Newport held the 1st Kids’ Fest at Downtown Newport to celebrate the return of summer. Free of charge and a promise of festivities whether rain or shine, the event took place from noon until 7:30 pm on Saturday, May 4th. The event included performances by K9's in Flight, Magician Randall Eller, DJ G-Rant, Sweeney's Martial Arts and headliner Trout Fishing in the Newport Business Resource Center. K9's in Flight: Homeless to High Flying performed three dog shows, and Magician Randall Eller performed two different magic shows.

            Hog Wild Entertainment brought a bounce house, a giant dual slide, Zorb ball races, a 25-foot rock wall, spider jump, a two-person gyroscope, a 65-foot inflatable obstacle course, a bounce castle and more. Cockrill's Country Critters (pictured) brought a petting zoo, pony rides, a kangaroo and a camel. The Rock Town Mobile Lazer Tag set up a two-block laser tag course and a Mobile Video Game Station featured a 16-player video game trailer with all the latest games.

            Other attractions included the Depot Fun Zone was full of crafts, games and activities for the younger children, Jacksonport State Park, the Daisy Inflatable BB Range from the Cooperative Extension Service, Newport Fire Department, a mobile aquarium from Arkansas Game & Fish Commission and a tractor on site from Greenway Equipment.   

            Kids’ Fest was held as a kick off for this year’s “Monster Nights:  Newport’s Downtown Entertainment Series.” The series will feature a variety of concerts, movies in the park, children’s theater, art workshops, a comedy night, as well as the Delta Arts Festival and Depot Days Festival.  Entertainment has been scheduled from May through October.  Admission to all events is free, and nearly every event has an alternate indoor location in the event of inclement weather.  Kids’ Fest and all of the events planned during the Monster Nights Series are made possible thanks to donations by area sponsors.

            Event details are available on Facebook @MonsterNightsNewport. For questions or a complete schedule of events, call (870) 523-3618.