Wednesday, April 26, 2017

TOP STORY >> Cabot hosts huge events on weekend

Cabot will host its 15th annual Strawberry Festival and a huge Civil War re-enactment this weekend.

Strawberry Festival will be held downtown on Friday and Saturday. Admission is free.

The Civil War re-enactment will be held Friday through Sunday at Changepoint Church, 3525 Hwy. 89. Organizers expect about 400 re-enactors and 3,000 spectators to attend.

Strawberry Festival starts at 6 p.m. Friday with food trucks and vendors. Local musicians take the stage with Justin Bratcher performing at 6 p.m. and Luke Williams at 7 p.m. Both are from Beebe.

The carnival will run from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Thursday and Friday and 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturday.

On Saturday the Run for the Berries, bubble-run begins at 7 a.m. behind the Fred’s store. It is a one-mile or a 5K timed race.

The Strawberry Festival kicks off at 9 a.m. It will have 100 vendors, 45 more than last year. The city will block the street in front of the police department giving more room for vendors. Eight food trucks will be offering items from barbecue to home cooking. The Junior Auxiliary will be selling strawberry shortcakes and strawberry lemonades.

Barnhill Orchards, Cabot Patch and Holland Bottom Farm will be selling strawberries. It’s best to arrive before noon because they sell out fast.

“A new thing for this year is the return of the Berry Patch Kids Zone. It is $5 entry per child for all day. There will be face painting, bounce houses, goodie bags and a Build-A-Pet with a custom Strawberry Festival shirt,” said Amy Hughes, president of the Junior Auxiliary, which organizes the festival.

The Miss Strawberry Fest pageant will be at 10 a.m. at the Freshman Academy. Contestants can register online at or at the event.

Saturday’s entertainment stage will feature school acts and local performing arts during the day. The Zac Dunlap Band of Little Rock plays from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Closing out the festival is country musician Barrett Baber of Nashville, Tenn., who will perform from 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.

The Marion native was a finalist on “The Voice” season nine. Baber released his album “A Room Full of Fighters” last year.

Proceeds from the festival fund Junior Auxiliary projects for the children of Cabot.

The Cabot Civil War Muster event will be led by re-enactors from the 1st Michigan Battery G.

Most of the re-enactors will come from around Arkansas, but many will travel from other states.

School groups are invited to attend the events to see what life was like in the 1860s.

“There will be historical demonstrations where the students will be able to stop and observe, touch and hear stories about the American Civil War. Children will be able to meet with soldiers from the infantry, artillery, cavalry and engineers, as well as field hospital personnel. They will also be able to see blacksmiths performing their trades, visit sutlers (Civil War-ear peddlers who sold their goods to soldiers) and check out local Civil War artifacts that will be on display,” the announcement said.

The activities on Saturday and Sunday will include battle re-enactments of the campaign for Little Rock, which was fought along the old highway from Little Rock to Searcy that runs directly behind Changepoint Church.

“On Saturday, we will be representing the Battle of Reed’s Bridge, which was the Confederate victory that thwarted the advance of the Union Army near Jackson-ville. Sunday’s battle will recreate the Battle of Fourche Bayou, which ended with the Union gaining control of the capital of Little Rock,” the group said.

These battles will take place at 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. In addition, there will be an artillery night fire Saturday evening at dusk on the main battlefield. Camps are open from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Friday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday and noon-4 p.m. Sunday.

“Our sutlers are merchants that sell Civil War era goods, uniforms, dresses and novelties and are traveling from as far away as Florida to be with us for this event. We will also have local food vendors on site with a variety of favorite foods,” the announcement said.

For more information, visit, email or view the group’s Facebook page, @1stMichiganBatteryG.