Tuesday, September 29, 2015

TOP STORY >> FestiVille this weekend in Jacksonville

Leader staff writer

The third annual Jacksonville FestiVille kicks off Friday and runs through Saturday evening at Dupree Park off Redmond Road.

And it’s sure to be smokin’ hot this year, with the Memphis Barbecue Network-sponsored Grill In The Ville BBQ Competition to be held Saturday. Judging of three categories — chicken, beef and pork — starts at 3 p.m.

Several teams will compete for cash, trophies and bragging rights, according to Marlo Jackson of the city’s Parks and Recreation Department.

She said the grand champion, who will have to enter every category, will take home $200.

First place in each category comes with $125. Second-place winners walk away with $75, and there’s a $50 cash prize for those who place third.

The cookoff is a “patio” level contest, Jackson explained, adding that the network provided judges. It will not qualify teams for larger competitions.

She said organizers hope to build participation and “get their feet wet” with a laid-back sort of affair.

The highlights of this weekend are headliners Brandon Farris, a Christian rap artist, who lives in Florida but is from Pine Bluff, (according to his Facebook page), and Jacksonville, Ark.-based Eddie and the Defiantz.

Farris will perform from 6 until 7:30 p.m. Friday, with Eddie and the Defiantz taking the stage from 7 until 8 p.m. Saturday.

Jackson emphasized that FestiVille is “very community-based” with free admission, free parking and free activities.

She said, “Come for a fun weekend with the family.”

Mayor Gary Fletcher added, “I think it’s going to be one of the biggest and most joyful events we’re going to have...A lot of work went into it...I’ve seen it develop into a first-rate fair.”
He also said Monday that vendors were already arriving and good weather was expected.

Other special FestiVille events include the British Motor Club of Arkansas car show from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. Saturday, helicopter rides at 1 p.m. Saturday, Peace, Love and Run 5K from 8 until 11 a.m. Saturday (the cost is $25 plus a $2.50 sign-up fee), petting zoo and pony rides from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. Saturday, police K9 demo at 3:30 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m. Saturday and the volleyball “Draw” tournament. The cost is $10 per player. Signup is from 8:30 till 8:55 a.m. Saturday, and games are 9:15 a.m. until 6 p.m. Saturday at softball field No. 4.

Also, carnival rides and games will run from 6 until 10 p.m. Thursday, 4 until 10 p.m. Friday and 9 a.m. until 10 p.m. Saturday. Armbands are $15 Thursday and $20 Saturday, when they can be used from 6 until 10 p.m.

Tickets are $1 each, $20 for 22 and $40 for 45. All rides require more than one ticket.

Entertainment includes the following on the A&P Stage:

• Redefined Reflection from 4 until 4:45 p.m. Friday,

• Cliff Hudson Band from 5 until 5:45 p.m. Friday,

• Beka DeSantis from 1 until 1:45 p.m. Saturday,

• Fetts Folly from 2 until 2:45 p.m. Saturday,

• Wreckless Endeavor from 3 until 3:45 p.m. Saturday,

• Pamela K. Ward and the Last Call Orchestra from 4 until 4:45 p.m. Saturday,

• Down and Dirty from 5 until 5:45 p.m. Saturday

• and Big Chuk from 6 until 6:45 p.m. Saturday.

On the Pavilion Stage, there will be:

• Lighthouse Charter School performances from 4 until 5 p.m. Friday,

• Victory Praise and Worship Church performances from 5:15 until 5:45 p.m. Friday and 12:15 until 12:45 p.m. Saturday;

• New Livin’ Quartet from 6 until 7 p.m. Friday,

• Announcement of 5K winners from 9 until 9:15 a.m. Saturday,

• Senior center’s beanbag baseball from 9:30 until 11 a.m.

• Central Arkansas Performing Arts Academy from 11:30 a.m. till noon,

• Miss Teen Greater Jacksonville Bethany Kasper, Miss Greater Jacksonville Elise Jones and Sharon’s Dance and Gymnastics performances from 1 until 2 p.m.;

• Jacksonville High School cheerleaders from 2:15 until 2:45 p.m.;

• Huff and Puff gym performances from 3 until 4 p.m.;

• Mr. and Miss Poolside Cutie Contest winners from 4:15 until 4:30 p.m.;

• Jacksonville Middle School and Jacksonville-North Pulaski bands from 4:30 until 5 p.m.;

• and JHS Choir from 5 until 5:30 p.m.

Admission to the kids area, run by McArthur Assembly of God, is free. There will be inflatables, face painting and balloon art.

The Jacksonville Animal Shelter is participating in FestiVille as well. There will be a rock wall, photo booth and fingerprinting, too.