31st Annual POPS ON THE RIVER sponsored by Arkansas Democrat Gazette; including performance by Arkansas Symphony Orchestra

popsonriverPops on the River, presented by the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, is the state’s largest Fourth of July celebration and takes place this year on Friday, July 4th in downtown Little Rock.

Pops on the River, in it’s 31st year, is FREE to the public and will begin at noon outside the main gates of the First Security Amphitheater in the River Market Pavilions with a Kid’s Pavilion and Car Pavilion. The event will also have a marketplace with shopping, food trucks, a car show and other activities below the River Market Pavilions.

2-8:30pm – Military Appreciation Tent

All Military members (active, retired or dependents) are encouraged to check-in to receive a discount card to many of the vendors at Pops on the River. Other giveaways including t-shirts and koozies will be available while supplies last.


12:00pm – 8:30pm – Kids Pavilion (East Pavilion) sponsored by Arkansas Children’s Hospital

Join the fun at the pavilion with free bounce houses, crafts, games and activities for the kids. Free Hiland Dairy milk for the kids.

Join us as we Salute the Troops – kid’s are invited to write a letter or color a picture to send to a service man or women serving overseas. Sponsored by St. Vincent.


12:30pm – 1:45pm – Jeremy Geyer performs (Pavilion Plaza)


2:00pm – 8:00pm – Caricatures by John Deering (Kids Pavilion)

John Deering is the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette’s editorial cartoonist. The fee of $10 goes to support Our House Children’s Center.


2:00pm – 4:00pm – Uncle Sam (Kids Pavilion)

Uncles Sam visits the kids and will perform magic tricks and make balloon animals.


2:15pm – 3:30pm – Valley Ray performs (Pavilion Plaza)


4:00pm – 5:15pm – Northeast Northwest performs (Pavilion Plaza)


5:30pm – Gates to amphitheater open

Chairs, blankets are encouraged. Open amphitheater seating is available, but limited. You can purchase reserved seating for $10 in advance online. No coolers or outside food or drinks. No pets or fireworks allowed.


5:30pm – 8:30pm – Smile Photobooth presented by Delta Dental (Kids Pavilion)

Take July 4th themed pictures in the fun photobooth and leave with a free photostrip. You can also view and get a digital copy of your photo at http://www.facebook.com/DeltaDentalAR


5:30pm – 9:30pm – Salute to the Troops. Sponsored by St. Vincent (Riverfront Park)

Record a video message to our men and women in the military in our Salute the Troops tent. Free t-shirts to the first 100 who record their videos.


6:30pm – The Oh Say! Can you Sing? Finalists perform. (First Security Amphitheater)

Help the judges decide who will sing the National Anthem with the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra and win $500. See the finalists online now at http://www.arkansasonline.com/sing


7:00pm – Air National Guard Band of the Southwest (First Security Amphitheater)

The Air National Guard Band of the Southwest, historically known as the 531st Air Force Band, has over a sixty year history of sustaining the traditions and heritage that has become the hallmark of military bands. This forty-member concert band will provide patriotic and Americana music, from Sousa to Broadway to Motown.


8:30pm – The Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, presented by Delta Dental (First Security Amphitheater)

Conducted by Philip Mann. The Arkansas Symphony Orchestra performance is one not to miss.


9:15/9:30pm – Fireworks

Celebrate our nation’s independence with the Pops on the River Fireworks finale – shot over the Main Street Bridge and visible to all of downtown Little Rock.

MacArthur Military Museum to host Air National Guard Band of the Southwest tonight

macmusThe MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History will host the Air National Guard Band of the Southwest, also known as the 531st Air Force Band, for an outdoor concert on Wednesday, July 2.  The band is part of the Texas Air National Guard and is attached to the 136th Airlift Wing, a C-130 unit based in Fort Worth, Texas.  The free concert will occur behind the museum, located at 503 E. 9th St., and will start at 7:00 p.m.  In case of inclement weather, it will be moved to the Children’s Theater at the Arkansas Arts Center, also in MacArthur Park.

The concert will feature the band’s most popular ensemble, its 40-member concert band, which performs a variety of Americana selections including Sousa marches, Broadway show tunes, big band jazz, and patriotic favorites.  The band performs for military ceremonies, music festivals, state fairs, military balls, and community events across the country, promoting Air National Guard units from Arizona to Arkansas.  In recent years the Air National Guard Band of the Southwest has given overseas concerts in Barbados, Bolivia, the Czech Republic, Germany, Greece, Nicaragua, Trinidad, Vanuatu and stateside concerts in Arkansas, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Illinois, Louisiana, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, Oklahoma, Texas, and Wisconsin.

The MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History relates the military heritage of Arkansas and its citizens to a diverse and widespread audience. Located in the historic Arsenal Building in MacArthur Park – one of Central Arkansas’s oldest surviving structures and the birthplace of one of the country’s foremost military heroes – the museum collects, preserves, and interprets the state’s rich military past from its territorial period to the present.   For more information call 501-376-4602 or visit the museum website at www.ArkMilitaryHeritage.com. The museum is a program of Little Rock Parks and Recreation.