Calendar Dec. 5

Editor's Note: At press time, the following events and meetings were known to be still scheduled. Organizers or appropriate officials are encouraged to contact Sandra Hope at or use our newsroom email to make additions or changes.

Tuesday, Dec. 5

ASC sets Door Hangers and Drinks

Patrons of the Arts & Science Center for Southeast Arkansas can add holiday charm to their homes by creating festive door hangers. The workshop is from 6-8 p.m. Dec. 5, at The ARTSpace on Main, 623 S. Main St. "Create and craft while enjoying an assortment of beer, wine, and nonalcoholic drinks," according to a news release. Artist Amy Moore will teach participants step-by-step how to paint a holiday door hanger. They can then add their own personality to the piece and customize it for their home. Beer and wine are provided by sponsor MK Distributors. Details: or call 536-3375 or contact Bethany Gere at The cost is $45 for members and $55 for nonmembers, with all materials included.

Chamber sets Lunch & Learn

The Pine Bluff Regional Chamber of Commerce will host a Learn & Lunch event from noon to 1 p.m. Dec. 5 at the Donald W. Reynolds Community Services Building, 211 W. Third Ave. The guest speaker will be Carvin Brown, executive director of the Our Blood Institute in Arkansas. Lunch will be served, however reservations are required by emailing or calling (870) 535-0110.

Virtual Veterans Career Fair set

DAV (Disabled American Veterans) and RecruitMilitary® will co-host the National Government Agency Virtual Veterans Career Fair from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Dec. 5. The event is free to veterans, their spouses, active-duty military personnel and members of the National Guard and Reserve, according to a news release. More than 15 employers seeking talents of veterans will be on-site representing a range of industries. Veterans can also utilize career counseling and resume assistance, network with fellow veterans and military personnel, and get support with their Department of Veterans Affairs benefits and claims assistance -- all free. To register for the career fair and access free resources, visit

Beginning Tuesday, Dec. 5

Alpha Week events set

Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc., Delta Sigma Lambda Chapter in Pine Bluff, will observe Alpha Week 2023. Community events include: Dec. 5: The community is invited to join a public program on Financial Literacy via Zoom at 6 p.m. Brother Toney Franklin, an expert in the field, will provide information to help empower attendees with essential financial knowledge, according to the release. Dec. 9: Residents are asked to join the chapter as they host a community service event at Martin Luther King Jr. Park. They will collaborate on beautification projects aimed at enhancing the park for all to enjoy. Details:

Ivy Center programs set

The Ivy Center for Education will host two workshops.

Today -- The Future Medical Professionals will host a workshop on "The Importance of Good Dental Hygiene" from 6-7 p.m. at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences' South Central Medical Center,e 1601 W. 40th Ave. The workshop presenter will be local dentist, Dr. Garrett Taylor DDS, along with hygienists. Seventh through 12th graders interested in becoming dentists and hygienists are encouraged to attend. Participants should use the entrance at the back of the building. Those who cannot attend in person should use Zoom. On Dec. 12 -- The Ivy Center will present a Flight Engineering and Virtual Aviation Training Workshop from 6-7 p.m. at the Generator, 435 Main Street and on Zoom. The presenter will be Pine Bluff native Eric Burdette, a pilot with Southwest Airlines. Students in 7-12th grades interested in flight engineering are encouraged to attend. To attend workshops virtually, use the Zoom ID: 856 8296 4187 and Passcode: 351061. Interested students should email Mattie Collins at Details: follow the Ivy Center for Education on Facebook, Instagram and website


Lights & Legends open at Regional Park

The Enchanted Land of Lights & Legends drive-through exhibit opened at Regional Park on Nov. 29 and will remain open until Dec. 31. The display hours are from 6-9 p.m., according to the newsletter from the Pine Bluff Downtown Development. "Arkansas' largest drive-thru holiday lights exhibition has over 240 displays, many of which are animated. Pine Bluff's Regional Park is transformed into 1.3 miles of winter wonderland from mid-November through December," according to Explore Pine Although admission is free, community volunteers accept donations at the end of the drive. Details: Regional Park, (870) 536-7600.

Area Agency sets blanket drive

Area Agency on Aging of Southeast Arkansas, 709 E. Eighth Ave., will host the Share the Warmth Blanket Drive in Jefferson County from Dec. 4 through Jan. 4. The purpose of the drive is obtain blankets to donate to individuals who are elderly or disabled to keep them warm this winter, according to a news release. For more information call Carolyn Ferguson, (870) 543-6309 or Pauline Jones 543-6313 at Area Agency.

Wednesday, Dec. 6

Election panel to meet

The Jefferson County Board of Election Commissioners will hold a called meeting at 6 p.m. Wednesday at the election office, 123 N Main St., according to Mike Adam, commission chairman. The agenda includes an update on the election commission building, and public comments on new business agenda items (two minutes per speaker). New business includes conducting a ballot position drawing for the March 5 , 2024, Non-Partisan Election, Preferential Primary, and the annual White Hall School Election. Main Street is blocked due to a partial building collapse so participants must approach the election office from Second Avenue, Adam said.

Pine Bluff Commercial sets church news deadline

Church news is printed in The Commercial on Friday. The deadline to submit church announcements is noon Wednesday. Pastors, ministers or others interested in writing for the Devotional Page may also submit columns for consideration. Column writers should have connections to Southeast Arkansas. Articles should be submitted by email to Sandra Hope at or Details: (870) 534-3400, ext. 5.

Beginning Wednesday, Dec. 6

Ivy Center sets ACT Boot Camps

The Ivy Center will present four ACT Boot Camps for 7th-12th graders on Zoom only. The facilitators are Charity Smith-Allen and team from Fetterman & Associates. Students may ask questions to get a better understanding of each subject covered on the ACT exam. The following sessions will be held: Science -- 6-7:30 p.m. Dec. 6; Reading -- 6-7:30 p.m. Dec. 7. The Zoom ID is 856 8296 4187 and Passcode: 351061. Details: Ivy Center President Mattie Collins at or follow the center on social media.

Thursday, Dec. 7

PB reschedules Christmas Parade

The Pine Bluff Christmas Parade was rescheduled to 5:30 p.m. Dec. 7. The parade had been set for Thursday, but was changed due to inclement weather that's expected, according to a flier. The parade will start at 10th Avenue and Main Street, turns east on Sixth Avenue, then south on Convention Center Drive and ends at the old Plaza Hotel parking lot. The event will feature Santa along with other entries. The parade is sponsored by the city of Pine Bluff and Go Forward Pine Bluff.

Friday, Dec. 8

UAM slates commencement Friday

The University of Arkansas at Monticello will hold its fall commencement exercises at 10 a.m. Friday in the Steelman Field House. The doors will open at 9 a.m. Scheduled speakers include UAM Chnacellor Peggy Doss and Michael Moore, vice president for Academic Affairs for the University of Arkansas System, according to a news release. A clear bag policy is in place for all guests. Commencement will be livestreamed on YouTube. The link will be accessible from UAM's homepage. Details: or the Office of Academic Affairs at (870) 460-1033.

Live@5 features Billy Jeter

The Arts & Science Center for Southeast Arkansas presents Live@5 from 5-7 p.m. Dec. 8. Billy Jeter will bring folk-rock, Americana and roots music to the ASC stage. Live@5 sets the stage for live jazz, blues, and rock 'n' roll at 5 p.m. on the first Friday of each month, February through December. Entry is $5 for members and $10 for nonmembers. Patrons can enjoy complimentary alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages provided by MK Distributors, the event sponsor. Guests must be 21 or older to enter, according to the release.

Salvation Army auxiliary plans event

The Salvation Army Women's Auxiliary will host See, Sip & Shop from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Dec. 8 at First Methodist Church, 200 W. Sixth Ave. "Come see our festive tables, sip punch and shop for Christmas presents," a spokesman said. Tickets are $10 and are available from any auxiliary member or at the door, the spokesman said.

Through Friday, Dec. 8

ASC hosts 'Voices and Votes: Democracy in America'

The Arts & Science Center for Southeast Arkansas is hosting the national traveling exhibition "Voices and Votes: Democracy in America" through Dec. 8. This multimedia and educational exhibition features historical and contemporary photos, video, interactive games, information; and historical objects like campaign souvenirs, voter memorabilia, and protest materials. The display is part of the Museum on Main Street, a collaboration between the Smithsonian Institution and State Humanities Councils nationwide. The exhibition is made possible by the Arkansas Humanities Council and National Endowment for the Humanities.

Be Pro Be Proud registration open

Registration is open for employers interested in the Be Pro Be Proud program. The program will host eight events throughout the state as part of its 2024 Draft Day Series, including local sessions. The two-day event matches employers with qualified graduating students based on student interest and employer needs. At Pine Bluff, a Draft Day for the Arkansas Delta will take place March 12-13 at the Pine Bluff Convention Center, presented by Central Moloney, according to a Be Pro Proud news release. At Stuttgart, the Draft Day Arkansas Grand Prairie event will be held April 3-4. This session will be presented by Riceland Foods. Draft Day 2024 registration ends Dec. 8. For details on Be Pro Be Proud's Draft Day events or to register a company, visit

Saturday, Dec. 9

UAPB holds fall graduation

The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff will host its 168th commencement ceremony at 10 a.m. Dec. 9 at the Pine Bluff Convention Center. The processional begins at 9:45 a.m. UAPB will livestream the ceremony via YouTube. Congresswoman Alma S. Adams, Ph.D., of North Carolina, will serve as commencement speaker for UAPB, which is celebrating its year-long sesquicentennial. For details on commencement exercises, contact Registrar Aretha Lacefield at

ASC FunDay features Gingerbread Houses

Patrons at the Arts & Science Center for Southeast Arkansas can build and decorate gingerbread houses during the next Second Saturday Family FunDay, from 1-3 p.m. Dec. 9 at ASC, 701 S. Main St. Visitors of all ages will build unique and delicious holiday homes with candies, icing, and gingerbread during this free family activity. All materials are included. ASC's Second Saturday FunDay program offers monthly hands-on arts and science activities. Funding from the Pine Bluff Area Community Foundation, an affiliate of the Arkansas Community Foundation, supports this event.

First Missionary honors retiring pastor

First Missionary Baptist Church, 4500 Faucett Road, will present a retirement celebration for the pastor, the Rev. Charles S. Boyd Sr., at 6 p.m. Dec. 9. Special guests include the Rev. Derrick Easter, pastor of New St. Hurricane Missionary Baptist Church and New St. Hurricane's mass, choir along with other pastors in the community.

Pilgrim church to give away food

Raven's Nest Food Pantry at Pilgrim Missionary Baptist Church, 2507 Hill St., will be open Dec. 9 from 8-9:30 a.m. or until all the food has been given away. Food will be given away on a first come, first-served basis. Participants must bring a picture identification. The pantry is a U.S. Department of Agriculture distribution site and is an equal opportunity provider, according to a news release.

Sunday, Dec. 10

First Baptist to host 'O Come, Messiah King'

The Sanctuary Choir and the Sanctuary Bells of First Baptist Church of Pine Bluff, 6501 S. Hazel St., will host a special musical presentation of "O Come, Messiah King" at 5 p.m. Dec. 10 in the church sanctuary. The concert is free and open to the public and everyone is welcome to attend. Details: First Baptist Church, (870) 534-4741.

Historical Society to observe WWII memorabilia

The Jefferson County Historical Society will meet at 2 p.m. Dec. 10 at First Presbyterian Church Chapel, 717 W. 32nd Ave. The speaker will be Phillip H. McMath, a retired Little Rock trial lawyer, an award-winning writer, and a Marine Corps Vietnam War veteran. His topic will be "The Battle of Bauxite," referencing the connection of the bauxite mines in Arkansas to the World War II effort, according to a news release. To commemorate the Dec. 7 National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day, Harvey McCone will display a special Pearl Harbor-Pacific Theater collection of newspapers, souvenirs, videos, and individual veterans' stories. McCone is a WWII history specialist, and a retired lieutenant colonel, according to the release. The doors will be open at 1 p.m. for anyone who would like to browse the WWII collection. The public is invited to attend.

Compassionate Friends set lighting event

The Desha County Chapter of the Compassionate Friends invites the community to join with them in the 27th annual Worldwide Candle Lighting Remembrance at 6 p.m Dec. 10 at the Dumas Community Center in Dumas. The event honors the memories of children who died. A short program will include greetings, readings, poems, music and a candle-lighting ceremony. At 7 p.m., everyone will light candles in memory of children, according to the news release. A reception will follow the ceremony. The event is free to attend. Those who would like to have their child's name placed on the memorial roll, or picture placed on the memorial display may contact Compassionate Friends. Those planning to attend should RSVP by Dec. 4. For details, text or call (870) 866-6985, (972) 365-1930, or (870) 377-4299. Brenda Norman is the event planner.

Prayer and Pizza set for children

Prayer and Pizza for children will be held from 2-3 p.m. Dec. 10 at East End Church of God and Christ, 709 S. Virginia St. The guest speaker will be Commeka Goodloe, certified therapist from the PAT Behavioral Center in Pine Bluff. Motivational moments will be presented by Efrem Neely, a local lawyer. The service is held monthly at various churches. Intercessors will pray at each event. The event is free and open to the general public. Organizers ask that pastors and youth leaders participate.

Tuesday, Dec. 12

TOPPS to give away food

Targeting Our People's Priorities with Service ( TOPPS) Inc., a local non-profit, will hold its food distribution at 10 a.m. Dec. 12 at TOPPS, 1000 Townsend Drive. One box per household will be given away. Participants must be present and must show ID, according to a news release. Details: Annette Howard Dove, TOPPS founder/director, (870) 850-6011.

Chamber plans blood drive

The Pine Bluff Regional Chamber of Commerce will hold a blood drive from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Dec. 12 in the Chamber conference room, 510 Main St. Donors will receive a long-sleeve T-shirt while supplies last. Photo ID will be required, according to the Chamber newsletter. For details or to make an appointment, contact Our Blood Institute at or 877-340-8777.

Through Tuesday, Dec. 12

UAPB extension hosts sock drive

The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff 1890 Cooperative Extension Program is hosting a sock drive for seniors in the community. People are asked to donate large socks by Dec. 12. Socks can be dropped off at the S.J. Parker 1890 Extension Complex or the Adair-Greenhouse Human Sciences Hall at UAPB, according to a news release. Details: Rachel M. Will at

Friday, Dec. 15

Holiday Crafts & Cocktails set at ASC

Attendees can take a break from the stress of the holidays with Holiday Crafts & Cocktails, a program of the Arts & Science Center for Southeast Arkansas. Hosts Bethany Gere and J. Tyler Lewis will teach participants how to mix three holiday-themed cocktails. Each participant will also learn how to make an embroidered hoop ornament. This event is from 6-9 p.m. Dec. 15 in the Loft Gallery of The ARTSpace on Main, 623 S. Main St. Alcohol is provided MK Distributors. Patrons may register at or call or call 536-3375. The cost is $30 for members and $40 for nonmembers, and all materials are included. Details: Bethany Gere at

Saturday, Dec. 16

Aquatics Center sets Christmas event

The Pine Bluff Carl Redus Jr. Aquatics Center, 400 E. 11th Ave., will present a Christmas Extravaganza from noon to 2 p.m. Dec. 16. Residents can enjoy festive highlights such as a photo area, live music, a concession stand, goodie bags and storytime. There will also be a food demonstration, coloring time, games, prizes and an appearance by a special guest, according to Stuff in The Admission is just per person or free with the donation of two canned goods to help those in need. Details: (870) 850-7620.

AKA Cotillion Ball set

The 55th Debutante Cotillion Ball, sponsored by Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc.® Delta Omega Omega Chapter, The Cotillion Ball will be held on Dec. 16 at the Pine Bluff Convention Center. This year's Debutante Cotillion chairmen are Laurel Hall, Jennifer Johnson, and Dr. Jacqueline Pryor. Details: Yaminah Roberts, president of the Delta Omega Omega chapter,

Yoga In The Loft set

Arts & Science Center for Southeast Arkansas participants can exercise and relax with certified yoga instructor FloEssence from 1:30-3 p.m. Dec. 16, at Yoga in the Loft in the Loft Gallery at The ARTSpace on Main, 623 S. Main St. This class is part of ASC's Flex Pay program, with $15 the recommended price. FloEssence will lead participants through an hour of yoga, followed by a guided meditation. New and experienced practitioners ages 13 and older are welcome to attend. Yoga is offered every third Saturday of the month. Advanced registration and payment are required at or call 536-3375. Participants may use a provided yoga mat or bring their own. For more information, contact Bethany Gere at Yoga in the Loft is sponsored by Angela White Smith, Realtor with eXp Realty.

Monday, Dec. 18

Downtown officials to retire

A retirement celebration honoring Executive Director Joy Blankenship and Barbara Ann Hollis of the Pine Bluff Downtown Development will be held from 4-6 p.m. Dec. 18. The drop-in event will be held at the Pine Bluff Regional Chamber of Commerce and the Economic Development Alliance for Jefferson County, 510 S. Main St. The community is invited to attend, according to the PBDD newsletter.

Tuesday, Dec. 19

Taylor Field sets holiday event

Christmas at Taylor Field, 1201 E. 16th Ave., will be held from 5-8 p.m. Dec. 19. The community is invited to attend this second annual celebration, according to the Pine Bluff Downtown Development newsletter.

DAR meeting set

The Pine Bluff-John McAlmont Chapter of the DAR will meet at 1:30 p.m. Dec. 19 in the Lakeside United Methodist Church Center, 1500 S. Olive St. The program will be "Songs of Christmas Past," and the speaker will be Allison Holland, DAR Docent, according to a news release.

Thursday, Dec. 21

Christian women set luncheon

The Christian Women's Connection will hold its luncheon from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Dec. 21 at the Pine Bluff Country Club. The speaker will be Shelia Pitt Nelson of Pine Bluff. Her topic will be "Christmas Thoughts and Interviews." The Webb Sisters, a Gospel singing group of Pine Bluff, will sing, according to a news release. The luncheon costs $21, which includes the meal, drink, dessert, tax, and gratuity. Everyone is invited to attend. For reservations or cancellations, call Jennifer Keahey at (870) 540-9302. All reservations must be made three days in advance. Participants will be charged for reservations that aren't kept.

Beginning Wednesday, Dec. 27

King Cotton tournament set

The King Cotton Holiday Classic high school basketball tournament will be held Dec. 27-29 at the Pine Bluff Convention Center. Both Pine Bluff High School and White Hall High School will be among the teams participating. The King Cotton tournament brings teams from all over the country to the Convention Center. Sixteen teams compete over the three-day tournament, according to a news release. For ticket information and more details, visit

Through Sunday, Dec. 31

Comprehensive Care sets free exams

To commemorate World Aids Day, Jefferson Comprehensive Care System Inc. will provide free primary care exams from now until Dec. 31 at the JCCSI clinics in Pine Bluff, Altheimer, Redfield, and other communities. An HIV blood test will be included in the exam, according to a news release. Participants should call to make an appointment for free exams at these sites: Pine Bluff Clinic, 1101 S. Tennessee St., (870) 543-2380; Redfield Clinic, (501) 397-2261; Altheimer Clinic; (870) 766-8411; Arkansas Baptist College Clinic; (501) 737-2014; College Station Clinic, (501) 490-2440; Little Rock Clinic, (501) 663-0055; and North Little Rock Clinic, (501) 812-0225.

Thursday, Jan. 4, 2023

Area Agency sets blanket drive

Area Agency on Aging of Southeast Arkansas, 709 E. Eighth Ave., will host the Share the Warmth Blanket Drive in Jefferson County from Dec. 4 through Jan. 4. The purpose of the drive is obtain blankets to donate to individuals who are elderly or disabled to keep them warm this winter, according to a news release. For more information call Carolyn Ferguson, (870) 543-6309 or Pauline Jones 543-6313 at Area Agency.

Beginning Saturday, Jan. 6

Blues concert series set

The "Blues By Budweiser" concert series will be back for a second season. In collaboration with MK Distributors and RJ's Grill & Bar, Port City Blues Society will again host live blues concerts the first Saturday of the month at RJ's Grill & Bar, 128 S. Main St. The doors open at 7 p.m. and music begins at 8 p.m. Port City Blues Society members are admitted free. It's a $5 cover charge for non-members. The 2023-2024 concerts include: Jan. 6, 2024 -- Charlotte Taylor and Gypsy Rain; and Feb. 3 -- Chad Marshall Band. Details: or

Through Monday, Jan. 8, 2024

NAACP seeks students for academic contests

The Pine Bluff Branch of the NAACP ACT-SO Committee is accepting applications for the 2023-24 program year. ACT-SO, which stands for Afro-Academics, Cultural, Technological, & Scientific Olympics, is a youth initiative of the NAACP. The program, created in 1978 by noted journalist Vernon Jarrett, is dedicated to achieving academic excellence for African American high school students, according to a news release. The committee will accept applications from students enrolled in Watson Chapel, White Hall, and Pine Bluff high schools. First place winners may attend the national contests in Las Vegas in July. Students interested in participating can call Maryann Lee at (870) 718-5330 or Michael McCray at (870) 543-0024 or email Lee at The deadline for returning the application is Jan. 8, 2024. Competitions will begin in March 2024.

Beginning Friday, Jan. 12

Artist INC LIVE free seminars set

The Arkansas Arts Council will sponsor Artist INC LIVE, an eight-week professional development session for Pine Bluff, in partnership with Mid-America Arts Alliance. People are urged to join local creatives Jan. 12-14 in virtual, three-day workshops to learn what it takes to succeed in a creative field. Registration and participation is free. The sessions address the specific professional challenges creatives in all disciplines face. The organizer waves the $150 participation fee. Registration deadline is 5 p.m. Jan. 11. To register for the free professional development sessions or for details, visit

Through Saturday, Jan. 13

USDA extends deadline for discrimination form

The U.S. Department of Agriculture extended the deadline for the Discrimination Financial Assistance Program from Oct. 31, 2023 to Jan. 13, 2024. The new deadline will give eligible farmers, ranchers and forest landowners more time to apply for assistance, according to a news release. This program delivers on Section 22007 of the Inflation Reduction Act, which provides financial assistance for farmers, ranchers and forest landowners who experienced discrimination in USDA farm lending programs prior to January 2021.

Saturday, Feb. 10

WH police plan ball

The White Hall Police Officer's Association will present Hollywood Nights, the 2024 Policemen's Ball. The gala will be held at 6 p.m. Feb. 10 at the White Hall Community Center. The event will be catered by Fowl Smokin' Swine and the entertainment will be provided by Aces Wild Band, according to the flier on the White Hall Chamber of Commerce Facebook Page. For details, tickets or to reserve a table, call (870) 247-1414.


Covid-19 vaccines, testing available

The Arkansas Department of Health, various pharmacies and healthcare providers offer the covid-19 vaccine, tests and other information about coronavirus. Details: Call the Arkansas Department of Health at (800) 985-6030, visit the website at or contact area medical professionals, according to spokesmen.


Unity Christian offers free financial classes

Unity Christian Fellowship Church (UCFC), 2712 S. Bay St., invites the community to its free Small Business and Personal Financial Education classes at 7 p.m. Tuesdays. Recent subjects included "The Importance of Having a Financial Plan" and "Financial Literacy," according to Stuff in the Bluff website. "You cannot afford to miss out on these life-changing classes. We are practicing social distancing and will have hand sanitizer wipes available," according to the site. Anthony Armstrong is the senior pastor. Details: or (870) 329-1182.

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