Blog Archives

Quick Picks: UCA Film Festival, Toad Suck Daze, more

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette file photo

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette file photo

04/30

The 11th annual UCA Film Festival takes place at the Ron Robinson Theater at 7 p.m. The festival highlights films in the categories of five minutes or less, music video and experimental, narrative short and documentary. The event kicked off in 2005 and highlights the work of University of Central Arkansas students. The festival is free and open to the public. For more information, click here.

05/01

Toad Suck Daze, an annual free-admission, family-friendly festival, will include arts, food, live entertainment, a rock wall, petting zoo and more on the streets of downtown Conway beginning at 3:30 p.m. Since the early 1980s, the education-centered festival has raised money to support educational initiatives and scholarships, and it hosts the World Championship Toad Races. The festival closes Sunday. Visit here for more information.

05/01

Relay for Life begins at the Clinton Presidential Center at 6 p.m. The event, part of a national effort to raise money for the American Cancer Society, honors those who have had cancer and to remember lost loved ones. So far, according to the society’s Relay for Life website, there are 33 teams and 294 participants who have raised more than … Read more >

Fourth year brings regional fame for Cornbread Fest

This post was originally published in The Scene in the Nov. 5, 2014, issue of Sync.

Tara (right) and Becca Austin (behind Tara), of Little Rock, offer their twins' Sloan and Calvin, 2, a sample of cornbread at the inaugural Cornbread Festival on S. Main Street in Little Rock in 2011. Arkansas Democrat-Gazette/RICK MCFARLAND

Tara (right) and Becca Austin (behind Tara), of Little Rock, offer their twins’ Sloan and Calvin, 2, a sample of cornbread at the inaugural Cornbread Festival on S. Main Street in Little Rock in 2011. Arkansas Democrat-Gazette/RICK MCFARLAND

When gates open at the fourth annual Arkansas Cornbread Festival on Saturday, you’ll notice a few things have changed. There’s a fancy new presenting sponsor (Landers Fiat). You now have the option to vote by text (cornbread of the future!). Cosmo, the festival’s loveable cornbread mascot, takes 3-D shape for the very first time, and will be roaming around and available for photos. And, perhaps most importantly, competition this year will revolve around amateur hour.

Instead of categorizing competition into amateur and professional groups of traditional and nontraditional, only amateurs will compete this year, while professionals are invited to showcase their recipes. And prizes for amateurs have increased — 17 teams are competing to receive $1,200 for Best of Show, $750 each for Best Traditional and Best Nontraditional, and $500 for Best Side Dish. Winners are chosen by a popular vote, but three well-known local judges … Read more >

2014 Pop Up in the Rock takes Park Hill

Blakely White (left), 5, and Benjamin Parker, 6, paint on a canvas outside Art outfitters during the 2013 Pop Up in the Rock event on Seventh Street in downtown Little Rock. Arkansas Democrat-Gazette/STATON BREIDENTHAL

Blakely White (left), 5, and Benjamin Parker, 6, paint on a canvas outside Art Outfitters during the 2013 Pop Up in the Rock event on Seventh Street in downtown Little Rock. Arkansas Democrat-Gazette/STATON BREIDENTHAL

Community development organization Pop Up in the Rock has chosen Park Hill as the location for its third event, which is held Saturday (Sept. 13) on JFK Boulevard between avenues B and E. Organizers behind the annual event select a part of town that is dominated by cars and reimagines it for a day as a bike-friendly, foot-trafficked community where outdoor activities, pop-up shops, food trucks, art vendors and more bring the area to life.… Read more >

Harvest Music Fest announces 2014 lineup

Les Claypool's Duo de Twang plays on the main stage at the Yonder Mountain String Band Harvest Music Festival in 2013. NWA Media/MICHAEL WOODS

Les Claypool’s Duo de Twang plays on the main stage at the Yonder Mountain String Band Harvest Music Festival in 2013.
NWA Media/MICHAEL WOODS

If you love outdoor music festivals but you’re not attending Wakarusa this weekend — because, hello, 90-degree temps with chances of thunderstorms — you’ll be excited to know that the other festival on Mulberry Mountain, Yonder Mountain String Band Harvest Music Festival, released its lineup today.

Harvest Fest, which is Oct. 16-18 this year on the same campground as June’s annual Wakarusa, takes advantage of cooler weather and colorful leaves while focusing on a lineup that leans more toward bluegrass, roots and jam.

The festival’s headliners this year are namesake act Yonder Mountain String Band along with Trampled by Turtles, and Railroad Earth, The Jawhawks, Lettuce, The Devil Makes Three, Carolina Chocolate Drops, Tea Leaf Green, Ivan Neville’s Dumpstaphunk and Jerry Douglas Band all fall in the next couple of tiers. Other notable acts include The Oh Hellos and Wille Watson (of Old Crow Medicine Show fame), along with Arkansas bands Mountain Sprout, The 1 Oz. Jig and Swamp Bird.

Tickets are on sale now starting at $121 for the weekend. Check out the full lineup … Read more >

Q&A with Lit Fest author Amy Azzarito

Sometimes we can’t fit everything in the print edition of Sync. Here’s the full Q&A with Past & Present author Amy Azzarito, who appears at noon Friday at the Arkansas Arts Center as part of the Arkansas Literary Festival. 

Past & Present: 24 Favorite Moments in Decorative Arts History, and 24 Modern DIY Projects Inspired by Them, by Amy Azzarito

Past & Present: 24 Favorite Moments in Decorative Arts History, and 24 Modern DIY Projects Inspired by Them, by Amy Azzarito

With a passion for research and design, it’s no surprise that Amy Azzarito found a way to marry the two when she first began writing for decor and do-it-yourself blog Design Sponge.

Azzarito started her Design Sponge column in 2009 with a simple structure: Take a time period in decorative history, give a short lesson and then provide a DIY project that’s influenced by the period. In 2011, she became managing editor of Design Sponge, and last year, turned the concept behind her column into a book called Past & Present: 24 Favorite Moments in Decorative Arts History, and 24 Modern DIY Projects Inspired by Them.… Read more >

Weekend full of festivals: Books, art, food and more

A version of this Scene originally ran in the April 23, 2014, issue of Sync

Everyone’s talking about the Arkansas Literary Festival, which takes place at various venues in downtown Little Rock and North Little Rock from Thursday to Sunday. In this week’s issue of Sync, we highlight some special events you won’t want to miss and talk to four presenting authors in town for the weekend.

But if you’re not a literary nut, fear not. There’s plenty more going on this weekend to keep you busy.… Read more >

Syd Hayman is a beauty, entertainment and pop culture fanatic who enjoys trying different metro restaurants that satisfy picky eaters. Tweet her at @TheSydRichi.