The Times Dispatch
Walnut Ridge, AR
Gretchen Hunt, Editor
With entertainment running all day on three different stages and a host of events all across downtown Walnut Ridge, the second annual Beatles at the Ridge festival on Sept. 15th promises to be an unprecedented celebration.
“Beatles at the Ridge is shaping up to be something like we haven’t seen before in Walnut Ridge. The performers and the activities that are planned for Sept. 15th are generating interest from literally all across the country,” said Charles Snapp of the festival planning committee.
This year’s Beatles at the Ridge will incorporate the successful Iron Mountain Festival, including its traditional entertainment and activities on the north side of Main Street in Walnut Ridge.
The Iron Mountain Stage will feature entertainment by local performers and studios all day long, culminating with the Nuttin’ but Talent Show, sponsored by Walmart, at 2:10 p.m.
“The Iron Mountain Festival has had a very devoted crowd, and I think they are going to love everything that’s happening with Beatles at the Ridge. We have the things we have all enjoyed the past several years, and much more on top of that,” said Lorra Whitmire, the festival committee chairperson.
Beatles Park on Abbey Road will also host an array of performers during the festival, including the Murphy Bluegrass Boys at 10 a.m., Hairy Larry and George at 11:30 a.m., Blue Wave at 1:00 p.m. and the Bottom of the Barrel Boys at 2:30 p.m.
The Arkansas Razorbacks football game with Alabama will be featured on a giant TV screen near Beatles Park, as well. Also slated for the Abbey Road area are a juried arts & crafts show and a car show featuring Volkswagen Beetles and VW buses.
Later in the afternoon, Beatles at the Ridge will feature the return of the Liverpool Legends, who drew a huge crowd at last year’s festival. The Beatles tribute band from Branson, Mo., will perform on the Rock ‘n’ Roll Highway Stage at 4 p.m. Sun Studios recording artist Sonny Burgess & the Legendary Pacers will take the stage at 7 p.m., and Stan Perkins, son of rockabilly legend Carl Perkins, will perform at 8 p.m.
The Rock ‘n’ Roll Highway Stage will be set up across Highway 67 from the Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce office. As part of the celebration, the Guitar Walk at Cavenaugh Park will be officially unveiled before Burgess performs Saturday evening.
“We believe Guitar Walk at Cavenaugh Park will be an incredible addition to downtown Walnut Ridge, and it’s perfectly fitting that Sonny, who is a rock ‘n’ roll legend himself, would help cut the ribbon,” Snapp said.
Vendors will be set up all across the festival, selling food, crafts, souvenirs and other items.
Among the vendors will be Apple Frame Studios of Illinois, which features hand-crafted and framed music photos, posters, lithographs and serigraphs, collectibles and original memorabilia from The Beatles, Johnny Cash, Elvis and The Rolling Stones and others.
“After seeing Apple Frame Studio’s huge display at a recent Beatles memorabilia show and sale in Chicago, I’m very pleased they’re going to be a part of this year’s Beatles at the Ridge music festival,” said Snapp.
The festival gets an early start on Friday, Sept. 14, when a Beatles sing-along will be held at the giant TV, next to Beatles Park. The sing-along begins at 7p.m.
For a complete schedule of events and other festival information, visit www.beatlesattheridge.com.