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ESPN broadcasts from Heber Springs
ESPN Sportscenter’s “50 States in 50 Days Tour” will bring the hour-long sports news show to Heber Springs in conjunction with Heber’s 19th annual World Championship Cardboard Boat Races on Saturday, July 30. The ESPN tour has been coordinated with unusual and popular events throughout the country, and the Cardboard Boat Races at Sandy Beach on Greers Ferry Lake have been just that in North Central Arkansas. The races begin at 10 a.m. with youth and adult divisions. The “Pride of the Fleet” award will be up for grabs, as well as the “Titanic” award. Tug-of-war, beach volleyball, treasure digging, sand castle building and a watermelon eating contest are just part of the other fun activities. The event culminates with the Cardboard Boat Demolition Derby. There is still time to enter a boat by calling 501-362-2444, or visit www.heber-springs.com. But even if you don’t have a boat, this is worth watching in person. Admission is a $5 parking charge.
Asian Festival set
Ethnic foods, entertainment and cultural exhibits will be on display at the fifth annual Asian Festival on Saturday, July 30, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Mosaic Church, 6420 Colonel Glenn Road.
The Mosaic Church is in the former Wal-Mart Building, just west of South University Avenue. Regular admission price is $3 (children under 12 are admitted free), while an “early bird” price of $2, plus extra door prizes, is available from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. All military personnel will be admitted free of charge.
The festival will also include martial arts demonstrations, kids games, a silent auction, raffles, business and employment information and specialty retail vendors. Foods from India, Indonesia, Korea, the Philippines and Vietnam will be featured.
The event is sponsored by the Asian Pacific Resource and Cultural Center. Call 244-2490.
Get ‘Wild West’ feel
Stone Hill Ranch between Maumelle and Mayflower will be the site Friday through Sunday, July 29-31, for the annual Chuckwagon Race and Wild West Show family festival, sponsored by the Arkansas Chuckwagon Racing Association.
The ranch is on state Highway 365 just five miles west of exit 142 off Interstate 40 (the Morgan/Maumelle exit). Chuckwagon racers from across the country will compete for prizes in a variety of classes and wagon styles. Spectators will enjoy Wild West exhibitions, trail rides, great wagon trail style foods, vendors and the chance to compete in Western-style activities such as beating the clock on a mechanical bull or, for the kids, participating in rodeo events. Camp set-up begins Friday morning and an open parade through Stone Hill Ranch will commence in the evening, followed by live music. Chuckwagon races are scheduled from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Wild West Shows begin at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. each day. The Cowboy RoundUp at 7:30 p.m. Saturday will feature live music and an awards ceremony.
Camping is available over 700 acres of Stone Hill Ranch. A three-day admission ticket is $10. Call 416-8267 or visit www.WagonRacing.com.
Altus grape celebration
The tiny town of Altus will celebrate the approaching grape harvest with its 22nd annual Grape Festival Friday and Saturday, July 29-30, in the downtown City Park on U.S. Highway 64. The “Celebration of the Grape” will run from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Saturday. A juried arts and crafts show is expected to draw artists from surrounding states. Street dances are scheduled both nights, along with several grape stomps –- some for the public and some with celebrities. The Bacchus Look-Alike contest, an amateur wine-making contest (entries by 11 a.m. Saturday) and a grape pie-eating contest are a couple of the traditional fun events, and fresh table grapes will be for sale and wine samples will be offered by the area wineries. Festival-goers can win a Wine Country Get-Away price on Saturday. The Cummins Prison Band provides music on Friday, while Saturday’s live music schedule features everything from polka to bluegrass to rock to country. Call 479-468-4684.
Twisters dust off season; concert follows game
The Arkansas Twisters indoor football team will conclude its home schedule by entertaining the Amarillo Dusters on Saturday, July 30, at Alltel Arena. Doors open at 6 p.m. and kickoff is at 7:05 p.m. The first 1,000 fans will receive an autographed football, and country singer Rebecca Lynn Howard will conclude the night with a post-game concert.
Tickets start at $10 for the upper deck, $17 for the end zone and $21 for the lower bowl, with discounts for children under 12, seniors over 65, college students, military, police, fire and EMT with valid ID. Children under 2 are admitted free. Call 975-5425.
Learn about many of the Little Rock Zoo’s inhabitants during the Keeper Chats sessions at the Zoo on Saturday and Sunday, July 30-31. The keepers will be discussing the big cats at 11:30 a.m. at the Big Cats exhibit. They’ll reveal all you want to know about the capybara at 1 p.m. at the small carnivores exhibit area. Great Apes will be discussed at their home at 1:30 p.m. The giraffe will get the attention at 2 p.m. at the giraffe exhibit, and bears will be the subject at 3:30 p.m. at the bear exhibit.
Admission to the zoo is $6 for non-member adults and $4 for children. Call 666-2406.
Top show cars, trucks, hot rods and motorcycles from around the region will be on display at the fourth annual Arkansas Super Car Show at the Arkansas State Fairgrounds’ Hall of Industry building on Sunday, July 31. Gates open at 11:30 a.m. A kids fun zone and other family friendly entertainment is planned, along with door prizes. Food and drink will be available, and $500 is up for grabs in a bikini contest. Admission is $10 for adults and $7 for children 12 and under. Call 372-8341. For entries, call 960-5395 or 562-1495. Also visit www.arkansassupercarshow.com.