- PHOTO OF THE TIMES: B.B. King by Brian Chilson.
If the Tour de France is too much or too far away, then try the third annual Tour de Rock, a benefit for the Central Arkansas Radiation Therapy Institute, on Saturday, June 10. The event caters to both cycling enthusiasts and others who just want to have fun, and it begins at the Burns Park Soccer Complex Saturday morning. There is a fun ride for all ages that goes along the river trail to downtown North Little Rock and back, an advanced ride for experienced bikers, and competitive, USCF-sanctioned criterium races for the competitive sorts that will be held within the soccer complex. The latter will be worth watching even if you don’t own a bike. Plus, there are family-friendly activities and games, food and live music for spectators and competitors.
To participate in the races, the cost is $30 the day of event ($25 in advance), $15 for “Sprint Riders,” and $5 for children ages 14 and under for the fun ride. To register online, visit www.tourderock.org. Race day registration begins at 7:30 a.m. at the soccer complex. The biking begins at 8:30 a.m.
Riders may participate in events as individuals or as members of a team. Cycling teams for the CARTI Tour de Rock can be any group of four or more participants and may consist of family members, friends, co-workers, club members or any other combinations. Teams may also include “Spirit Riders,” which are supportive non-riding members. Special prizes will be awarded to teams with the most members, most spirit, best costumes and best T-shirt design.
The event has raised more than $75,000 in its first two years.
For more information, call 800-879-8618.
Windy flag waving
The Little Rock Wind Symphony will present its annual “Stars and Stripes Celebration” at 7 p.m. Sunday, June 11, at MacArthur Park on 9th Street.
The group’s music will range from patriotic favorites to Broadway showtunes. The event is free and also features family activities and ice cream.
Call 666-0777 or visit www.lrwindsymphony.org.
Chilson on display
Arkansas Times photographer Brian Chilson will be the featured artist at the Historic Arkansas Museum on Friday, June 9. Chilson’s subjects in his exhibit range from politicians to music stars to state and national sports greats. It’s free, and music — by local songwriter and guitarist Sean Rock and bassist Roland Gladden — is part of the show, which runs from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Soapy Red Octopus
Jason Gregory and Sandy Baskin of the Red Octopus Theater troupe have penned an original “soap opera,” which Red Octopus will stage this week at the Easy Street Cabaret, 307 W. Seventh St. Buddy Habig, a regular pianist at Easy Street, composed the music to “As Farewells Go Bye,” which will feature the irreverent, send-up humor that Red Octopus is known for.
Showtimes are at 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, with a special late show at 10:30 p.m. Friday. Admission is $10, and those in soap opera costume can get $2 off the ticket price.
Slamming at Riverdale
The Riverdale 10 Theater is continuing its weekend events with the “Words Not Bullets” poetry slam on Saturday, June 10, from 8 p.m.-11 p.m. Regional poets (and comedians, emcees, storytellers, etc.) will vie for the $200 prize. Poets pay $10 to compete, and admission is $6 for those just wanting to attend. It’s ages 18 and up.
The three touring high school handbell choirs from St. James United Methodist Church will be in concert at the church on Sunday, June 11, starting at 4 p.m. The show precedes the groups’ five-day tour to Alabama, Georgia and Tennessee, where they will present concerts in churches, retirement homes and a children’s hospital.
Sunday’s concert will feature a wide variety of music played by 39 high school students who make up the three groups.
St. James UMC is located at 321 Pleasant Valley Drive. Call 225-7372.
Shootout of the South
One of the most popular summer prep football programs is the 7-on-7 passing game that has swept the country in recent years. Little Rock will play host to one of the major tournaments in the region on Friday and Saturday with the “Shootout of the South,” at the Mighty Blue Bird fields in West Little Rock.
Competition begins at 10:30 a.m. Friday and includes 23 teams, five from out of state. Some of the top major college recruits in the region will be showcased, including Pulaski Academy’s Stephan Loucks and Broderick Green and Allen, Texas, quarterback Nathan Dick, brother of Arkansas Razorback quarterback Casey Dick.
Each team plays seven games, and the championship is Saturday afternoon. Admission is $5 per car. The Mighty Blue Bird fields are on Pinnacle Valley Road off Highway 10. Call 680-3197 or 517-4734 for more information.
The Little Rock Zoo will put its focus on its reptiles on Saturday when it invites everyone to “Breakfast With the Reptiles.” Zookeepers and docents will have special presentations, while a breakfast buffet is served from 8 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Admission is $9 for adult members, $12 for adult non-members, and $6 and $9 for children, and the price includes zoo admission.
Call 666-2406, ext. 122 for reservations, or visit www.littlerockzoo.com for more information.
Joel and Victoria Osteen, who preside over the largest and fastest growing church in the country –- Houston’s Lakewood Church, which calls the former Summit Arena/Compaq Center its home now –- will bring the Joel Osteen Ministries to Alltel Arena on June 9, beginning at 7:30 p.m.
Tickets are $11.25 and are available through Ticketmaster or the arena box office. For more information on the Osteens, visit www.joelosteen.com.
Belmont at Oaklawn
With the last leg of the Triple Crown up for grabs, Oaklawn Park will feature a Belmont Stakes viewing along with its regular simulcasting schedule on Saturday, June 10, in Hot Springs. Gates open at 11 a.m., and Instant Racing is available through midnight. Steppenwolfer, who finished third in the Kentucky Derby and second in the Arkansas Derby, will be among the hopefuls in the Belmont, being run from Belmont Park in Elmont, N.Y.
Other tracks with races simulcast for wagering include Delaware, Calder, Thistledown, Finger Lakes, Indiana Downs, Great Lakes Downs and Mountaineer.