It's the 35th year for the event billed as Arkansas' largest festival. It's being held over the Memorial Day weekend (May 25-27) along the Arkansas River in downtown Little Rock and North Little Rock.
Riverfest 2012 will feature top headline musical acts, plus the Verizon Rule the Air Flippenout Double Trampoline Show, KidZone Playtime Promenade, Super Retriever Series Crown Championship, Dallas Cowboys on Tour, Monster Stunt BMX Bike Team, and many exciting extras at no additional cost.
Nationally known headline acts include Gov't Mule, Staind, Neon Trees, Boyz II Men, Lynyrd Skynyrd, MUTEMATH, Chevelle, Third Eye Blind, Little Big Town, Joe Walsh, B.o.B., Snoop Dogg, and Arkansas favorite Trout Fishing in America. The Stickyz Music Tent will feature local and regional musical acts in a club-like setting. Musical acts throughout the festival will include classic rock, rap, country, modern rock, soul, reggae and more. A complete lineup of musical acts (including times and locations) is available on the Riverfest website (click here).
"The 2012 Riverfest event marks the 35th anniversary of the state's largest family festival. Once again, it will be packed with outstanding musical acts, fun activities for the whole family, and tons of popular festival food options," said DeAnna Korte, Riverfest executive director. "Nearly 260,000 people attended last year's festival, and we expect another great crowd this year. Riverfest continues to be an incredible, family-affordable entertainment value that delivers impact to its sponsors and festival-goers, while making a major economic impact on the community."
A limited number of advance tickets for Riverfest 2012 are now on sale on a first-come, first-serve basis at 34 participating Walgreens stores. Discounted tickets are $20 for three days' admission - $10 off the cost of the $30 gate admission - while supplies last. Walgreens charges a $.75 per ticket processing fee on all tickets sold at their locations. The $20 adult advance ticket will be exchanged at any gateway for an IBERIABANK wristband that can be used for admission into all three days of the festival. The wristband must be worn for the entire three days of the event for re-admittance. Children 6 and under are free.
Quantities are limited for advance tickets, so the public is encouraged to act fast. Click here for a list of Walgreens store locations selling this year's tickets. Three-day passes sold at the gate will be $30.
Tickets will also be sold online (click here) for the 2009 gate price of $25.
Shuttle service to Riverfest from both Little Rock and North Little Rock locations will again be available this year. A $3 round-trip shuttle ride (or $2 with a non-perishable food item) will take festivalgoers to Riverfest from the east side of War Memorial Stadium at Markham and Van Buren streets and the north parking lot of North Little Rock High's West Campus at 22nd and Main streets.
Verizon will showcase handsets and its 4G LTE network -- the only one in Arkansas. The Verizon Street Team will demo the latest tablets, let visitors play games and give attendees the opportunity to win prizes. Festivalgoers will perform on the big screen on the mic at the Verizon Karaoke experience and see the Verizon Rule the Air Trampoline Team soar to new heights in the double trampoline show featuring Olympic Medalists, National Champions and other top-tier show professionals on snowboards and skis.
During the three-day event, Riverfest will again partner with Walmart to collect non-perishable food items as part of the "Food Drive at Riverfest." All food collected will benefit the Arkansas Foodbank and be distributed throughout the state of Arkansas. Festivalgoers are encouraged to bring a non-perishable food item to a festival gateway and receive a coupon for a Coca-Cola product on-site and/or also bring food items to either shuttle stop and receive $1 off their shuttle ride.
For the fourth consecutive year, the Riverfest Recycles program will encourage festivalgoers to keep recyclable plastic bottles and aluminum cans out of landfills by collecting them from the festival grounds. Attendees can pick up a collection bag at the Riverfest Recycles Tent, located on the walkway behind the Museum Center between the Riverfest Amphitheatre and the Clinton Library. While enjoying Riverfest, attendees are encouraged to fill their collection bags with at least 20 recyclable items and return it to the Riverfest Recycles Tent for a free Riverfest Recycles T-shirt, hat and other goodies (while supplies last). As part of the goal to surpass prior recycling efforts, Riverfest Recycles' target is to recycle enough aluminum cans to grant a wish through the Make-a-Wish Foundation of the Mid-South. In order to achieve this lofty goal, nearly every can will have to be recycled. Attendees are encouraged to stop by the Riverfest Recycles tent during the festival to check out the "Can-O-Meter" and see how close Riverfest is to reaching this goal.
A new attraction this year is the Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas FamilyZone, offering free entertainment on the grounds of the Clinton Presidential Center and Heifer International. Activities and entertainment in the FamilyZone include the Yarnell's Family Stage, Super Retriever Crown Championship Series, Weenie Dog Derby, Soccer Collies, The Great Arkansas Talent Search, Arkansas Arts Center ArtMobile, Arkansas Renewable Energy, and much more.
The Arkansas Select Buick GMC Dealers KidZone Musical Stage boasts a variety of family-friendly acts, including The Kazoobie Kazoo Show with Rick Hubbard, The Doo Dads, ventriloquist Wayne Francis, and Brian and Terri Kinder - Kindersongs. Arkansas favorite Trout Fishing in America will take the stage at 8 p.m. on Sunday, May 27. The Yarnell's Family Stage will feature popular acts, such as the Jesse White Tumblers and the Kenya Safari Acrobats. The Riverfest Fireworks display will be shot in memory of Jennings Osborne at 9 p.m. on Sunday, May 27, prior to headline acts Joe Walsh and Snoop Dogg.
Other notable Riverfest attractions this year include:
- Super Retriever Series Super Dock Championship, with the champions crowned on Sunday evening
- Acxiom International Village, celebrating "Festivals of the World," with arts, crafts, interactive activities, music and dance from Brazil, Germany, the United States, Japan, Spain and Mexico.
- Free rides on Kum & Go pedicabs, as well as samples of Nuclear Energy Drinks and Sports Drinks in the Kum & Go Tent, with games and the chance to win prizes
- Dallas Cowboys On Tour, bringing the Cowboys experience to fans and including a Hall of Fame Museum filled with exhibits depicting the history of the Dallas Cowboys
- Monster BMX Stunt Riders, performing Friday, Saturday and Sunday at the Clinton Presidential Center
- Air Force Reserve UFC Octagon Tour, featuring a UFC Xbox station where fans can compete in the latest UFC games as well participate in physical fitness tests
- Arkansas Arts Center ArtMobile
- Flippenout Stunt Double Trampoline Show, with synchronized performance including snowboards and skis, held at the Clinton Presidential Park
- "Play Ball," featuring memorabilia from the St. Louis Cardinals, held at the Clinton Presidential Center
- Wahl "Face of the Day" Tour, a mobile barbershop that offers participants a chance to win the "Man of the Year" contest
- Witt Stephens Jr. Central Arkansas Nature Center, offering an overview of wildlife conservation by showcasing the mission of the Arkansas Game & Fish Commission
- Roving entertainers including Fritter & Ragu, Frog & Clam, The Kenya Safari Acrobats, The Jesse White Tumblers, Juggler Evan Burgess and the Mabelvale Elementary School Drum Line
- The 1st Annual "Ruff on the River" Pooch Parade. Be sure and join the 'PAWTY'! by registering your pooch online (click here). The parade starts at 3 p.m. Saturday, May 26, at the corner of River Market Avenue and Clinton Avenue and will conclude at Heifer Village with an award ceremony for the best-dressed pooch.
- 3rd Annual Rock-N-Stroll 5K Fun Run and Walk, Saturday, May 26, at the North Shore Riverwalk/Argenta District in North Little Rock