Central Arkansas has two months out of 12 where you can absolutely count on so many things to do, you won't get them all done even if they didn't run them the same days, the same times, even sometime on the same block. Those months are October and April. It's really sad, in a way, that some of these major events can't be spread out a little, back to September perhaps, on into May in the spring. But, count on it: October and April will be ridiculously busy. Sure, they have the best weather, and it all makes sense. But also plan on missing something you'd really like to see because there's something else you're really wanting to do just as badly and you've had to make a choice. Kinda like picking a stage at Riverfest, we guess.
Anyway, here goes:
Friday -- The State Fair opens. It's 50-cent day at the fair, too. And every day at the fair will feature some midway band that runs $17-$19 that will get you all the rides you want. It won't get you all the cotton candy you want, though. There's live music every night on the Smirnoff Ice Stage too, near the main entrance to the fairgrounds. Parking is $5. Adult admission is $6, while it's $4 for kids.
Big Cruisefest opens today at the River Market and Riverfront Park (we just heard one of the kooky cars drive by with one of those horns that Rodney Dangerfield had for his car in "Caddyshack"). It's free. John Schneider will premiere his movie "Collier & Co." tonight at Robinson Center Music Hall starting at 8. Tickets are $12.50.
Joe Johnson and the Atlanta Hawks play the Houston Rockets in exhibition NBA basketball at Alltel Arena starting at 7:30 p.m. Tickets start at $12.25 through Ticketmaster. For some reason, even though Joe Johnson is from Little Rock (former Central High and UA star), the Rockets and Tracy McGrady are the home team. Lots more stars on both these young, up-and-coming teams.
Saturday: Gates to the State Fair open at 10 a.m. Big Cruisefest will run today from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. at the Riverfront. Bring your kids for the Kids Corral Parade starting at 11 a.m.; dress them in their favorite "hero" costume. Lots of free stuff and fun. Admission is free.
It's going to be a great day to check out the B-17 that's in town at the North Little Rock Airport. Tours are available from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. You can book a morning flight as well, and really, for around $400, you probably won't get another chance to ride in a B-17.
The Delta Classic 4 Literacy pits UAPB vs. Grambling State at War Memorial Stadium, with kickoff at 4 p.m, and plenty of activity at the stadium before hand. Help fight the illiteracy problem in Arkansas and the Delta and go to the game. End Zone tickets are $15, and sideline tickets can be had for $25. Plus, you won't see a better halftime show in state this season, we promise. Support this game!
Sunday: The B-17 will still be in NLR through the day, and should be fun to check out. The State Fair will be cranking, of course.
We're not even going to get into the great music at the clubs this weekend. Instead, we suggest you go to Cat Gilbert's great blog, Cat on the Prowl, on our website. Cat updates daily, and includes a review or two of shows she or friends have checked out.