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Little Rock's Pops on the River leads July 4 celebrations across state

by Eric E. Harrison | July 1, 2021 at 1:48 a.m.
Fireworks bloom over the Arkansas River for the Arkansas Democrat's annual Pops on the River. (Democrat-Gazette file photo)

A partial list of July 4 celebrations across the state:

Pops on the River

Pops on the River, presented by the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette and sponsored by Orion Federal Credit Union, celebrates Independence Day with a concert by the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra and a fireworks finale, Sunday in Little Rock's River Market District and at First Security Bank Amphitheater.

The festival, in its 37th year, was postponed last year due to the pandemic. Admission is free.

The event gets underway at 3 p.m., when amphitheater gates also open. There will be children's train rides, face painting and caricatures by Democrat-Gazette cartoonist John Deering. Attendees can shop in the Market Hall and at area merchants; food trucks will be on hand.

The Junction Bridge over the Arkansas River was a good spot from which to watch the fireworks for 2018’s Pops on the River. (Democrat-Gazette file photo)
The Junction Bridge over the Arkansas River was a good spot from which to watch the fireworks for 2018’s Pops on the River. (Democrat-Gazette file photo)

All military members (active, reserved or retired) can get a discount card that can be used at many of the food/drink vendors and marketplace merchants. Check in with military ID at the Democrat-Gazette booth in the Market Place, a pop-up market in the River Market Pavilions, 400 President Clinton Ave. There will be giveaways for the first 100 military members to check in. Acura of Little Rock will have vehicles on display in the pavilion.

Nicky Parrish featuring the group Kemistri and jazzman Rodney Block will precede the orchestra on the amphitheater stage. Fireworks will follow the concert, starting at approximately 9:20-9:30 p.m., to be shot off the Main Street Bridge, which will close at 1 p.m. and reopen at 11 p.m. Find a full schedule at arkansasonline.com/pops.

Take lawn chairs and blankets. Amphitheater seating is limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis, but can be reserved for $10 in advance through the website. No fireworks, food, drinks, coolers or pets will be allowed in the park.

The event's benefiting charity this year is Rock City Rescue. Call (501) 918-4539.

AMP Spectacular

The Symphony of Northwest Arkansas performs for the July 4 celebration at the Walmart AMP in Rogers. (Special to the Democrat-Gazette/© 2016 Stephen Ironside/Ironside Photography)
The Symphony of Northwest Arkansas performs for the July 4 celebration at the Walmart AMP in Rogers. (Special to the Democrat-Gazette/© 2016 Stephen Ironside/Ironside Photography)

A 7:30 p.m. patriotic concert Sunday by the Symphony of Northwest Arkansas and conductor Paul Haas precedes a 9:15 fireworks display by the city of Rogers at the Walmart AMP, 5079 W. Northgate Road, Rogers. Gates open at 6 p.m. Tickets are $3-$35. Support comes from Walmart and Synchrony. Call (479) 443-5600 or visit amptickets.com.

Sherwood celebration

The City of Sherwood's annual Independence Day family celebration, "Food, Fun & Fireworks," takes place from 6-9:30 p.m. Saturday at Sherwood Forest, 1111 W. Maryland Ave.

Musician Steven Gary performs easy listening and patriotic tunes at 7 p.m. in advance of the fireworks display by Hog Wild Pyrotechnics that starts at dusk.

Kids of all ages can play on inflatables or visit the petting zoo, which will include a baby kangaroo and a variety of farm animals from Cockrill's Country Critters in the Kids Zone, which will be open until 8:30 p.m. Food trucks will be on-site; BankOZK will supply free bottled water, while supplies last, starting at 6 p.m. Chairs and picnic blankets are welcome; alcohol, pets, bikes, skateboards and coolers are not.

Limited parking is available on-site; additional parking is available in the rear parking lot at Sylvan Hills High School, 508 Bear Paw Road; free shuttles provided by First Baptist Church of Sherwood as well as a wheelchair-accessible shuttle provided by the Jack Evans Senior Center will run from 6-10:30 p.m. with a pause 15 minutes before and after the fireworks display.

Call (501) 835-8909 or email korey@cityofsherwood.net.

Spa City fireworks

Celebrate in Hot Springs with the annual free public July 4 fireworks display on Lake Hamilton, 9:30 p.m. Sunday (exact start time depends on weather conditions). The fireworks will be shot from the middle of Lake Hamilton from barges on the east side of Arkansas 7 at the bridge opposite the DoubleTree Hot Springs, in sync with music that fans can access via radio station KQUS-FM, 97.5 (US97 Country). In case of rain, the fireworks will be rescheduled for Monday. Call (501) 321-2027.

Camden display

Camden marks Independence Day on Sunday with the 21st annual Camden Star Spangled Spectacular at the Camden Municipal Airport, 105 U.S. 278, Camden.

Gates open at 6 p.m. The event will include music (performances by singer-songwriter-producer Connor McMurray at 7 p.m. and Crutchfield the Band at 8), a special recognition of veterans, inflatables and children's events and food vendors. The evening closes out at or around 9 p.m. with the largest professional fireworks display in South Arkansas, set to patriotic music that will air on FM transmitter frequency 94.3.

Admission is free. Take lawn chairs or blankets. Visit explorecamden.com.

Freedom Fest Conway

Freedom Fest Conway, 6:30 p.m. Sunday at Beaverfork Lake Park, 20 Kinley Drive, Conway, marks Independence Day with music by the City Boyz, food trucks and fireworks at dark (starting around 9 p.m.). Dogs are welcome (leashes required and please be respectful of other attendees), but not tobacco products, vaping or alcohol. Take a blanket or lawn chair. Consider carpooling since parking near the area is limited. Visit freedomfestconway.com or facebook.com/events/159268546100699.

Declaration readings

Historic Washington State Park in Washington (Hempstead County) will host readings of the Declaration of Independence, in the same manner as was commonly done in the 19th century, 10:30 a.m., 1:30 and 3:30 p.m. Saturday, Sunday and Monday at the town's 1874 Courthouse. Sign your own "John Hancock" on a take-home copy of the Declaration. Call (870) 983-2684 or email HistoricWashington@arkansas.com. Visit ArkansasStateParks.com.

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