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Nov/Dec 2017 Issue


Enjoy the great outdoors during Green Friday events

If the crowded stores, short tempers, congested traffic, and inevitable headaches of Black Friday don’t appeal to you, create some enjoyable memories instead in the great outdoors during Green Friday in Arkansas.

Held on Nov. 24, the same day as Black Friday — which is the day after Thanksgiving when many people converge on shopping centers — Green Friday offers an alternative and relaxing experience. More than a dozen Arkansas State Parks are offering hikes, craft activities, living history presentations, and more to reconnect visitors to nature. The rest of the parks are simply welcoming guests to explore the outdoors.

For instance, guided hikes will be offered throughout the day on some of the most beautiful trails of Pinnacle Mountain State Park in Little Rock. More than 40 miles of trails lead visitors into bottomland hardwood forests, along cypress-lined rivers, and atop wind-swept mountaintops. Cruises also will be offered on Lake Maumelle to spot wintering bald eagles.

At Petit Jean State Park near Morrilton, visitors can experience a primitive camp and learn about some of the survival skills used by Arkansas pioneers during the 20th annual Mountain Rendezvous, which will be held from Nov. 24–26. Demonstrations will include muzzle loading rifles, tomahawk throwing, and more.

Visitors also can learn some new skills at Cossatot River State Park-Natural Area near Wickes in southwest Arkansas. In a cast iron pie pan workshop, participants will discover how to care for and cook with cast iron. In addition, guests can make animal track soaps.
And if you feel like you’re missing out on shopping that day, all of the Arkansas State Park gift shops offer apparel, crafts, and outdoorsy gifts.

Visit and enter Nov. 24 in the Events Search section for more details.

Liverpool Legends

At Pinnacle Mountain State Park in Little Rock, visitors can venture out on their own on Green Friday. Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism


Grammy Museum celebrates blues and pop icons

The Grammy Museum® in Cleveland, Miss., is celebrating the King of Boogie and the King of Pop with two exhibitions this winter.

Honoring John Lee Hooker and Michael Jackson, the exhibits commemorate the two performers who left an indelible imprint on blues and pop music respectively, and who continue to influence today’s musicians.

“John Lee Hooker: King of the Boogie” pays tribute to the centennial anniversary of Hooker, the legendary Grammy- winning bluesman. On display through Feb. 18, 2018, the exhibit features rare recordings, photos, instruments, and one-of-a-kind artifacts that examine Hooker’s legacy from a career that spanned five decades.

Born near Clarksdale, Miss., in 1917 to a sharecropping family, Hooker remains a foundational figure in the development of modern music, having influenced great rock bands like the Rolling Stones, the Animals, and ZZ Top with his simple, yet deeply effective style.

Also on display through Feb. 18 is an exhibit on Jackson and the 35th anniversary of his landmark album, “Thriller,” which is the best-selling album of all time. “Thriller” won Jackson eight Grammy Awards in 1984, including Album of the Year.

Items on display include a “Billie Jean” jacket that Jackson wore while performing, and an autographed “Beat It” jacket.

The museum is located at 800 W. Sunflower Road. Hours are from 10 a.m.–5:30 p.m. from Monday through Saturday, and noon–5:30 p.m. on Sunday. Admission is $12 for adults; $10 for seniors and active military; $6 for children 6–18 and college students with I.D.; and free for children 5 and under.

Call (662) 441-0100 for details or visit


The John Lee Hooker exhibit features photos, instruments, and other artifacts. Grammy Museum Mississippi


Knock Knock Museum is a hit with children

The new Knock Knock Children’s Museum in Baton Rouge, La., is the area’s first museum to provide an engaging space for children under 8 that supports early development through play, and its toddler center is already receiving national accolades.

The museum features 18 hands-on, fun-filled interactive exhibits called “learning zones” designed to stimulate young minds in a playful environment. Highlights include the Bubble Playground, a space where children explore science and math with bubbles; Storybook Climber, a storybook tower where kids climb through their favorite books; and All Hands On Deck, a virtual tour that teaches children to help a pelican fly and power a boat.

Located at 1900 Dalrymple Drive, the museum sits atop Knock Knock Hill overlooking Baton Rouge’s City-Brooks Community Park. The museum is open from 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, with extended hours to 7 p.m. on Thursday; 9 a.m.–5 p.m. on Saturday; and 11 a.m.–5 p.m. on Sunday.

On-site parking is available. Overflow parking is available at Picnic Hill at City-Brooks Community Park, located at 1515 Dalrymple Drive. Shuttles run from Picnic Hill on Saturdays and Sundays. General admission is $14 and free for children 12 months and younger.

For more information, visit or call (225) 388-3090.


The Bubble Playground offers lessons on science and math. Brian Baiamonte/Knock Knock Museum


Dive into the Shreveport Aquarium

The new Shreveport Aquarium has transformed the Barnwell Center on the riverfront into an underwater world of wonder featuring fish from local waterways and from oceans around the globe.

Visitors to the Shreveport, La., attraction will travel through brightly colored coral reefs, creaking shipwrecks, dark ocean caves and tropical lagoons. They’ll marvel at the diversity of aquatic life in the aquarium’s freshwater domed gallery as they travel to the deep to visit the strange creatures that lurk in the dark.

Among the aquarium’s special features is “Dome on the Bayou,” an exhibit featuring flora and fauna from northwest Louisiana, including fish from the Red River. Also, touch tanks will offer close encounters with sharks, rays, jellyfish, and a host of other cool creatures.

The aquarium also fea-tures SALT Restaurant, Shreveport’s only riverfront dining experience serving only sustainably caught seafood.

The aquarium is located at 601 Clyde Fant Parkway. Tickets are $12 for adults and teens 16 and older, $8 for youth 3–15, and free for infants 2 and under. Members receive $3 off the price of adult tickets when they show their AAA card.

The aquarium was scheduled to open in early October after the press deadline for this issue. Call ahead for hours of operation.

For more information, visit or call (318) 383-0601.


Upwards of 30,000 blues fans attend the festival. Mississippi Action for Community Education, Inc.


Bluegrass harmonies soar in Arkansas

With its roots in rural America, bluegrass tells stories of life, work, love, and disappointment, and there will be plenty of stories to tell at this year’s Mountain View Bluegrass Festival.

In its 15th year, the festival will feature three days of authentic bluegrass music with about 10 bands converging on Mountain View in north-central Arkansas. Fans will enjoy high lonesome harmonies, soaring vocals, and driving beats at a host of performances at the Ozark Folk Center Auditorium from Nov. 9–11.

The festival kicks off on Thursday evening with an All-Gospel Show. Starting at 6 p.m., five groups will perform, including the Farm Hands Quartet, which was named bluegrass music’s Gospel Band of the Year at the 2015 Bluegrass Music Awards.

Then on Friday and Saturday, matinee and evening shows will feature veteran performers being joined by relative newcomers.

Tickets are $20 for the Thursday show and $25 each for the Friday and Saturday shows. Premium seats are additional. Fans can select their seats when purchasing online.

For more details or to order tickets, call (870) 501-5105 or click on

Credit cards are accepted for online orders only.




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