Pardi Gras to bring party to downtown April 7

The Pine Bluff Small Business League will be offering residents the opportunity for a day of food, live music, kid’s activities and shopping with the Pardi Gras Festival from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday, April 7, along Main Street in downtown Pine Bluff.

“This will allow the citizens of Pine Bluff the option of staying right here to enjoy a festival experience instead of going other places with their tax dollars,” said Harold Terry, chairman of the festival committee and owner of Terry’s Home Cooking Express in downtown Pine Bluff. “People will have the opportunity to have good food and entertainment here locally.”

The day’s activities will begin at 10 a.m. with a parade along Main Street beginning at its intersection with 11th Avenue and heading north toward the Jefferson County Courthouse.

A real street festival experience will be on offer with roads blocked off from 2nd Avenue and Main Street to 3rd Avenue and Main Street and from 2nd Avenue and Main Street to 2nd Avenue and Pine Street.

Several stages will be set up for live entertainment, including local blues, gospel, jazz and rhythm and blues bands, as well as a fashion show.

“The first two hours we will have gospel acts that include Spiritual Wings of Joy, and later in the afternoon we will have entertainment including the On Call Band, Lagoria Peyton and Jim Pitts,” Terry said.

Terry said that organizers hoped to attract between 40 and 50 vendors to the event who will sell everything from food to clothing to jewelry, crafts and fragrances.

The downtown restaurants sponsoring Pardi Gras and other vendors will be offering southern home cooking, pizza, salad, turkey legs, hot dogs, popcorn, peanuts, candy, pies, cakes and many other items.

Children’s activities are to include inflatable bouncers, the Easter Bunny and games.

“We hope that people who are considering whether to open a new business downtown or relocate their business to downtown will be encouraged to do so when they see what we are doing,” Terry said. “This is about businesses working together to make downtown a good place to be and coming together to get good things done.”

More information and vendor registration packets may be obtained by contacting Pat Hopkins at 872-2049, Seanna Howard at 413-6789 or Harold Terry at 536-8422.