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The Little Rock Zoo will celebrate its 80th birthday on Saturday, April 1, with the Verizon Wireless “Call of the Wild” event, a half day of fun for all ages, including giveaways, live performances, a parade and more.
The event runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and is free with a zoo admission ($6 for adults, $4 for children ages 1-12). Free passes to the zoo are available at local Verizon Wireless stores.
Saturday also marks the start of “Zoovies,” special animal-related movies at the zoo geared toward families. “The Junglebook” will kick off the movie series at 7 p.m., and admission is $4. Blue Anne Ewe from Blue Cross Blue Shield and folks from Radio Disney also will be on hand, along with some of the zoo’s animals.
Matt Jones, the former Arkansas Razorback quarterback who is now a receiver with the NFL’s Jacksonville Jaguars, will serve as grand marshal of the zoo parade, starting at 1 p.m. at the bottom of the great ape exhibit. Free prizes will be tossed to audience participants. Free Yarnell’s ice cream and cake will be served from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. And every 15 minutes, between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., a “creature feature” will be held on the Civitan Amphitheater stage, including visits by Kago the cheetah and Jackie the African penguin. Special animal feeding presentations also will be held at exhibits around the facility: great apes (10:30 a.m.), river otters (10:45 a.m.) and Asian elephant (11 a.m.).
For more information, call 666-2406.
Delta diversity at Blues Symposium
The 12th annual Delta Blues Symposium will focus on “Delta Diversity” at the conference beginning Thursday, March 30, and running through Saturday, April 1, at Jonesboro. Most of the events will be held at Arkansas State University’s Student Union, with scholars, students, performers and artists convening to examine the Delta and its problems while they celebrate its culture.
Louisiana musician Kenny Neal will perform at the Forum in downtown Jonesboro at 8 p.m. Thursday. Earlier Thursday, starting at 4:30 p.m., author Grif Stockley will read from his biography of Arkansas civil rights pioneer Daisy Bates in the Student Union’s Mockingbird Room.
Various sessions and readings are scheduled throughout each day (visit www.clt.astate.edu/blues for a complete schedule). Keith Wailoo, a professor of history at Rutgers University and one of the nation’s leading medical historians, will deliver the symposium’s featured lecture, “How Cancer Crossed the Color Line: Problems With Identity and Region in the War on Disease” at 4:30 p.m. Friday in the Student Union auditorium. Poet Sterling Plump and author Tom Piazza will appear at the Fowler Center Grand Hall at 7:30 p.m. Friday for readings.
A concert of Latino music featuring musicians and dancers from northeast Arkansas will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday at the ASU Pavilion. The symposium concludes with the annual Delta Composers Concert, sponsored by the ASU Department of Music, starting at 5 p.m. in Riceland Hall of the Fowler Center.
All events are free. Call 870-972-3043 or visit the symposium’s website for more information.
Jazz at Wildwood
John Sheridan, a top American classic jazz pianist, will join cornet player Randy Reinhart in Wildwood Park for the Performing Arts’ Jazz Supper Club Series on Friday, March 31, starting at 8 p.m.
“An Evening With John Sheridan and Randy Reinhart” will feature jazz standards from Broadway and American film, including work by George Gershwin, Harold Allen, Johnny Mercer, Jerome Kern and more.
Tickets are $35. Call 821-7275 or 888-278-7727. For more information, visit www.wildwoodpark.org.
RimRockers meet Florida twice
The Arkansas RimRockers continue their season-ending home stand with games against Florida on Saturday and Sunday at Alltel Arena. The NBA Development League teams square off at 7:30 p.m. Saturday and again at 3 p.m. Sunday, with Arkansas trying to work its way into a league playoff spot. Only the top four teams in the NBA Development League advance to the single-elimination tournament, and the RimRockers are among five teams vying for the 2 through 4 spots.
Tickets start at $10 for either game. Group discounts are available. Call the team office at 975-4667 or call Ticketmaster 975-7575. For more information on the RimRockers, visit www.rimrockers.com.
Hans Christian Andersen’s tale “The Emperor’s New Clothes” has been adapted into a play that begins a three-weekend run at the Arkansas Arts Center’s Children’s Theatre on Friday, March 31.
Showtimes are 7 p.m. Friday, 3 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. The play, about an emperor infatuated with his clothes and two swindlers who pull the wool over everyone’s eyes (everyone, that is, except one small child), runs through April 16. Tickets are $14 for adults, $11 for children and $10 for groups of 10 or more. Call 372-4000 or visit www.arkarts.com.
More Movies in Park
The Arkansas Times-sponsored Movies in the Park series continues Wednesday, April 5, with Steven Spielberg’s dinosaur epic “Jurassic Park.” Gates to Riverfest Amphitheatre open at 6 p.m. and the show begins at dark. Admission is free. Bring picnic baskets, coolers, blankets, chairs or anything else you might need; popcorn and beverages are available for purchase.
The Big Read
F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby” has been chosen for The Big Read, the “one community/one book” project in the state led by Arkansas Center for the Book at the State Library. The Center purchased more than 1,000 copies of “The Great Gatsby” to be used for discussions at schools and libraries throughout Arkansas in April.
Also, several events will be held in conjunction with National Library Week, April 2-8. The Robert Redford-starring film “The Great Gatsby” will be screened at the Central Arkansas Library System’s Main Library at 2 p.m. Sunday, April 2. Russell Murphy will give a lecture, “Power of Privilege and Privilege of Power” at North Little Rock’s William F. Laman Public Library at 7 p.m. Monday, April 3. WordsWorth Books in the Heights will feature dramatic readings from the book by Central High School students and others at 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 4. The Faulkner County Library in Conway will have a “Gatsby Gala” at 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 5. The CALS Darragh Center will play host to a Readers’ Theatre adaptation of “The Great Gatsby,” by William B. Jones, at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, April 6.
All the events are free. Call 682-5288 for more information.