Several opportunities for celebrating this country's freedom will be available locally next week. Fourth of July events are available in Bryant on Thursday, and at the Salem Ball Park, the Saline County fairgrounds and Sunset Lake on Friday, Lake Norrell on Saturday.
First Southern Baptist Church on South Reynolds Road in Bryant will be hosting its fourth annual "Red, White & Bluegrass," the largest bluegrass festival in Central Arkansas, at 5:30 p.m. Thursday. Admission is free. At the event, Clancey Ferguson, Runaway Planet and Interstate Thirty will be performing. Prizes, fireworks, inflatables, a kids' zone, watermelon and food vendors will be available at the event. People who attend the event are encouraged to bring lawn chairs for seating. "Our heart is to provide a fun and safe patriotic event for families in this area and to build relationships with the people in our community," said Chad E. Smith, worship and senior adult pastor at First Southern Baptist Church. For more information contact the church office at 501-847-3014.
Several activities are scheduled Friday in the Benton area.
At the Salem Ball Park on Congo Road, the Salem Fire Department will be sponsoring its second annual Fourth of July celebration. The event will begin at 2 p.m. and will offer carnival activities including giant slides, inflatable jump houses and games and prizes. Wristbands will be available for $5 allowing unlimited play from 2 to 8 p.m. For $1, attendees can take a shot at dunking firefighters and public officials including Saline County Deputy Coroner Kevin Cleghorn and Rodney Wright, the Republican Party's nominee for sheriff. Free watermelon and free bottled water will be available. Nachos, funnel cakes, drinks and snow cones will be for sale at the concessions stand. Riverside Grocery will also be catering an all-you-can-eat catfish, chicken, fries, coleslaw, beans and dessert dinner all for $12 for adults, $6 for children ages 6-12 and under 6 are free. A car show and crafts fair also are planned. To top off the event, fireworks will begin at 9 p.m, said Laura Gerrald. Updates about the event are available on the department's Facebook page, Salem FireDistrict.
A carnival-type event, Family Fest, will take place at the Saline County Fairgrounds on Thursday and Friday. The event is free to the public and begins at 6 p.m.
On Thursday, a free bull-riding show will start at 7 p.m. Big John Miller Band and Canvas will be performing. Wrestlers from the National Wrestling Alliance will also face off during, Summer Clash. The VIP meet-and-greet part of the show will be held at 5 p.m. with the fights beginning at 7 p.m. General admission tickets for the events are $10. For the main event, AJ Styles will be facing off against Steve Anthony. In the North America Title Match, Bryon Wilcott will take on Tim Storm and in the NWA Lonestar Tag Team Championship Matt Riviera and Greg Anthony will take on The Rock 'N' Roll Express. The bands, Dirty Pop, and 106 Military Band, will perform during the event.
The city of Benton will be sponsoring a fireworks show at Sunset Lake. The fireworks will begin at approximately 9:15 p.m. The fireworks will be shot from the bridge that goes over Sunset Lake.
The annual fireworks display at Lake Norrell will begin at approximately 9:15 p.m on Saturday, July 5.