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The fourth annual Sharion Bailey Whitlock Carnival of Love is set from 1 until 5 p.m. on Oct. 7, and the community is invited to attend the free event.

Presented by Meet Me at the Court and The Bailey Family, the carnival features food, games and activities for children and adults.

The event will be held in the area of Columbia and Lester streets and will include horseback and motorcycle rides, a bounce house, face-painting, board games, bingo, a three-on-three basketball tournament, volleyball, badminton and a car show.

Organizer Veronica Bailey said there will also be hamburgers, hotdogs, snow cones and popcorn.

Admission, food, and activities are free and open to the public.

The carnival began in 2014 and was scheduled the same weekend as MusicFest to complement the city’s largest festival and outdoor event and to provide a free alternative for families.

“For the children and families who did not have the means to attend MusicFest, we started a free carnival in memory of my sister (Whitlock, who passed away in 2012),” Bailey said.

MusicFest will kick off Friday for three days, and admission will be free. Food and some activities and attractions will be paid.

“Here, everything is free — food, games, everything. Like MusicFest, there is something for everyone to enjoy, children and adults,” Bailey said.

The inaugural event drew approximately 115 people, and last year, the number of attendees approached 200.

“It has grown tremendously, and we’re hoping for more. It’s about family and fellowship,” Bailey said.

In 2016, youth members of Meet Me at the Court petitioned for a car show, and Bailey said the idea was incorporated into the Carnival of Love.

She said organizers will again partner with the South Arkansas Stop the Violence Coalition to host the carnival.

For more information, call Bailey at 870-310-0391, James Curley at 870-310-0745, Valarie Smith at 870-814-8612, Willie McGhee at 870-314-1441, Brenda Stanley at 870-881-5191, or Peggy Johnson at 870-863-4472.

Tia Lyons may be contacted at 870-862-6611 or tlyons@


This story has been edited to correct the location of the fourth annual Sharion Bailey Whitlock Carnival of Love.

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