Weather, music in tune at downtown festival


It seems as if pleasant weather was cued right along with the bands and singers at Saturday’s Pine Bluff Spring Music Festival on Main Street.

After a record-setting cold snap had chilled the state for several days earlier in the week, seasonal weather brought in comfortable temperatures just in time for the Downtown Special Events Organization-sponsored attraction that featured children’s activities, food and merchandise vendors and musical offerings ranging from gospel to rock and blues.

At mid-afternoon, DSEO leader Angela Tyler was all but ready to rate the festival a success.

“It’s been a good turnout so far, and the weather has been great,” she said. “The people are coming in and leaving for a while and then coming back to catch their favorite entertainers. We’ve got over 30 vendors and there hasn’t been a single problem. There’s something for everyone and it’s a wonderful day.” The event started at 1:45 and was slated to continue until 11:30 p.m.

Vendor Romonda Mays of Pine Bluff said business was initially slow at her booth but she expected it to “pick up” as the day progressed. Meanwhile, she was enjoying the music. Performers were sharing their talents from a stage near Second Avenue and Main Street.

Mays said she “likes all kinds of music” but had been especially impressed by several blues singers.

Sharon Hardin and Natosha Willingham, both of Pine Bluff, described themselves as “long-time friends.” While Hardin was helping out at a merchant’s booth, Willingham laughingly said she had “come to see who all is here” and called herself a “people watcher.” Willingham added that she “hoped to see more” participants “before the night is through.”

Hardin said she was enjoying the food at the festival, which she said provided an opportunity to “have a good time while giving support” to the city. “We’ve had a great time so far,” she said as she pointed to her 5-year-old granddaughter, Makiya Arnold of Pine Bluff. “The weather is absolutely perfect, and everybody has been so friendly.”

Meanwhile, young Makiya didn’t seem to be concerned with the weather as much as she was in relating that just moments earlier she had ridden a pony “for the first time.” Makiya, swaying to music from the stage, said she had also petted “the black horse.”

Husband and wife Roy and Elizabeth Robinson of Hot Springs said they had been impressed by the hospitality of the locals. Mrs. Robinson was selling beauty supplies from a Pine Bluff dealer and said she was hopeful her sales would be strong enough to bring her back to such affairs here in the future. “I believe this will develop,” she said.