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November 14, 2018
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Main Street preps for busy month

By Tia Lyons
This article was published September 12, 2018 at 5:00 a.m.

September is shaping up to be a busy month in El Dorado, and with several events scheduled within the next week, Main Street El Dorado is making sure to do its part in planning free, supporting activities.

But first, the Murphy Arts District is expected to make the highly anticipated announcement on who will fill a hole in the musical lineup for MusicFest XXXI, which is set for Oct. 18 - 20.

Late Tuesday afternoon, Bob Tarren, chief marketing officer for MAD, said the announcement was likely hours away, offering only a teaser.

“It’s someone who has been around awhile. It’s someone who has a good following. It’s a hot, popular hip-hop artist,” Tarren said.

The musical act will be filling a slot that was left vacant when chart-topping rapper Cardi B canceled just after giving birth to daughter Kulture Kiari Cephus in July.

The new MusicFest act will join headliners Sheila E, George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic, Bret Michaels, Gucci Mane, Morris Day and the Time, Toby Keith, Justin Moore, Lita Ford, Sammy Hagar and the Circle and more.

During an MSE board meeting Tuesday, Austin Barrow — MAD president and chief operating officer —, told board members that contracts had been signed with the new act to replace Cardi B in the Oct. 19 lineup.

Barrow declined to name the musical artist, saying that MAD was awaiting final conformation before making a public announcement.

For the 31st annual MusicFest, Main Street is partnering with MAD to present the event.

The two groups first teamed up in 2017 to present Main Street’s flagship fundraiser, with MAD booking the headliners and Main Street handling the festival attractions, musical entertainment for the side stages and food and arts and crafts vendors.

The pearl anniversary of MusicFest coincided with the grand opening of MAD.

Airstream on Main

In the meantime, Main Street is expecting more than two dozen recreational vehicles downtown next week for Airstream on Main, part of nationwide camping events that promote the Airstream lifestyle and help stimulate economic vitality in small-town America.

The event is set for Sept. 20 - 23.

Holly Womack, MSE executive assistant, said 23 campers have committed to the event so far.

“We’re excited — very excited. We’ve got six states represented that are coming,” Womack said.

One of the groups who will arrive in town next week is the Arkansas Razorback Airstream Club.

MSE board president Bruce Butterfield said campers are expected to begin tolling into El Dorado on Sept. 20, and Union County Judge Mike Loftin agreed to assist in helping to park the RVs around the Union County Courthouse.

A chicken-spaghetti dinner is planned for 5 until 7 p.m. on Sept. 20 in the Mahony parking lot across from the Union County Courthouse on North Washington. The event is open to the public.

The cost is $10 per plate, and the proceeds will support Relay for Life of Union County.

Those who purchase a plate may dine in the Mahony parking lot or pick up a carry-out plate from the El Dorado-Union County Chamber of Commerce, 111 W. Main.

Thursday Night Live, featuring a performance by Charley Crockett, is set for 8 p.m. in the Griffin Restaurant on Locust.

A “Flock Party” — named after the Flamingo logo of one of the Airstream groups that — is set for 7 p.m. Sept. 21 in the Mahony parking lot.

The free street dance is open to the public and attendees are encouraged to wear Luau/flamingo attire.

Womack said there will be food vendors and alcoholic beverages available for $5.

From 2 until 4 p.m. on Sept. 22, visitors will be able to tour campers in an open house.

The price of admission for the open house is canned goods, which will be donated to local food banks. Those who tour the campers will be able to vote on their favorite Air Stream for the “People’s Choice Award.”

Another activity, Paint with a Twist, will be offered for $40 to paint a flamingo. The deadline to register for the activity is Sept. 18.

A Baggo tournament will begin at 4 p.m. The cost is $20 per team.

Rounding out the night will be a Pub Crawl for $25.

The Baggo tournament and Pub Crawl will be held on the Mahony parking lot.

The Aistreams will begin departing at 9 a.m. on Sept. 23.

To track the economic impact of the four-day event, Butterfield said campers will spend $2 bills in local businesses.

“There’s an emphasis on seeming money in the towns they visit, so if you see $2 bills, you’ll know they most likely came from them,” Butterfield said.

Other events that are planned for the week include the Union County Fair, Sept. 18 - 22; First Financial Bank SHARE Benefit Golf Tournament and Auction, Sept. 21 - 23; and Walk to End Alzheimer’s, Sept. 22.

For more information, call the Main Street office at 870-862-4747.

Tia Lyons may be contacted at 870-862-6611 or by email at tlyons@ eldoradonews.com.

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