According to an article in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, a fund has been set up to ensure long-term sustained support of the paper’s Pops on the River music and fireworks spectacle. The Pops on the River Charitable Fund has been established at the Arkansas Community Foundation. The first gift was a donation of $100,000 by the Hussman Foundation.
The state’s largest Fourth of July celebration, Pops on the River is a day-long observance that draws around 30,0000 people to the River Market district and First Security Amphitheater in downtown Little Rock. Fireworks and a free concert by the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra highlight the celebration. The celebration was started in 1983 by the then-Arkansas Democrat just as Riverfront Park was first developing.
“The idea is to try to set up an endowment fund over the years that will generate enough income so that it could pay for Pops on the River,” Democrat-Gazette Publisher Walter E. Hussman Jr. said in the article. He envisions that the fund will build year by year toward a goal of $1 million. The goal amount would generate $50,000 per year to cover the costs of Pops on the River. Though the Hussman Foundation plans on annual donations of $100,000 as economically feasible, the fund is set up to take donations from other foundations as well as corporations and individuals.