Downtown Newport, Arkansas will be a place full of music, theater, movies, art, festivals, entertainers and family fun over the spring, summer and early fall. Admission and parking to everything all season long is free. The season kicks off with Kids’ Fest on May 4th dedicated to all the things children love. The festival will feature a video game truck, two-block laser tag course, petting zoo, bounce houses, a 25-foot rock wall, pony rides, BB gun shooting range and much more. The four-time Grammy nominated band, Trout Fishing in America, will headline the festival with their award-winning children’s music.
The series will feature a ton of music. M&P Banking, Insurance and Investments will have four M&P Monster Beats concerts throughout the season featuring Queen Anne’s Revenge Dueling Pianos in a piano bar style; Ten Penny Gypsy, 2018 ACMA Nominee for Album of the Year; Adam Wakefield, Season 10 Runner Up on the Voice; and, the DeFrance Band, who opened for Bon Jovi in Little Rock.
Arkansas Steel Associates/KASU Monster Groovez concerts will feature the Akeem Kemp Band, from Morrilton Arkansas; Brick Fields Band from Fayetteville, Arkansas; Gerry Moss, Blues Guitarist from Memphis, Tennessee; Lectric Lizz Lottman, a rocking female guitarist from Black Oak, Arkansas, and Jubilation Jazz bringing back their big band sound to Newport.
Movies sponsored by ASU-Newport this year include The Incredibles 2, Jumanji (1995), Mary Poppins Returns, and Hocus Pocus (1993). Bring a lawn chair to the park and enjoy movies on the big screen. The season features two movies nominated for Academy Awards this year.
Bright Star Touring Theater Troupe delights both young and older audiences. Their productions of popular plays are sponsored by Farmers Electric Cooperatives. This season they are bringing the Velveteen Rabbit, One Small Step: The Real Life Journey to Outer Space, The Wizard of Oz and The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. After two of the performances, the actors will lead the children in an acting workshop.
The Artist in U features art workshops sponsored by Unity Health Harris Medical Center. The workshops will bring well-known artists who will share their skills and techniques in an informal hands-on setting. The workshops will be free, but space will be limited so registration is necessary. Workshops include acrylics for adults and children, watercolors, mixed media and ending with a Mommy and Me workshop for moms and children to learn together.
Gränges Americas is sponsoring Gränges Fun Nights, which brings an eclectic mix of entertainment to the series. Comedy night will be hosted by THEY Improv - a “Whose Line is it Anyway” style of comedy to the Terry Scoggins Memorial Stage. Galen Harp, world champion juggler with the Institute of Jugglology will bring an amazing show featuring fire, knives and painting with sand while juggling. Ellisa Sun will bring an acoustical music set to downtown Newport as part of her national Dreamboat Tour. Gränges’ events end with a story telling group from Little Rock coming to perform “Tales of the White River Monster.”
The 11th Annual Delta Arts Festival on June 7th and 8th will celebrate a wide variety of artistic expression. Over 170 fine artists, 35 functional artists, 30 craft artists, 19 authors and 16 musical performances will be featured at the two-day event. The band Seeing Red from Memphis, Tennessee will headline on Friday night. Saturday, in addition to the amazing visual on display, authors will be reading from their works and 15 bands will be playing both on the stage and at Frankie’s Place. The Delta Arts Festival will have something for everyone.
The 22nd Annual Depot Depot Days Festival is bringing some great artist to Newport on September 27th and 28th. Friday night will feature the Zyndall Raney Band at the Conductors Reception. On the main stage Lauren Gray, American Idol semi-finalist and Eric Gales, world-renowned electric blues guitar phenom will be featured. Saturday brings Andy May, Newport’s next star; The Jimmy Dunham Band, rockin’ gospel; the Zyndall Raney Band, classic country dance music; Stunning Cunning, Memphis rockabilly; Cody Slaughter, who brings Elvis back to life; The Cleverly’s, bluegrass hip-hop from North Carolina; and, Lee Roy Parnell, legendary country superstar. The festival ends with an amazing Fireworks Extravaganza.
Monster Nights, Newport’s Downtown Entertainment Series, is offering something for everyone this season. Admission is free to all events. Just bring a chair, a smile and get ready to enjoy. Event details are available on Facebook @MonsterNightsNewport. For questions or a complete schedule of events, call (870) 523-3618. In the event of inclement weather, most events in the series will have an indoor alternate location.