December 4, 2022

Charlie Doodle

Unique Art & Entertainment

Pulaski County gets first fair in more than a century; pre-Halloween activities start to take shape

6 min read

Entertainment options in Arkansas this weekend:


Pulaski County Fair

The first Pulaski County Fair in more than a century continues, 5:30-11 p.m. today-Friday and noon-11 p.m. Saturday-Sunday in North Little Rock’s Riverfront Park, on the banks of the Arkansas River. The fair includes Fun Time Shows’ carnival midway, rides, games, novelty vendors, foods, soft and adult beverages and local live entertainment. A portion of the proceeds goes to North Little Rock Parks & Recreation. A covid-19 tent will offer free vaccinations. Masks are encouraged. Admission is $5, free for children 12 and younger. Visit

‘Haunted’ tours

Historians and theater veterans Paul Prater and Amy Jones guide “Haunted Arkansas Tours” through downtown North Little Rock, through Nov. 6.

Formerly known as “Haunted Argenta Tours,” the treks are divided into:

◼️ The “family-friendly””Haunted Argenta Walking Ghost Tours,” 7 p.m. most nights through Nov. 6, 90-minute walks involving stories of the town’s history, focusing on Argenta’s original buildings, most of which still stand, and the inhabitants — some of whom never left.

◼️ The adults-only, two-hour “Boos & Brews,” 7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 13, 20, 27, 28 and Nov. 3, which also focuses on vices, murder “and the more lascivious side of North Little Rock,” according to a news release, including a couple of reportedly haunted bars and a Victorian-style seance. You must be 21 or older to participate.

“We can’t guarantee you will see a ghost,” organizers say, “but we have some pretty interesting photographs that people have captured and even a reportedly haunted artifact.” Dress appropriately for a walking tour in mid-autumn.

All tours start in front of the gazebo at the foot of the Main Street Bridge, Washington and Main streets, North Little Rock (behind the U.S. Bank building in Faucette Park). Tours will take place in inclement weather — “simply too cold or rainy,” organizers say, “but we will go to three or more indoor spots to tell the stories and enjoy the entertainment.”

Tour guides vaccinated against covid-19 will not wear masks; tour participants can wear masks and maintain social distancing if they prefer.

Tickets for the ghost tours are $20; for “Boos & Brews,” $25. Visit

Magic weekends

Magic Springs Theme and Water Park, East Grand Avenue (U.S. 70 West), Hot Springs, opens for “Halloween Weekends,” noon-6 p.m. Saturday-Sunday through Oct. 31. Family-centered events include a Trick or Treat Trail, Pumpkin Patch and the Fright Flix Movie Trail, where guests can win prizes for guessing the title of spooky movie scenes. Attractions throughout the park include inflatables, roaming characters, haunted games, photo opportunities and contests. Admission is $29.99 at the gate, $24.99 online for all guests 4 and older. Visit

Jacksonville FestiVille

The city of Jacksonville hosts its eighth FestiVille, 3-7 p.m. Friday and 9 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturday at Dupree Park, 1700 S. Redmond Road, Jacksonville. The annual festival was canceled in 2020 because of the pandemic.

The two-day city festival will feature carnival rides and games (the carnival closes each day at 10 p.m.); concession stands, food trucks and vendor booths; a volleyball tournament; live entertainment; a petting zoo; a Kid Zone (with games, bounce houses, a rock wall and a video-game truck); and a fireworks show.

Admission and parking are free; there’s a charge for some rides and activities and others will require registration forms. Visit


‘Outside Mullingar’

Henderson State University Theatre stages “Outside Mullingar” by John Patrick Shanley, 7:30 p.m. today-Friday and Monday and 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday in the Arkansas Hall Studio Theatre, 1118 Henderson St., Arkadelphia. Masks are required. Admission is $10, free with an HSU student ID. Call (870) 230-5291, e-mail [email protected] or visit


Wood sculptures

“Rhythms of Composition,” (left) maple burl by Robyn Horn, and “Ash Poise” by Sandra Sell are on display this month at Justus Fine Art in Hot Springs. (Special to the Democrat-Gazette)

“Intentional Forms,” wood sculptures by Robyn Horn and paintings and sculpture by Sandra Sell, will be on display, starting with a 5-9 p.m. Friday Gallery Walk reception, at Justus Fine Art Gallery, 827A Central Ave., Hot Springs. The exhibit will remain up through Oct. 30. Gallery hours are 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday and by appointment. Call (501) 321-2335 or visit

Landscape paintings

Landscape artist Mary Louise Porter poses with her painting “December Sunset.” (Special to the Democrat-Gazette)

Landscape artist Mary Louise Porter poses with her painting “December Sunset.” (Special to the Democrat-Gazette)

“Rhythms and Reflections,” landscape paintings by Mary Louise Porter, goes on display Friday in the Price and Merkle Galleries at the South Arkansas Arts Center, 110 E. Fifth St., El Dorado. The center will hold an artist’s reception, 6-7:30 p.m. Saturday. The exhibition is up through Oct. 27. Gallery hours are 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday. Admission is free. Call (870) 862-5474 or visit

‘Expressions’ show

Nonprofit mental health organization Birch Tree Communities is hosting its annual Expressions Art Show & Sale, 5:30-8 p.m. today at the Benton Event Center, 17322 Interstate 30 North, Benton. Approximately 450 pieces by center clients will be on display; proceeds go directly to the artists. Tickets, $10, include admission, hors d’oeuvres, a coffee bar and music by singer/songwriter Brian Nahlen. There will also be a cash bar. Visit For more information, call (501) 303-3111.


‘Simon & Garfunkel’

“The Simon & Garfunkel Story,” a concert-style show focusing on the duo of Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel, is onstage at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 29, 2 and 7:30 p.m. Oct. 30 and 1 p.m. Oct. 31 at Robinson Center Performance Hall, 426 W. Markham St. at Broadway, Little Rock. Tickets — $29-$64 — go on sale at 10 a.m. Monday at the Robinson Center Box office; by phone at (501) 244-8800; and at

The Little Rock performances kick off a U.S. tour as well as Celebrity Attractions’ 2021-22 season. The show, employing video projection, photos and original film footage and a full live band follows the duo from humble beginnings (as Tom & Jerry) through their successes in the ’60s, their split in 1970 and the 1981 “The Concert in Central Park” reunion.

‘Dunham: Seriously!?’

Tickets — $52.50 (plus service charges) — go on sale at 10 a.m. Monday at the arena box office and via for comedian-ventriloquist Jeff Dunham’s “Jeff Dunham: Seriously!?” tour show, 3 p.m. Jan. 30 at North Little Rock’s Simmons Bank Arena.


‘Christmas Carol’

Argenta Community Theater, 405 Main St., North Little Rock, will hold auditions, 6-9 p.m. Oct. 9 and 2-5 p.m. Oct. 10, for “A Christmas Carol,” Judy Goss’ adaptation of the Charles Dickens classic.

Auditions will consist of cold readings from the script (sides will be provided) and singing a verse from “We Wish You a Merry Christmas,” and are open to performers 7 and older of all ethnicities and genders. Most performers will be part of the ensemble and several actors will play multiple characters. The producers suggest that to prepare, actors should become familiar with the story.

All roles require distinct British accents; a dialect coach will be available. Production dates are Dec. 8-18. To obtain an audition slot, email [email protected]; confirmation will be by return email. A complete character breakdown and more information is available at

Pine Bluff twin-bill

The Arts & Science Center for Southeast Arkansas, 701 S. Main St., Pine Bluff, will hold auditions by appointment Oct. 24-26 for its double-feature Christmas show, “A Charlie Brown Christmas” (adapted for the stage by Eric Schaeffer from the classic 1965 animated TV special, with credits for Peanuts creator Charles M. Schulz, director Bill Melendez and executive producer Lee Mendelson) and “A Seussified Christmas Carol” by Peter Bloedel. Auditions, open to all 10 and older, will consist of readings from the script, available at the center’s Catherine M. Bellamy Theater; to obtain samples in advance, email [email protected] Production dates are Dec. 10-19.

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