A venture to this state park is on the must-do list for many, the park being the only spot in North America where you can dig for diamonds and other gemstones and keep your finds.
THURSDAY 9/6-SUNDAY 9/9
ARKANSAS BLACK INDEPENDENT FILM FESTIVAL
6 p.m. Mosaic Templars Cultural Center. $40.
The Arkansas Black Independent Film Festival, founded by Wayne and Angela Burt, has grown from a one-day event to a four-day festival featuring nationally known artists and filmmakers. This year marks the seventh installment of the film fest, and things get started Thursday with a red-carpet screening of White Hall native Dui Jarrod's film "Lesson Before Love," at 6 p.m. at the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center. There will also be live music from Rodney Block & The Real Music Lovers. Friday's lineup starts at 11 a.m. at Philander Smith College and Arkansas Baptist College, with selected shorts, features and documentaries. At Arkansas Baptist, filmmaker Julie Dash screens "Daughters of the Dust" and hosts a Q&A starting at 1 p.m., followed by a screenwriting workshop led by Jarrod at 4 p.m. At Philander Smith, filmmaker and author M.K. Asante screens "The Black Candle," followed by a Q&A, starting at 7 p.m. There are more screenings and a variety of workshops on Saturday at both campuses, and things wrap up Sunday with a brunch with Dash from 11 a.m.-2 p.m., and an awards ceremony and more starting at 6 p.m. at Dreamland Ballroom. More info is available at arbiff.com. Tickets range from $10-$40, or you can get a festival pass for $75.
7:30 p.m. Robinson Center Music Hall. $50-$94.
What else is there to say about Glen Campbell? He's one of the all-time legends of country music. He's an ace guitar player, having lent his chops to innumerable hit recordings alongside the other members of the famed Wrecking Crew. He played in the Beach Boys in 1965, filling in for a fragile Brian Wilson. He sold millions and millions of records, enjoying both critical and popular success and earning numerous Grammys. He starred alongside John Wayne and Kim Darby in "True Grit" (and again with Darby in "Norwood," also based on a Charles Portis novel). He hosted his own TV shows. He's had his troubles and wild times, sure. But he's also had a lifelong career that brought joy to millions of music lovers. And he's from Arkansas. On his final tour, you can be sure the Little Rock crowd will give him a warm welcome home.
THE MAIN THING: 'ELECTILE DYSFUNCTION'
8 p.m. The Joint. $20.
"Electile Dysfunction" is the newest two-act satire from The Main Thing, the resident comedy company at The Joint in North Little Rock. Main Thing stars Joint owners Steve and Vicki Farrell and Brett Ihler and, as is apparent from the title, will skewer national politics and the upcoming presidential election, all through an Arkansas-specific lens. According to a presser from the troupe, the show concerns a Little Rock family that can't see eye-to-eye on politics. They become minor celebrities after a local action news team turns its investigative eye on their disagreements. I haven't been to check out The Main Thing yet, but I've heard very good things from several trusted sources. The Farrells aren't natives of Arkansas, but no less an authority than Times publisher Alan Leveritt told me that they have an uncanny grasp on the nuances of Central Arkansas politics. He raved about their last show, "Little Rock and a Hard Place," and said he and his father-in-law were in stitches.
8:30 p.m. Robinson Center Music Hall. $40-$55.
This is the week for Arkansas boys made good coming back home. The day after legendary musician and Delight native Glen Campbell plays Robinson, Clarksville native and standup comic Ralphie May will take to that same storied stage. May recently chatted with Times contributor Philip M. Provost (check out the full interview at arktimes.com/ralphiemay). Here's May discussing how he got started in comedy: "I got to enter a contest to open for Sam Kinison when I was 17. This was 1989, and he was the pinnacle of standup at the time. He pulled a prank on me: He told me to say the wrong thing, to scream and yell at the audience, to tell them they're all stupid. It got me booed, and then he came on stage and said, 'Can you believe that kid, talking to people like that? He'll be crying backstage, thinking his comedy career is over, he'll never be in comedy again.' But Sam loved me, he said it went perfectly."