The sun was out and the rain had abated, allowing the Bash on Barraque Harvest Festival to commence in perfect weather Saturday, according to participants.
The event that was held at the Barraque Plaza at Pine and Barraque streets in the Old Towne area of downtown Pine Bluff and the Jefferson County Courthouse parking lot where participants enjoyed music, food and activities for families.
Linda Duncan brought her granddaughter to the event.
“My granddaughter is so busy with all that she does with school, and with her mother, then she comes to visit granny and she asks, ‘what are we going to do?’” Duncan said.
Having an event like the bash was “neat” because it gave the community something to do, Duncan said.
Duncan’s granddaughter, Madison McCray, 6, rode on a cart provided by the National Guard as she tried to avoid the cones and steer straight, all the while a smile plastered on her face.
Kay Henderson brought her two great nephews to the event and had the same sentiment as most.
“It’s nice, I wish more people would come out,” Henderson said.
As she held the tennis shoes of her nephews, Henderson watched as children ran through an inflated bounce house and slide that was brought by the Pine Bluff Police Department.
Face painting and other art projects were also going on at the event, along with music that echoed through the area.
Kids of all ages ran through the multiple activities, laughing and playing. Parents were happy too, because the event and those activities were free, they said.
Daryl A. Taylor, chairwoman of the Old Towne Committee, had “high hopes” that the community would make this an event that became a yearly ritual for families to attend.
“I’m optimistic that we will have a great turnout,” Taylor said. “We just want to have something in Pine Bluff for people to do.”
Taylor went on to express how much help the committee received from the groups and individuals who volunteered for the event.
“We (Old Towne Committee) have no budget, and all these people who are here volunteered for free, to help make people see downtown and be in downtown,” she said.
Taylor hopes that the event will grow each year and, along with the Bash on Barraque spring event, help to revitalize the area downtown.
Planned activities Saturday also included The Silly Circuit Spiders, a tinkering project sponsored by the Arts and Science Center for Southeast Arkansas; face painting by the Pine Bluff High School Arts Club; pedal cars by the National Guard; Kids ID by the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department; a bouncy house sponsored by the Pine Bluff police; and a fire truck by the Pine Bluff Fire and Emergency Services Department.
Pine Bluff Downtown Development provided an area for a fall painting project for kids and adults.
A trolley was scheduled to run from Barraque Plaza to the Civic Center where everyone could enjoy viewing the Fire Department’s Safe House. Along the way, a tour leader was scheduled to highlight the downtown murals and historic areas of the “heart of the city.”