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Pubs, parties and readings 

Arkansas Literary Festival runs through Sunday.

The Arkansas Times and Mallard’s Bar at the Peabody Hotel will welcome all comers for Pub or Perish, part of a plethora of events at the third annual Arkansas Literary Festival this weekend.

A full schedule of the downtown festival’s events can be found on page 42.

Events include lunch with “Dr. BBQ” Ray Lampke on Friday, fancy soirees Friday and Saturday, and readings and music from Friday through Sunday at the Main Library and other locations.

The free-admission Pub or Perish started as a pub crawl at the first festival, but it’s been pared down to one location, Mallard’s, for readings by special guest festival authors and local writers Philip Martin of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette and Joy Ritchey, a free-lancer and comedic essayist for several publications known for her “Girl Arkansas” media blog. There will be an open mic for readings as well in fiction, poetry and essays.

Pub or Perish begins at 7 p.m. Saturday.

Among other big events is the Chapter and Verse Soiree with festival authors starting at 6 p.m. Friday at the Junior League of Little Rock Building (formerly the Woman’s City Club), 401 S. Scott St. The Boondogs, a local alternative band, will provide entertainment, and the menu will feature hors d’oeuvres and cocktails, while partygoers can bid on literary treasures in the silent auction. Books will be available for purchase and to be signed by the featured authors. Tickets are $50 per person or in a $150 combination package with Saturday night’s “A Novel Affair,” an exclusive martini reception at River Market Artspace.

“A Novel Affair,” an intimate cocktail party with donors, authors and others involved with the festival, begins at 6 p.m., and individual tickets are $100 per person.

Lunch with Dr. BBQ begins at 11:30 a.m. Friday at the River Market east pavilion. Whole Hog Barbecue will provide pork or beef with three sides, drinks and dessert, while Ray Lampe will share his award-winning tips and cooking tricks. His book, “BBQ All Year Round,” will be available for purchase and can be autographed. Tickets for the lunch are $15.

The festival’s Children’s Breakfast will be held at 9 a.m. Saturday at the Clinton Presidential Center. The environmental program features two books: “A Place for Butterflies” by Melissa Stewart and “Big Woods Bird: An Ivory-bill Story” by local author Terri Luneau and illustrator Trevor Bennett.

Also, the Junior Ranger Reading Rally is Saturday from 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the Main Library garden. The event celebrates Earth Day and National Park Week, and children of all ages will have the opportunity to become Junior Rangers. Rangers from the Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site will conduct a series of activities and games designed to enhance students’ knowledge of Little Rock and the 1957 crisis. The event is free.

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