansas, but the Folk Center is the only music theater and craft village. It’s amazing what we have in our little town, and we should definitely use it.”
This year’s music lineup consists of only local musicians. They include Josh Severs & Co., Possum Juice, Grace Stormont, Love Holler, the Ozark Granny Chicks, the Simply Southern Cloggers, 5 South, Pulaski County Hackensack, Bonafide SB, Twang, and Mary Parker and the White River Ramblers.
Staff writer Mark Buffalo can be reached at (501) 399-3676 or email@example.com.