1. See the Jesse White Tumblers. Chances are, Riverfest regulars have seen them before. But, unlike in the past, when they’ve been scheduled for 15 minutes or so between acts at the amphitheater or other stages, all their shows this year will be at the Family Stage, between the Broadway and Main Street bridges on the Little Rock side, all three days. This a group of African-American kids from Chicago who were rescued from bad surroundings and brought together under the umbrella of and by a love for tumbling. Some of their feats will simply amaze.
2. See the Kenyan Safari Acrobats. Another colorful group that wowed at the many stages they were shuffled around and into last year, they will be performing their shows at the Family Stage or the “Total Riverfest Live” area. These natives of East Africa combine dancing from their culture with acrobatic moves derived from the Chinese, interspersing their show with African magic and fire eating.
3. Beer and jazz. Sample some of the premium beers Riverfest will have on site and, for the first time in Riverfest, enjoy some of the best jazz musicians the state has to offer.
4. Flossie’s funnel cakes. ’Nuff said.
5. Visit the Hard Rock Cafe’s Rock Across America exhibit. This new addition to Riverfest will arrive via 18-wheeler: a 53-foot trailer housing all kinds of rock ’n’ roll artifacts as well as a 3-minute film getting behind the scenes of a rock show from the eyes of a roadie.
6. Visit the Budweiser True Music Roadhouse. This is any music lover’s idea of heaven: Play a variety of music instruments, sing to existing song tracks, perform a jam with friends, record in a soundproof recording studio, create your own DJ mix CD, watch live concert feeds and music videos and more.
7. Take the kids to Nick Live! High-energy games and physical challenges will make this certain fun for children and adults, brought to you by the Nickelodeon network. Participants will be selected from the audience to compete in crazy games and challenges based on Nickelodeon’s popular shows, including “Dora the Explorer” and “The Fairly Odd Parents.” It’s only on Saturday, at 10:30 a.m. and 11:45 a.m. at the Kidzone Stage, between the Main Street Bridge and the amphitheater on the Little Rock side.
8.The Osborne fireworks. This traditional Riverfest finale will originate from the southbound side of the Main Street bridge and will be visible throughout the area. It is also traditionally the largest fireworks display in the area, and music from current and past Riverfest bands is simulcast throughout Riverfront Park and on the Northshore Riverwalk during the display. Get to either of the parks early, as Sunday also usually draws the largest crowds. The Main Street Bridge will be closed at 8:30 p.m. to any foot traffic, the trolleys and the tractor-pulled shuttles. If crowds and traffic jams aren’t your thing, and you’ve bailed from Riverfest early, we suggest taking in the display from Knoop Park. Bring your own music.
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