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Main Street prepares for spring and summer events

Posted on March 13, 2019

By Tia Lyons
Staff Writer

Main Street El Dorado is readying for an active spring and summer, with its first major event of 2019 set for this weekend.

Shamrockin on the Square, a St. Patrick’s Day celebration, is set for Saturday in the Union Square District.

Registration for the Pot of Gold Poker Run will begin at 8 a.m. in the area of Washington and Elm. The first bike will head out at 9 a.m.

Beth Brumley, executive director of Main Street El Dorado, said participants may still sign up for the poker run between 8 and 9 a.m. Saturday.

Cash and prizes totaling $500 will be awarded to winners.

The entry fee is $30 and an additional $20 for passengers who play. The entry fee includes a T-shirt and five cards. Two extra cards may be purchased for $10.

To guarantee a T-shirt, registration forms had to be submitted by Feb. 27.

Games, including Baggo, for children and families will begin at noon in the Mahony parking lot.

A crawfish boil will also begin at noon. Crawfish and shrimp will be available for purchase at LaBella, 101 E. Main St.

For $5, attendees may partake in a Beer Garden, which will also open at noon.

The Emily Cole Band will provide live music for the day.

Attendees are encouraged to wear their best St. Patrick’s Day greens. The Shamrock Spirit Award will be presented to the best dressed in the crowd.

Awards for the Poker Run and Shamrock Spirit will be announced at 2 p.m.

Beth Brumley, executive director, said Tuesday that Shamrockn’ is a retail promotion that is designed to increase foot traffic in the Union Square District.

Downtown businesses will offer specials, discounts and drawings to coincide with Shamrockin’.

Main Street is also encouraging visitors to stick around for Improv Night, which will follow Shamrockin’ at 8 p.m. on the second floor of Main Street Pizza at Main and Jackson.

The event will be geared toward the 18 and older crowd and includes a $10 cover charge, which includes a pizza bar. A cash bar will also be available.

During a Main Street board meeting Tuesday, Brumley said the Downtown Business Association held its first First Thursday event on March 7.

The DBA, with assistance from Main Street, launched First Thursday last year, with downtown businesses remaining open until 7 p.m. and offering sidewalk sales, giveaways, drinks and snacks, music and more.

The event serves as a lead-in for Thursday Night Live, a weekly live music show that is presented by MAD.

Brumley said downtown merchants are hoping that crowds will pick up for First Thursday as the seasons change into spring and summer.

She said cold, rainy weather and the end of Daylight Saving Time affected the event during the fall and winter and that some merchants were still adjusting to remaining open for the later hour.

“They’re already looking ahead to April. First Thursday will be April 1 and they’re looking at some exciting and unique ideas,” Brumley said.

Other events

Brumley said tickets are on sale for the Big Daddy Weave concert, which will be held at 7 p.m. April 16 in the El Dorado Municipal Auditorium.

The contemporary Christian music show is being presented by West Side Christian Church and co-produced by Main Street and Transparent Productions, a Californiabased Christian concert promotion company.

Monthly summer events will begin in June with Showdown at Sunset, the Summer Concert Series, Music on Main and Grill Wars.

The first installment of the events is set for June 22 with the other installments following on July 27 and Aug. 24.

Brumley said the Main Street is partnering with MAD to fill the day with activities to encourage visitors to spend a full day in El Dorado and possibly stay overnight.

She said the South Arkansas Historical Preservation Society will sponsor Showdown, the long-running reenactment that depicts a feud between the Tucker and Parnell families in El Dorado.

The feud resulted in a gunfight that took place in 1902 in the downtown square and left three people dead.

PJ’s Coffee, the El Dorado Creamery and Murphy USA are sponsoring the other summer activities, including the new Music on Main addition.

Brumley said live music will begin at 4:30 p.m. to segue into the evening performance of Showdown.

An encore performance of Showdown will also be staged in early September during the Airstream on Main event.

Hosted in El Dorado for the first time in 2018, airstreamers from around the region will return to El Dorado Sept. 3 – 5 to camp out downtown.

Last year, Main Street partnered with the Arkansas Razorback Airstream Club to host the event as a part of a nationwide campaign to stage Main Street/urban camping events across the country to promote the Airstream lifestyle and to help stimulate economic development and vitality in small-town America.

Nearly 30 Airstreams from Arkansas, Louisiana, Texas, Oklahoma and Georgia camped out downtown for three days.

During their threeday stay in El Dorado, airstreamers raised more than $800 for Relay for Life of Union County and donated canned goods to local, charitable food pantries.

Brumley said this year’s event will have a western theme and the Razorback club has requested an encore performance of Showdown.

She said Airstreams will also be held in conjunction with the SouthArk Outdoor Expo, which is set for Sept. 7.

For more information about any of the upcoming events, call the Main Street office at 870-862-4747 or visit the MSE Facebook page.

Tia Lyons may be contacted at 870-862-6611 or