Summer traditionally begins in Central Arkansas with Riverfest, the three-day arts and music festival on the Little Rock and North Little Rock riverfronts. Admission is $10 for the three-day pass in advance, $15 at the gate. Hours are 5 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. Fri., 10 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. Sat., and noon to 9:30 p.m. Sun., when the festival concludes with fireworks.
Riverfest music headliners:
May 25: Smash Mouth, amphitheater; Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo, Triple S Alarm stage; Montgomery Gentry, Budweiser stage (NLR).
May 26: Keith Anderson, Blake Shelton, amphitheater; Keb’ Mo’, Triple-S Alarm Stage; Soul Asylum, George Clinton and the P-Funk Allstars, LL Cool J, Budweiser Stage (NLR), Trout Fishing in America, Kidzone stage.
May 27: Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, Ruben Studdard, amphitheater; Georgia Satellites, Marshall Tucker Band, Triple S Alarm stage; rock headliner still to be announced, Budweiser stage (NLR), Trout Fishing in America, Kidzone stage.
Other concerts, music festivals
From Norah Jones to rockabilly, with symphony and band concerts in between, summer is tuneful.
MAY 24-JUNE 28: Fort Smith Summer Concert Series. River Park Amphitheater. A different live music performance every Thu. at 8 p.m. Free. 479-785-4225.
MAY 31-JUNE 3: Eureka Springs Blues Festival. Top national and regional blues acts. Schedule to be announced. www.eurekaspringsbluesfestival.com or 479-253-2586.
JUNE 1-2: Pinnacle Mountain Music Festival. Nationally recognized artists perform noon-6 p.m. Fri., 1-9 p.m. Sat., Pinnacle Mountain State Park. Free, bring lawn chairs. Parking is $5. Food and drink available. 868-5806.
JUNE 3-16: Hot Springs Music Festival. Young apprentices and symphonic mentors gather for two weeks for rehearsals and concerts, culminating with the “Grand Finale” at 7:30 p.m. June 16 at Hot Springs Fieldhouse/Youth Center. Ticket prices and times vary. 501-623-4763 or www.hotmusic.org.
JUNE 7: Norah Jones and the Handsome Band with M. Ward. 7:30 p.m., Robinson Center Music Hall. $58, $48 through Ticketmaster.
JUNE 8: Edgefest, featuring Godsmack, Three Days Grace, Breaking Benjamin, Puddle of Mudd, Sevendust, Skillet and Red. Gates open at 1 p.m., North Shore Riverwalk, NLR. $35 through Ticketmaster or www.edgelittlerock.com, children age 8 and under admitted free.
JUNE 10: Little Rock Wind Symphony, “A Stars & Stripes Celebration.” 7 p.m., MacArthur Park. 666-0777.
JUNE 7: Gerald Johnson and Company. 7 p.m., William F. Laman Public Library Plaza, 2801 Orange St., NLR. Free. 758-1720. www.laman.net.
JUNE 24: Natural State Brass Band. 3 p.m., Immanuel Baptist Church, 501 N. Shackleford. 217-8785 or www.nsbb.org.
JUNE 30: Conway Symphony Orchestra, “Pops in the Park” concert. 6 p.m., Beaverfork Lake near Conway. Free. Presented in conjunction with City of Conway fireworks display. www.conwaysymphony.org.
JULY 1: Natural State Brass Band, Hot Springs. 6 p.m., Garvan Woodland Gardens, 550 Arkridge Road. 217-8785 or www.nsbb.org.
JULY 4: Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, “Pops on the River.” With the David Rosen Big Band. 6:30 p.m., concludes with fireworks over the Main Street Bridge. Free.
JULY 10: Widespread Panic. 7:30, Riverfest Amphitheatre. $32 through Ticketmaster, 975-7575.
Magic Springs concert lineup
Magic Springs and Crystal Falls Theme Park, Hot Springs
Admission: Free with regular park admission ($44.99 all day) or a season pass; $34.99 after 5 p.m. one-time admission, $5 for reserved seating upgrade. 501-624-0100. All shows at 8 p.m.
JUNE 2: Jason Aldean, modern country.
JUNE 9: Heartland, country.
JUNE 16: Point of Grace, Christian Family Day.
JUNE 23: Loverboy, classic rock.
JUNE 30: The Manhattans, classic R&B.
JULY 7: Tracy Lawrence with Brennen Hunt, country.
JULY 14: Blues Traveler, rock and bluesy jam.
JULY 21: Creedence Clearwater Revisited, classic rock-country.
JULY 28: Little River Band.
AUG. 4: Third Day, Christian Youth Day.
AUG. 11: Neal McCoy, country.
AUG. 18: Herb Reed and The Platters, oldies.
AUG. 25. John Kay and Steppenwolf, classic rock.
SEPT. 1: JoDee Messina, country.
Ozark Folk Center Concerts
Mountain View (870-269-3851).
Shows usually start at 7:30 p.m., call center for more information and ticket availability.
MAY 26: Kenny Baker and Josh Graves Jr. $12.
MAY 27, JUNE 9, JULY 1, AUG. 5: Sunday Gospel Concert. Traditional Southern gospel music. $9 adults, $6 children ages 6-12.
JUNE 22-23: Irish music and dance with St. Louis Irish Arts. $9 adults, $6 children age 6-12. Call for times.
JUNE 30: Mike Snider. $14.
JULY 12-14: Great Smoky Mountain Cloggers. $9 adults, $6 children 6-12.
JULY 21: “The Women of Mountain Music” concert. $9 adults, $6 children 6-12.
AUG. 18: Big Smith. $12.
AUG. 30: “Tribute to Grandpa Jones” concert with John McEuen. Ramona Jones and the Jones Family Band and other special guests will perform. $12.
SEPT. 1: “Tribute to Grandpa Jones” concert with Riders in the Sky. Ramona Jones and the Jones Family Band and other special guests will perform. $15.
Peabody RiverTop Party
Weekly summer schedule
8 p.m.-midnight, $5 cover
JUNE 1: Molten Lava.
JUNE 8: Tragikly White.
JUNE 15: Band TBA.
JUNE 22: The Dempseys.
JUNE 29: Dr. Zarr and the Amazing Funk Monster.
JULY 13: Molten Lava.
JULY 20: Grant Garland and Crosstown Traffic.
JULY 27: Venus Mission.
THEATER AND OPERA
JUNE 7-JULY 1: “The Full Monty.” Presented by Arkansas Repertory Theatre, 601 Main St. 8 p.m. Thu.-Sat., 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Sun., 7 p.m. Wed. $35-$50 (sneak preview and discussion with the director at 7:15 p.m. June 6). 378-0405.
JUNE 15-17, 22-24, 29-30, JULY 1, 2007: “Working.” 7:30 p.m. Fri.-Sat., 2:30 p.m. Sun, Weekend Theater, 7th and Chester Sts., $18 adults, $14 students and seniors. 374-3761.
JUNE 15-17: “Lucia di Lammermoor.” Wildwood Opera Series. 8 p.m. Fri., 3 p.m. Sun., Wildwood Park, 20919 Denny Road. 821-7275.
JUNE 22-JULY 20: Opera in the Ozarks. Apprentice opera students spend the summer and perform at Inspiration Point, six miles west Eureka Springs (16311 Highway 62). Operas this summer are “Madame Butterfly,” “Susannah” and “Le Nozze de Figaro.” Other events include a chamber music concert and a show of opera scenes. Visit www.opera.org or call 479-253-8595 for tickets, times and more information.
DON’T MISS THESE
Other events and major festivals around the state
MAY 25-27: Heritage Weekend, Mount Magazine State Park, Paris. A variety of programs include guided hikes, demonstrations and audio-visual programs. Free. 479-963-8502.
MAY 25-28: Memorial Day Mania, Lake Catherine State Park. 9 a.m.-9:30 p.m. daily. Guided hikes, lake tours, and nature programs, swimming, games, crafts, and a sandcastle competition. Free. 501-844-4176.
MAY 31: Cirque du Soleil’s “Delirium.” 8 p.m., Alltel Arena, NLR. $108.25, $87.25, $67.75, $47.75, $37.75 through Ticketmaster, online at www.LiveNation.com, or the arena box office (975-9000).
JUNE 1-2: Newport Portfest. All day, Jacksonport State Park. Classic country band the Bellamy Brothers, Loverboy and Billy Currington. $7 admission before 4 p.m.; after 4 p.m. admission is $15 advance, $20 gate, children 6 and under free. 870-523-2143.
JUNE 2-AUG. 4: 20th Annual Showdown at Sunset, El Dorado. Re-enactment of the historic Tucker-Parnell feud, downtown, every Sat. at 7 p.m. for 10 weeks. Live entertainment at 6 p.m. Free.
JUNE 2-9: 51st Bradley County Pink Tomato Festival. Sponsored by the county Chamber of Commerce on the Warren town square, with live music, carnival midway, food, 5K run and other activities, All-Tomato Luncheon (it sells out each year), all celebrating the arrival of the classic fruit. Most events are free, and most of the state politicians show, as this is the first major summer festival. www.bradleychamber.com or 870-226-5225.
JUNE 8: Rickey Smiley and Friends. Comedy. 8 p.m., Robinson Center Music Hall. $27.50-$32.50 through Ticketmaster outlets.
JUNE 9: MMA Extreme Cage Combat 8.0. Fighters from Arkansas, Tennessee, Missouri, Texas and more, following Ju Jitsu rules. 7:30 p.m., Alltel Arena, NLR. Tickets $20 to $75 through Ticketmaster or the arena box office. 975-9000.
JUNE 29: Nephew Tommy and Friends. 8 p.m., Robinson Center Music Hall. $27.50-$32.50 though all Ticketmaster outlets.
JULY 26-29: 28th Annual Ding Dong Days of Dumas. Antique car show, games and children’s activities, concessions, arts and crafts, train rides, all around Memorial Park. Free. 870-382-5447.
JULY 1-4: 63rd Annual Rodeo of the Ozarks. Parsons Stadium, Springdale. Fireworks end each night, parades on July 1 and July 4. $10-$18. 479-756-0464.
AUG. 9-12: Hope Watermelon Festival. Is there a regional festival that says “summer” better than this? Sample the cool watermelon by the slice, and enjoy music, arts and crafts, games and children’s activities, 5K run, softball tournament, golf, antique car show, food and more. Visit www.hopemelonfest.com or call 870-777-3640.
AUG. 9-11: 28th Cave City Annual Watermelon Festival. For the folks in the northern half of the state. Entertainment, crafts, parade and concessions at City Park. Free admission. cavecityarkansas.info or 870-283-5959.
AUG. 18: Ron White, “You Can’t Fix Stupid.” Comedy for mature audiences. 7 p.m., Robinson Center Music Hall. $36.75 through Ticketmaster outlets.
AUG. 31-SEPT. 2: 22nd Annual National Championship Chuckwagon Race, Clinton. Bar o f Ranch. Snowy River race, bronc fanning, camping, trail rides, concerts, music, barn dance, Western trade show, horse and mule sale, non-denominational church services. $20 Fri.-Sat., $10 Sun. chuckwagonraces.com or 501-745-8407.
“Movies in the Park” returns to the Riverfest Ampthitheatre this summer with free films at dusk (gates open about 6 p.m.). Drinks and popcorn are available for purchase, but you’re free to make it your own party by bringing your favorite beverages, food and what-have-ya. Bring the kids, the dog, the Frisbee, a blanket, some skeeter repellant and an appreciation for fun movies:
JUNE 6: “Breakfast Club.”
JUNE 13: “Spider-Man.”
JUNE 20: “Shrek 2.”
JUNE 27: “Goldfinger:”
JULY 11: “Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy.”
JULY 18: “My Best Friend’s Wedding.”
JULY 25: “The Bourne Identity.”
AUG. 1: “The Wizard of Oz.”
The Arkansas Travelers Texas League baseball team, with their new stadium in North Little Rock, and the Arkansas Twisters indoor football team at Alltel Arena keep area sports fans entertained through the summer. Also, though it hasn’t been announced yet, all signs point to a major tennis exhibition at Alltel Arena in July featuring Pete Sampras and John McEnroe.
Dickey-Stephens Park, NLR. $10 box seats (all ages); $8 reserved seats ($7 for active military, $4 children 14 and under); $6 general admission ($5 active military, $3 children 14 and under). 664-7559 or www.travs.com.
MAY 9: vs. Tulsa Drillers, 7:10 p.m.
MAY 10: vs. Tulsa Drillers, 7:10 p.m.
MAY 11: vs. Tulsa Drillers, 7:10 p.m.
MAY 12: vs. Tulsa Drillers, 7:10 p.m.
MAY 13: vs. Springdale Cardinals, 4 p.m.
MAY 14: vs. Springdale Cardinals, 11 a.m.
MAY 15: vs. Springdale Cardinals, 7:10 p.m.
MAY 16: vs. Springdale Cardinals, 7:10 p.m.
MAY 22: vs. Corpus Christi Hooks, 7:10 p.m.
MAY 23: vs. Corpus Christi Hooks, 7:10 p.m.
MAY 24: vs. Corpus Christi Hooks, 7:10 p.m.
MAY 25: vs. San Antonio Missions, 6 p.m.
MAY 26: vs. San Antonio Missions, 2 p.m.
MAY 27: vs. San Antonio Missions, 5:30 p.m.
JUNE 5: vs. Wichita Wranglers, 7:10 p.m.
JUNE 6: vs. Wichita Wranglers, 7:10 p.m.
JUNE 7: vs. Wichita Wranglers, 7:10 p.m.
JUNE 8: vs. Wichita Wranglers, 7:10 p.m.
JUNE 9: vs. Springdale Cardinals, 7:10 p.m.
JUNE 10: vs. Springdale Cardinals, 6 p.m.
JUNE 11: vs. Springdale Cardinals, 7:10 p.m.
JUNE 12: vs. Springdale Cardinals, 7:10 p.m.
Arena Football 2 League
Tickets: $10-$23, 975-5425. All games, with the exception of the 3:05 p.m. game May 20, are at 7:05 p.m.
MAY 12: vs. Bossier-Shreveport.
MAY 20: vs. South Georgia.
JUNE 2: vs. Lubbock.
JUNE 16: vs. Oklahoma City.
JUNE 30: vs. Tulsa.
JULY 14: vs. Laredo.
JULY 28: vs. Amarillo.