by Robert Bell
HOT WATER HILLS MUSIC & ARTS FESTIVAL
3 p.m. Hill Wheatley Plaza. $5.
Dang but Arkansas has a lot of music festivals these days. It seems new ones, such as Festival on the Border, which took place a few weeks back in Fort Smith, are popping up all the time. And hey, that's awesome.
Here's another new one: The Hot Water Hills Music & Arts Festival in Hot Springs. Headliners include Big Smith and Lucero front-man Ben Nichols on Friday night, and The Extraordinaires and Mountain Sprout on Saturday night, with sets by The Grand Marquis both nights.
But as the name makes clear, this festival is about more than just music.
There will be visual art from a dozen or so local artists, including Heather Montgomery, Amelia Houser, Joey Rusham, Stanley Clark, Lynn Harris and more. Other artists displaying work include Dustin Oswald of Oklahoma City's Bombs Away Art Co., Jef Henegan's Lords of Scum paintings on his modified muscle car, screen-printing demos from Ace Cox of Southbound Design, demos from Dryden Pottery, glass creations from Patricia Collins, paintings from Nathan Jacob and a mini theater from the Hot Springs Documentary Film Institute.
Also included: a pie-eating contest, an arm-wrestling contest, an egg-tossing contest, a pumpkin race, a hay bale pyramid (for climbin'), a drum circle and music workshops. Plus there will be lots of beer, wine, soft drinks and food from such purveyors of deliciousness as Nom Noms, La Pasadita and others. Shea Childs and Bill Solleder of the much-loved Valley of the Vapors Independent Music Festival are the organizers of this new event.