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Kerry Kraus, travel writer
Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism


Tweet line: Check out July Events in Central Arkansas: http://tiny.cc/wsxux

Note to the Print and Broadcast Media:

In order to better serve your needs and to keep you from getting extremely long documents from the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism, we have decided to break down our Travelin’ Arkansas release into regions organized by date. This way you will be able to look only at the areas you are interested in covering. The territories covered in Travelin' Arkansas adhere to the six geographical regions found in the Arkansas Tour Guide. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions: communications@arkansas.com or 501-682-7606.


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There’s not a more all-American way to spend the July 4th holiday than at a ballgame. North Little Rock has three days of first-class softball during the 31st annual Busch-Pepsi Softball Classic. Burns Park and Sherwood Sports Complex are where the action takes place July 1-3. Over 2,700 teams from 39 states have participated in the past with more expected this year. Founded as a fundraiser in 1979 for an Arkansas Class A team, the tournament is now a softball showcase of fiercely competitive men's and women's teams of all classifications from all over the country. Additional information is available by visiting www.Busch-Pepsi-Classic.com or by calling 501-312-5756.

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Little Rock’s Cantrell Gallery is hosting the 20th annual Mid-Southern Watercolorists Open Membership Exhibit July 1-16. Small paintings on paper by Mid-Southern Watercolorists members comprise this show featuring a wide variety of subjects and styles. According to sponsors, “The aim of the Mid-Southern Watercolorists is to elevate the stature of watercolor and educate the public to the significance of watercolor as an important, creative permanent painting medium. They are dedicated to the highest aesthetic standards and seek to further interest in watercolor by their programs and exhibitions.” The gallery is located at 8206 Cantrell Road in Little Rock, across from Pavilion in the Park. Visit www.cantrellgallery.com or phone 501-224-1335 for more information.

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On Monday, July 4, Sherwood celebrates with the 12th annual 4th of July Family Celebration. Free food, entertainment and lots of colorful fireworks are on the schedule. Sherwood Forest is located at 1111 West Maryland. Phone 501-833-3790 for additional details.

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The 4th of July Celebration sponsored by Arkansas Women's Action for New Directions offers a unique way to enjoy Little Rock’s annual fireworks display. Visitors will enjoy the sparkling show from the deck of the USS Razorback submarine, moored at the Arkansas Inland Maritime Museum on Riverfront Drive in North Little Rock. Also a part of the evening festivities are a holiday picnic supper and music. Admission is $25. For more information visit arkwand.org or phone 501-664-1935.

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Little Rock’s annual salute to Independence Day, Pops on the River, takes place July 4 at the Riverfest Amphitheatre. Presented by the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, it is the state's largest Fourth of July celebration. Gates open to the public at 5:30 p.m. The Arkansas Symphony Orchestra performs at 8:30 p.m. with the fireworks following at approximately 9:30 p.m. Visit www.arkansasonline.com/pops or phone 501-378-3807 for additional details.

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Kids ages 8-12 who enjoy energetic outdoor adventures are going to love the Adventure Day Camp offered by Toltec Mounds Archeological State Park, July 6-8, in Scott. Programs on animals and crafts, canoe trips, and games await campers, along with a day trip to Pinnacle Mountain State Park in Little Rock. Lunch, drinks, and snacks are provided. Reservations are required with advance payment of $50 per child confirming your spot. Meet at the park visitor center. For more information phone 501-961-9442.
 
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The classic Rodgers and Hammerstein musical “Cinderella” takes the stage of Benton’s Royal Theatre July 7-17. The play is based on the familiar fairy tale, in particular the French version "Cendrillon, ou la Petite Pantoufle de Vair," by Charles Perrault. We all know the enduring story of a young woman, forced into a life of servitude by her cruel stepmother and self-centered stepsisters, who dreams of a better life. With the help of her Fairy Godmother, Cinderella is transformed into a princess and finds her prince. You’ll hear such standards as “In My Own Little Corner,” “Do I Love You Because You’re Beautiful?” and “”Impossible; It’s Possible.” Tickets are $12 for adults, $10 for senior citizens, and $5 for students. The theater is located at 111 South Market in downtown Benton. Visit theroyalplayers.com or phone 501-315-5483 for more information.

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If you’ve got teens in the house then Pinnacle Mountain State Park’s Teenage Backpacking Orientation and Camp will be of interest. On July 8, those ages 14-16 meet at the park visitor center in Little Rock for an orientation session and learn about gear. Then on July 19, participants will have an opportunity to explore remote sections of the Ouachita Mountains on a guided backpacking trip. Backpackers need to provide their own gear. Advance payment of $100 is required. Phone the park at 501-868-5806 for additional details.

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Plantation Agriculture Museum State Park’s Homespun Day is Saturday, July 9, in Scott. Artisans from the Ozark Folk Center State Park in Mountain View and around Arkansas will be on hand to spin, weave, and loom cotton into fabric. Members of the Central Arkansas Basketweavers Guild demonstrate the art of weaving strips of wood into useful tools. The Sisters Band from Star City will be performing sing-a-longs throughout the event. All activities are in the air conditioned main museum. Admission is $3 for adults, $2 for children ages 6-12, with age 5 and under free. For more information call 501-961-1409.

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North Little Rock is the site of the 34th annual Sizzle 'N Sweat Brewery Collectibles Show July 9. Brewery collectibles of all shapes, sizes and types are showcased in this buy/sell/trade show. The Shelby Smith Pavilion at Burns Park is where the show is held, sponsored by the Ar-Can-Sas Brewery Collectibles Club. Visit www.ArBeerClub.com or phone 501-221-3976 for more information.

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Wildwood Park for the Arts in Little Rock has two art events for children this month. The Summer Arts Rave July 11-22 and the Summer Arts Blast Camp July 18 to 25 both offer exciting adventures lead by creative licensed teachers. Through arts experiences, each participant learns to grow academically and socially while expressing themselves in fun and creative ways. Students delve into literary, culinary, visual, musical, theater, and horticultural arts in the park’s beautiful outdoor setting. Both camps are from 9 a.m.-noon. The rave is for middle school children rising 6th-8th grade. The blast is geared toward elementary school age rising 1st-5th grade. Participants can sign up for first week or both weeks. Campers who complete the full two weeks of camp present a fun-filled stage performance at the end showcasing the children’s experiences. Visit www.wildwoodpark.org or phone 501-821-7275 for more information on both events.

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Woolly Hollow State Park in Greenbrier is hosting an Adventure Day Camp July 12-14. The event is designed to introduce kids ages 10-12 to the wonders of the natural world. Through a variety of experiences including hiking, camping skills, kayaking, crafting, nature programming, and more, campers discover the basic principles of biology, ecology, and conservation. The children are supervised by the park interpreter and trained volunteers. Early registration is encouraged. Admission is $75 and includes all gear, materials, and some meals. Contact the park at 501-679-2098 for a registration form or more information.

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All you proud parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles take note. If you have a boy or girl ages 12 months to 5 years old, you can enter them in the Mr. & Miss Pool Side Cutie Contest. It takes place July 16 at Splash Zone in Jacksonville. Prizes and certificates will be awarded to each child. Entry forms are available online at www.cityofjacksonville.net or from the Jacksonville Community Center, Martin Street Youth Center and Splash Zone. Check-in is at 9 a.m. Splash Zone is located at 201 Martin Street. There is a $15 entry fee for each child; $1 admission fee for spectators. Additional information is available by visiting www.cityofjacksonville.net/parks or by phoning 501-912-9422.

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Little Rock is hosting one of 26 Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contests taking place this summer. The showdown takes place July 16 in the Great Hall of the Clinton Presidential Library. It is a preliminary to the tribute-artist finale, Aug. 11-12, during Elvis Tribute Week in Memphis. The contest ties in with the Elvis exhibit of artifacts from Graceland that were significant to former President Clinton and are some of his favorites. Also at the library is the Elvis at 21 Exhibit of rare photographs from the Smithsonian, which runs through Aug. 21. Visit www.Elvis.com or phone 901-332-3329 for more information.

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If you’re in the 4th through 10th grade rising, you can act your way through Arkansas history July 18-22. During the Spotlight on History: 2011 Summer Fun Youth Enrichment Program, you’ll take part in theater, portray living history characters and explore Arkansas’s past. Pre-registration is required; enrollment is $75. Registration deadline is Friday, July 8. It all takes place at the Old State House Museum, 300 West Markham, in downtown Little Rock. For more information visit www.oldstatehouse.com or phone 501-324-9685.

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Saturday, July 23, is when Toltec Mounds Archeological State Park’s Flintknapping Workshop takes place. You’ll learn the basic techniques of making stone points like the ones used by American Indians. Admission is $20 and includes a beginner’s flintknapping kit. Reservations must be made by July 21. The activity is for ages 11 and up. Meet at the park visitor center in Scott. Contact park interpreters for more information by calling 501-961-9442.

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July 30 and 31 are huge days for birders with three separate events taking place at Pinnacle Mountain State Park. On July 30 Hummingbird Viewing Day, you’ll learn about those fast-moving birds the size of big bugs. Participants will explore the world of hummingbirds and watch them feed at the visitor center feeders. After viewing, you’ll find out more about amazing hummingbird adaptations, how to attract them to your yard, and what to feed them. Hours are 8:30 to 11 a.m.

From 11 to 11:30 a.m. on July 30 there will be a Birds of Prey program by Rodney Paul, a licensed bird of prey rehabilitator. Several live birds including hawks and owls are featured as Paul describes how injured birds are rehabilitated and released back into the wild. The program in the park conference room is free, but admission is limited to the first 50 guests.

A Feathered Flyers Weekend is scheduled for July 30-31. Programs feature our feathered friends, including hummingbirds, raptors, waterfowl, backyard birds, and more. Contact the park at 501-868-5806 for a detailed program schedule or more information on any of these events.

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Become a little starry-eyed at Woolly Hollow State Park’s Summer Star Party, Saturday, July 30. Volunteers from the Central Arkansas Astronomical Society provide telescopes for viewing the different celestial bodies and answer questions. Bring the whole family plus lawn chairs or blankets to the park swim beach in Greenbrier. For more details, call 501-679-2098.

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Get revitalized by attending the Body, Mind & Soul Expo July 30-July 31 in North Little Rock. Experience firsthand the many types of alternative healing. Exhibits include a foot reflexologist, chair massage, an aura photographer, hypnotists, intuitive readings, essential oils, books and jewelry. Free and paid lectures plus door prizes every hour are also offered. Hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday. Activities take place at 2700 Willow Street; admission is $5. For more information visit www.sharlettepumphrey.com or phone 501-955-2063.


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Submitted by the Arkansas Department of Parks & Tourism
One Capitol Mall, Little Rock, AR 72201, 501-682-7606
E-mail: info@arkansas.com

May be used without permission. Credit line is appreciated:
"Arkansas Department of Parks & Tourism"