The top things to do and places to be

Posted: July 3, 2014 at 2:18 a.m.

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette illustration of 4th of July Pops fireworks.


The River Market District will be hopping with children’s activities, vendors and music at the annual Arkansas Democrat-Gazette Pops on the River celebration Friday. The festival begins at noon but the big evening concert, featuring the Oh Say, Can You Sing? contest, a performance by the Air National Guard Band of the Southwest, the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra and the big fireworks display, begins at 6 p.m. Admission is free. Call (501) 378-3807 or visit See story on Page 4E


The Little Rock Marriott, 3 Statehouse Plaza, Little Rock, will be decked in red, white and blue for its Fourth of July Extravaganza with barbecue, music by Tragikly White, a photo booth, balloon artist and magician, 6-10 p.m. Friday. Tickets are $50, $25 for children 5-10. VIP admission with private seating, buffet and bars is $75, $35 for children. A portion of proceeds will benefit the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences Winthrop P. Rockefeller Institute. Call (501) 906-4000.


A patriotic parade, 19th-century music and some pesky Red Coats help make Frontier 4th of July a patriotic blast from the past at the Historic Arkansas Museum, 200 E. Third St., Little Rock. From 2 to 4 p.m. Friday, visitors can create decorations for the parade, enjoy watermelon and lemonade and hear a reading of the Declaration of Independence. Admission is free. Call (501) 324-9351 or visit

4 BAM!

More Fourth fun in central Arkansas:

• Maumelle's 2014 Fourth Fest gets underway at 4:30 p.m. with the start of the Maumelle Parks and Recreation Department's Fourth of July Parade at Audubon Drive and Millwood Circle. There's a $200 grand prize for "Best Overall Entry," lesser cash prizes for second and third places, and additional awards for bests-in-category, to be announced at 6:15 p.m. at Lake Willastein Park, where, starting at 5, there will be vendors, concessions, family games and performances, culminating at 9:30 with a fireworks spectacular. Call (501) 851-6990 or visit

• Entertainment on two stages, free hot dogs and giveaways and a 9 p.m. fireworks display will be part of Sherwood's 15th annual Fourth of July Family Celebration, 6-9 p.m. Friday at Sherwood Forest, 1111 W. Maryland Ave., Sherwood. Admission is free. Lawn chairs are OK, but not pets, skateboards, bicycles, coolers or alcohol. Call (501) 833-0476 or visit


The Hillcrest Merchants Association is pairing its annual Fourth of July ice cream social with the monthly First Thursday Shop N Sip, 6 p.m. today in Crest Park (between Canon Grill and the Aspire Real Estate Group building) on Kavanaugh Boulevard in Little Rock's Hillcrest. The real estate agents will provide the Coleman Dairy ice cream. Admission is free. Call (501) 666-3600 or visit


• Oaklawn Park, 2705 Central Ave., Hot Springs, holds a big pre-holiday celebration with the annual Spa Blast, 4 p.m. today. Before Independence Day, guests can get in the mood by listening to music, sampling drinks in the beer garden, climbing the rock wall, visiting the petting zoo and then settling in for a fireworks display. Admission is free. Call (501) 623-4411 or visit

• Not far from Hot Springs, celebrate the Fourth of July the natural way at Island Fest. On Friday, DeGray Lake Resort State Park in Bismarck will host a day full of traditional games, contests, races and outdoor adventures. After a dinner of burgers and hot dogs on the lodge lawn, a fireworks show will light up the lake. Admission is free. Call (501) 865-5810 or visit


Bluegrass performers Clancey Ferguson, Runaway Planet and Interstate Thirty headline the fourth annual Red, White & Bluegrass, 5:30 p.m. today at First Southern Baptist Church, 604 S. Reynolds Road, Bryant. There will also be inflatables and games for children, activities for adults, watermelon, food and drinks for sale, door prizes and fireworks. Admission is free; take lawn chairs. Call (501) 847-3014 or visit

8 POW!

Country singer and De Queen native Collin Raye will headline a concert at 8 p.m. Saturday on the Main Stage, Town Center, Cherokee Village. Tickets are $20 and $35. It's part of Thunderfest 2014, the town's annual Independence Day celebration, Friday and Saturday in Town Center and Lake Thunderbird. Gates open at 11 a.m. each day. There will be food and craft vendors, water slides, bands, a beer tent and a talent show. At 9 p.m. "Thunder on Thunderbird," billed as the state's largest July Fourth fireworks show. Call (870) 257-3969 or visit


Country singer/guitarist Marty Stuart and his band, the Fabulous Superlatives, will headline a special Independence Day Weekend concert, 7 p.m. Saturday at the Ozark Folk Center State Park, 1032 Park Ave., Mountain View. Doors open at 6. A limited number of $30 general-admission tickets are available. Call (870) 269-3851 or visit


Those who haven't had their fill of games, crafts and activities after Friday can find more at the Plantation Agriculture Museum's Homespun Day, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday. The annual event includes artisans from around the state demonstrating their pioneer skills with hands-on crafts and old-fashioned games. The museum is at U.S. 165 and Arkansas 161 in Scott. Call (501) 961-1409.

Weekend on 07/03/2014