StarDaze to observe its 10th anniversary in style

One of the biggest festivals in Southeast Arkansas celebrates its tenth anniversary with a weekend of top-name musical talent starting Thursday.

StarDaze in Star City is expected to draw upwards of 30,000 people during its two-day, three-night run with performers including Kix Brooks and Steel Magnolia in free concerts on the Pine Bluff National Bank stage.

“We’ve pulled out all the stops this year,” said StarDaze entertainment director Keith Griffin. “It’s going to be better than ever. We’re really excited about what we’ve been able to put together for folks.”

Griffin emphasized the affordability of the quality entertainment that will be on hand.

“All of the acts are free because we believe it’s important for the people of Southeast Arkansas to have access to these artists,” Griffin said.

Trinity Burnett with the Star City Chamber of Commerce said the festival is a point of pride for residents.

“It’s a great thing for us every year,” Burnett said. “Everybody in the community enjoys it and we get all of the business coming in. When you get between 22,000 and 27,000 people in town every year it really helps us.”

The Spectacular Miller Midway opens Thursday night and the live entertainment begins at 5 p.m. Friday with Ben Coulter followed by Aaron Parker at 7 p.m. and Steel Magnolia at 9 p.m.

Entertainment on Saturday will begin at 2 p.m. with Phantom VI, a band that traveled the mid-South in the 1960s and 1970s; Cheryl LaQuire at 4 p.m. and “hick-hop” artist Big Smo at 6 p.m.

Blackberry Smoke, a group that has opened for the Zac Brown Band, performs at 8 p.m. and Kix Brooks, a recording artist who as part of the duo Brooks and Dunn garnered 15 Grammy Award nominations as well as 40 top-10 records and more than 20 No. 1 songs, begins his performance at 10 p.m.

Other activities

There will be food and craft vendors selling their wares throughout the weekend.

Saturday’s events will start with a 5K run at Cane Creek State Park at 9 a.m.

There will also be a motorcycle point run and a classic car show with trophies given in several classes.

The car show will be held from 8 a.m. until 3 p.m. Saturday at the Star City Civic Center on Highway 425. Fifty class trophies will be awarded and trophies for best paint, interior, engine, as well as people’s choice and best of show. A fee of $25 for first entry and $15 for each additional entry will be charged. A free barbecue sandwich, chips and a drink will be available for the first 50 entries.

The motorcycle point run will be held from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. Saturday at the Star City Civic Center . Registration will start at 10 a.m. Cash prizes will be given to the first-, second- and third-place winners. An entry fee of $15 will be charged. For more information call 870 370-7309.

Raffles will be held for items including a guitar autographed by Lee Bryce.

A hamburger dinner at noon Thursday includes sandwich, chips, drink and cookie.