Riverfest shifts its weight to Little Rock | Rock Candy

Riverfest shifts its weight to Little Rock

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Last year at the amphitheater. Photo by Brian Chilson.

For the first year since 2002, Riverfest will not incorporate North Little Rock into its traditional entertainment offerings. Instead, the north side of the river will play host to hot air balloon races, a 5K fun run and a stage devoted to, what festival director DeAnna Korte termed, “inspirational music.” Access to those activities will be free. 

The shift southward comes in response to feedback from festival goers, according to Korte.

“Last year, people enjoyed having the Clinton Center stage and the amphitheater stage so close together. They really like having everything on one side of the river.”

This year, attendees will be able to move westward from the festival’s two biggest stages, at the Clinton Center and at the Riverfest Amphitheater, to the Arkansas Music Tent, which moves from the foot of the Junction Bridge to near the back side of Rumba-Revolution, and then on to the Triple-S Stage, which returns to the parking lot under the Broadway bridge after a year away on the North Shore Riverwalk in North Little Rock.

Korte said she doesn’t anticipate any more congestion than at last year’s Riverfest, which drew around 250,000. The Little Rock grounds will extend farther west than they did last year and, to combat crowd bottlenecking, the southeastern boundary will shift to allow crowds to travel behind and in front of the Museum of Discovery when traveling to and from the Clinton Center stage, according to Korte.

Also in response to festival goer feedback, the annual Sunday fireworks display will start at dark, around 9 p.m., and the day’s headliners will follow.

There will be no charge to watch the fireworks from the North Shore Riverwalk.

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