ENTERTAINMENT: Festivals honor cherry blossoms in Hot Springs, daffodil blooms on Wye Mountain

“Red Window,” a photograph by David Rackley, and “Rabbit Head Drawing,” s mixed-media piece by Aaron Calvert, both Russellville artists, are part of the “Small Works on Paper” touring exhibition, opening Friday at Russellville's River Valley Arts Center.

(Special to the Democrat-Gazette)
“Red Window,” a photograph by David Rackley, and “Rabbit Head Drawing,” s mixed-media piece by Aaron Calvert, both Russellville artists, are part of the “Small Works on Paper” touring exhibition, opening Friday at Russellville's River Valley Arts Center. (Special to the Democrat-Gazette)


Guests should see the hundreds, if not thousands, of daffodils crown the mountaintop as the Wye Mountain Community Church, 22300 Arkansas 113 in Bigelow, hosts the Wye Mountain Daffodil Festival, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday-March 10, "unless Mother nature decides to water the flowers," according to the Facebook event post (facebook.com/events/1320465176014578). The event will also include crafters and food vendors -- the church's soup and concession stand will be open weekdays with food trucks on weekends. Dogs are welcome if they're kept on a leash. Parking and admission are free; donations will be accepted. Until the last two days of the festival, picking the flowers is strictly off limits, but a limited quantity of daffodil bulbs will be sold on a first-come, first-serve basis. Visit facebook.com/wyemountainchurch.

Japanese culture, exhibits, performances, workshops, sumo, children's activities, anime cosplay contest, haiku competition are all part of the 2024 Arkansas Cherry Blossom Festival, 12:30-5:30 p.m. Sunday at the Hot Springs Convention Center, 134 Convention Blvd., Hot Springs. Also a part of the weekend activities: the American Craft Sake Fest, Saturday in the Bridge Street Entertainment District, including a ticketed tasting area with craft sakes from breweries across North America and Japan, plus food trucks, Arkansas beverage vendors and live entertainment. Sponsor is the Society Brewers Association of North America. The festival wraps up with a sumo wrestling exhibition at the convention center's Bank OZK Arena. Visit hotspringssistercity.org.

'Return of the Eclipse'

The forces of science and fandom collide for Science After Dark: "Star Wars: Return of the Eclipse," 6-9 p.m. today at the Museum of Discovery, 500 President Clinton Ave., Little Rock. In advance of the April 8 solar eclipse, the event will feature light-saber light paintings, "Star Wars" music played by a quartet from the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, "Star Wars" characters from the 501st Legion, space ship and vacuum chamber testing, "Eclipse 101," "Sith Zaps" (Oudin coil) and trivia, and the Star Wars Cantina, "where cosmic cocktails, Stone Throw beer, and pizza treats await," proclaims the Facebook events page (facebook.com/events/229113020261487/). You must be at least 21 to attend; admission is $5 (free for museum members) with pizza, beer (from Stone's Throw Brewing) and cocktails for sale (buy tickets online or at the door). Visit tinyurl.com/4pxsbp9k.


'Call Me Mara'

"Call Me Mara" by Phillip Hal McMath, set in the early years of World War II, premieres, 7:30 p.m. Friday-Saturday, 2:30 p.m. Sunday through March 17 at the Weekend Theater, 1001 W. Seventh St. at Chester Street, Little Rock. McMath's play examines complexities arising from a blind date that entwines the lives of two families that support the war effort by manufacturing bomber engines. The cast includes Leslie Beard, Drew Ellis, Deb Lewis, Tommie Tinker, Tricia Spione, John Hatton, Kirsten Rasmussen and Logan Morgan. Donna Singleton directs. Tickets are $20, $18 for students, senior citizens 65-plus and and military. Visit weekendtheater.org.

A special 7:30 p.m. March 7 performance is a collaboration with the MacArthur Museum of Military History. In a pre-show 7 p.m. talk, McMath and museum supervisor Stephen McAteer will discuss the history of the B17 bomber and the significance of Bauxite, Ark., to the war.

'Harvey' in El Dorado

The South Arkansas Arts Center, 110 E. Fifth St., El Dorado, stages "Harvey" by Mary Chase, 7:30 p.m. Friday-Saturday and March 7-8 and 2:30 p.m. Sunday and March 9. Sponsors are Murphy Pitard Jewelers and All About Flowers and Gifts. Tickets are $5-$15. Call (870) 862-5474 or visit saac-arts.org.


'Origin Stories'

Israel Getzov conducts the Conway Symphony Orchestra in a program titled "Origin Stories," 7:30 p.m. Saturday at the University of Central Arkansas' Windgate Center for Fine and Performing Arts, 2150 Bruce St. at Donaghey Avenue, Conway. The program consists of the Brandenburg Concerto No. 1 by J.S. Bach and the Symphony No. 29 in A major by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Getzov will discuss the origins of the compositions and discuss their importance in the artistic lives of their creators "and generations of artists that have followed," according to a news release.

The UCA physics and biology departments and the Hendrix College Neuroscience and Psychology clubs will present pre-concert displays, including demonstrations on how music originates as vibrations, the route those vibrations travel in mammalian brains to become sounds, how ears perform this transformation at physical and cellular levels and how humans experience music, both typically and atypically, at 6:30 p.m. in the Windgate Center lobby.

Presenter is Engage Management. Tickets are $30-$60, with discounts for UCA faculty and staff; $15 for students; and $15 for children with adult ticket purchase. Call (501) 450-3265 or visit conwaysymphony.org.


Paintings and sculptures

Recent work by sculptor-painter Robyn Horn, paintings by Donnie Copeland and new paintings from Adrianne Deckbar's nature series Hot Springs "headline" the March exhibit at Justus Fine Art Gallery, 827A Central Ave., Hot Springs. It opens with a monthly Gallery Walk reception, 5-9 p.m. Friday and remains up through March 31. Gallery hours are 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Wednesday-Saturday and by appointment. Admission is free. Call (501) 321-2335 or visit justusfineart.com.

'Small Works' on move

The 2024 Small Works on Paper touring visual arts exhibition, showcasing the small-format work of Arkansas artists, opens at 10 a.m. Friday at the River Valley Arts Center, 1001 E. "B" St., Russellville, where it remains on display through March 29. Admission to a reception, 2-4 p.m. March 16. Gallery hours are 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday. Call (501) 324-9767 or email [email protected].

  photo  "Red Window," a photograph by David Rackley, and "Rabbit Head Drawing," s mixed-media piece by Aaron Calvert, both Russellville artists, are part of the "Small Works on Paper" touring exhibition, opening Friday at Russellville's River Valley Arts Center. (Special to the Democrat-Gazette)


Romney author

McKay Coppins, who covers politics, religion and national affairs for The Atlantic, discusses his book "Romney: A Reckoning" with moderator Nate Coulter, executive director of the Central Arkansas Library System, 6:30 p.m. today at the Ron Robinson Theater, 100 River Market Ave., Little Rock. The talk is part of the CALS Speaker Series. Admission is free; registration is required via CALS.org.

Poetry finals

High school students who have won poetry competitions via their schools or educational groups will compete for the state title at the Arkansas Arts Council's Arkansas Poetry Out Loud statewide poetry recitation competition, 10:45 a.m. Saturday at the Ron Robinson Theatre, 100 River Market Ave., Little Rock. Admission is free. For more information, email [email protected] or or visit arkansasarts.org.

An independent panel of judges will determine which students advance to the national competition this spring, where the Arkansas champion will have the opportunity to compete for a top prize of $20,000. Taking part this year: students from England High School; Deer High School; Arkansas School for Mathematics, Sciences and the Arts; Lisa Academy West High School; Little Rock West High School of Innovation; Parker's Chapel High School; Sheridan High School; Arkansas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired; Founders Classical Academy; and Valley Christian High School.

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