Music festival to fill downtown PB streets

Downtown Pine Bluff will be filled with tuneful sounds and the aroma of good food Saturday as part of the Pine Bluff Spring Music Festival hosted by the Downtown Special Events Organization.

The festival will get underway at 1:30 p.m. and will feature a number of musical acts performing on a stage that will be set up on Main Street near its intersection with Second Avenue.

Acts include the Brian Austin Blues Band, Southeast Arkansas Male Choir, Legoria Payton & Friends, Serenade, Tragikly White and Latimore.

Music will begin at 1:45 p.m. and continue until 11:30 p.m.

DSEO member Harold Terry saidthat activities for the children will include bounce houses, face painting and buggy rides.

“One of the things that makes this event special is that we are trying to get people in the habit of not just going to a festival downtown but of going downtown for entertainment, dining and shopping,” Terry said. “In the past six months, 13 properties have been purchased in the downtown area. People are discovering the restaurants and the shops that are located here.”

“People say there is nothing to do in Pine Bluff and so they go to events like RiverFest in Little Rock and the El Dorado Music Festival,” Terry said. “They are taking dollars out of this community and spending them elsewhere. With this event, we’re trying to keep tax revenue in the city and help with the revitalization of downtown Pine Bluff.”

Terry said that the Spring Music Festival is part of a five year plan to create the same downtown atmosphere in Pine Bluff that already exists in Arkansas towns like Helena, El Dorado and Conway.

“Pine Bluff is about 25 years behind these other locations in revitalizing our downtown area,” Terry said. “But we don’t have 25 years to catch up. We are trying to get there in five years.”

Tickets for the festival are $8 in advance and $10 at the gate with children 12 and under getting in free.

Locations to purchase advance tickets include Terry’s Home Cooking Express, Record Rack, Fathers and Sons Clothier and Pop’s Barber Shop.

“We’ve worked hard putting this together so I hope people come out and support it,” said Don Tyler, who has been working with Terry to set up the festival.

Put Your Heart Into It

Terry said that festival day will begin with a community service project dubbed Put Your Heart Into It.

“We have between 250 and 300 volunteers who will pick up litter and clean up several properties from 8 a.m. until 12 p.m.,” Terry said.