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Bugs Bands & Bikes Schedules Additional Events

Posted on April 11, 2012

Originally published in The El Dorado News-Times on April 12, 2012.

By: Tia Lyons

The list of activities continues to grow for the 2012 Bugs Bands and Bikes Festival, which is set for May 11 and 12 in Union Square District, downtown El Dorado.

Members of the Main Street El Dorado board of directors discussed plans for the event during a regular meeting on Tuesday and learned that more activities have been added to the lineup ? including one that could potentially bring 300 additional people to the festival.

"We?re a month out and we?re pretty much rocking and rolling,? said Beth Chadwick, president of the MSE board.

BBB will feature a concert by the Grammy-Award winning Kentucky Headhunters and appearances by festival grand marshals Jay Paul and RJ Molinere from the popular History Channel reality show, "Swamp People.?

The free festival kicks off with crawfish and beer sales at 5 p.m. on May 11. The evening will also include live music, the Miss Biker Babe Pageant, and a performance by the Kentucky Headhunters.

The group mixes rock, blues, country, jazz, bluegrass, rockabilly and other "roots music? to come up with their signature sound.

The Headhunters released their debut album "Pickin? on Nashville? in 1989. The album sold four million copies and spawned four Top 40 hits, including "Walk Softly on This Heart of Mine,? "Oh Lonesome Me,? "Dumas Walker,? and "Rock & Roll Angel.?

The group won several awards off the success of that album, including a Grammy for Best Country Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal, Academy of Country Music award for Top New Vocal Duo or Group, and a Country Music Association award for Album of the Year and Vocal Group of the Year.

The group has released 11 albums, with the latest one, "Kentucky Headhunters Live,? dropping in 2009.

New to BBB this year will be a Frog Giggin? Tournament hosted by Riverbank Products, producer of the NightRunner spotlight.

Mark Givens, executive director of MSE, said MSE is providing space for Riverbank to set up for registration and weigh-ins for the tournament.

Registration is scheduled from 5:30 until 6 p.m. on Friday at the Rialto Theater.

Reading from a news release from Riverbank, Givens said the tournament was to have been held at Felsenthal National Wildlife Refuge, but it was moved to coincide with BBB.

"Bugs, Bands and Bikes is a great event for the whole family and so is frog giggin?,? said Chris Porter, president of Riverbank, which is based in El Dorado.

"South Arkansas and North Louisiana have an abundance of natural resources that make limiting the tournament to one specific area a shame,? Porter continued. "Now teams can come enjoy a crawfish dinner and hear some good music before heading out to their favorite frog giggin? honey hole.?

"We?re going to partner with them to handle 300 people. We?re giving them space,? Givens said during the MSE board meeting.

The tournament will be limited to 100, three member teams, and each team may use only one boat.

The total bag limit per team is 10 frogs, and the biggest frog and most bag-weight will receive payouts, which will increase by 25 percent if a child younger than 16 years old is a member of an eligible team.

Immediately following registration and check-in runs for the tournament, The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission will offer a brief presentation on nighttime boating safety.

The entry fee is $60 per team until May 1, and the fee will go up to $75 after May 1.

To register, complete an entry form at and mail the form, along with a check for the entry fee, to: Riverbank Products, 33391 Haynesville Hwy., or visit one of the event sponsors, including Art Attack Design, Classic Marble and Granite and Simmons First Bank.

For more information, call Porter at 479-435-8774.

Registration for the BBB Main Street Poker Run will begin at 8 a.m. on May 12 at El Dorado Glass and Mirror, 117 Locust. The run will start at 9 a.m.

Cash prizes for the event are $500 for first place, $200 for second place, and $100 for third place.

Weigh-in for the frog gigging tournament will be held at 9 a.m. on the main stage, which will be set up at the intersection of Jefferson and Hill.

Givens said MSE is renting a larger, hydraulic stage from the city of Monroe, La.

Doors will open at 12:30 p.m. for the Swamp People VIP Experience at the Rialto.

For $10, visitors can meet the Molineres, get autographs, ask questions, and take pictures with them against a professional photography backdrop.

VIP tickets are limited to 360, Givens said, explaining that?s the seat-capacity for the Rialto.

Chadwick said 150 VIP tickets had been sold by Tuesday, thanks to a posting on MSE?s Facebook page.

Givens said visitors will also have the opportunity meet the Molineres outside on a first-come, first-serve basis.

An arm wrestling tournament will also be held during the festival. The fee for the tournament is $5, and the winner will take on RJ Molinere, a World Arm Wrestling champion.

Registration for Rev?s Cycle Baggo Tournament will begin at 11 a.m. on May 12 and will include a $10 registration fee.

To make BBB more family-friendly, Chadwick said the event will feature a Kidz Zone with a rock climbing wall and inflatables.

Parents can purchase a $5 wristband for unlimited access to the inflatables for their children.

"We?re trying to cover the whole family,? she said.

There will also be different types of food vendors to offer alternatives to crawfish, MSE board members said.

For more information about BBB or to pre-register for events, call the MSE office at 862-4747 or visit

In other business:

? Givens reminded the group that MusicFest 2011 was named Festival of the Year by the Arkansas Festivals and Events Association.

The award was announced last month during the AFEA annual conference in Rogers.

It was the third FOY win for MusicFest. MSE took home the award in 2007 and 2009, making MusicFest the first Arkansas festival to receive the award three times.

"I found out it was also the first the time awards were chosen completely by (judges) outside of the state, making it completely unbiased,? Givens said.

MSE picked up several other ALFiE (Arkansans Love Festivals and Events) awards during the conference.

? Givens reported that the St. Patrick?s Day Celebration, which was held on March 17, went well, "despite iffy weather.?

A Magnolia man, Curtis Wincher, won $500 in a Pot-o-Gold promotion, and Shelley?s Shoes won first place in a window display contest.

Backwoods Art and Frame took second place for its window display and Merle Norman received the nod for third place. The winners received prizes of $250, $150, and $100 respectively.

The judge for the contest was Susan Shaddox, interior design consultant for Main Street Arkansas.

Givens and Chadwick showed appreciation for MSE volunteers who helped to put up and take down green lights that were on display throughout downtown for the St. Patrick?s Day event.

? Keith Atkins, board treasurer, reported that the MSE office is now set up to accept credit card payments to reserve tickets for its events.

? Givens announced that MSE has been offered the opportunity for a concert with Ronnie Dunn in June at the El Dorado Municipal Auditorium.

The country music singer/songwriter, half of the duo Brooks and Dunn, is a former El Dorado resident, and Givens said he would like to bill the show as an "El Dorado homecoming? for Dunn if it is scheduled.

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