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Five Minutes, Five Questions – Andy Hall, Infamous Stringdusters

Photo courtesy: Scott McCormick The Infamous Stringdusters return to the Hillberry Harvest Moon Festival for a performance at 9 p.m. Friday.

Photo courtesy: Scott McCormick
The Infamous Stringdusters return to the Hillberry Harvest Moon Festival for a performance at 9 p.m. Friday.

In June, progressive bluegrass outfit the Infamous Stringdusters released a collection of live recordings of their full album “Laws of Gravity,” and on Oct. 27, the quintet will debut their new five-song covers EP, “Undercover Vol. 2.” Fans and new listeners will hear songs from both on Friday evening as the acoustic group returns to the Hillberry Harvest Moon Festival in Eureka Springs for a headlining performance. Dobro player Andy Hall took a few minutes during the group’s heavy touring schedule to answer these questions for The Free Weekly.

Q. You’ve played Hillberry before as well as Wakarusa, so you’re kind of familiar with the Northwest Arkansas festival scene. Is there anything that stands out about your time here you’re excited to get back to?

A. What always surprised me is how many awesome music fans there are in that area. I don’t get to spend a lot of time in Arkansas, so when I do and I see this huge colorful group of awesome music fans, it’s just a great treat. But also the landscape’s beautiful colors — I love the rolling hills and I love the fans, and we’re excited to come back.

Q. So tell me how a Stringdusters show might differ a little bit when you’re at a festival versus when you do a club show.

A. Well, that’s changed over the years in that they’re much more similar now than they used to be. In the past, the club show would probably be more jamming and improvised sections because we had more time. The festival, sometimes it would take us a minute to get into the flow of jamming, but now when we play a festival, we take our time — we’re going to jam, we’re going to improvise. It’s going to be high energy.

Q. How is the experience of being at the live show different from people putting on your record at home?

A. Those jams that happen in between songs, that’s very unique to the live show. And on the [full-length] record, we wouldn’t generally record cover songs, but in a live show we’ll do a few covers that are fun and interesting. When you’re a bluegrass band doing cover songs, it’s particularly fun because a lot of times they sound so different in a bluegrass format. People are like, “Oh my gosh, it’s this song I knew as a pop song, but here it is with banjo, and it’s kind of weird and fun.”

I think people put bluegrass in a niche thing and in a way, it is. But our goal is to just widen that out as much as possible and make people feel anything. Our hope is to encompass [feelings other genres can inspire], and playing cover songs in a bluegrass band is a fun way to kind of turn people’s heads a bit and show them that an acoustic band can still rock just as hard in a way.

Q. I really felt that on “Laws of Gravity,” too. There’s some funk elements, some R&B elements — but even just in the lyrics, I felt like there was a lot going on there with varied influences.

A. Yeah, well in traditional bluegrass, the lyrical content in this day and age, it’s a little generic. And people aren’t really relating to like “hop on a train” or “living in a cabin.” But that’s what traditional bluegrass lyrics were like. And it’s our job to sort of continue to break that stereotype lyrically. Musically, we love the sound of the banjo and the fiddle and dobro and all that, but we want to make it relatable for people now, so in our songwriting we try and [take] a modern approach.

Q. When you’re in the writing or creative process, are there ever themes or messages — however subtle or direct — that you’re hoping the audience will take from a song?

A. We have a bunch of writers in the band so I think there’s a lot of variety in the content we write about. There’s certainly relationship songs; there’s always going to be that because that’s what a lot of people are dealing with in some way all the time. But we’ve written some environmentally focused songs, [and] want to open people’s minds to those issues. In a lot of ways, we’re kind of spiritually engaged. Not in any religious sense, but in sort of an introspective sense. And we definitely like to uplift. It sounds cheesy, but that’s a big reason we play music is to try and uplift. We really do want to spread a message of joy and peace and togetherness, and that’s what the whole band is about these days.

— Jocelyn Murphy

jmurphy@nwadg.com


FAQ

Hillberry Harvest Moon Festival

WHEN — Continues through Sunday

WHERE — The Farm, Eureka Springs

COST — $60-$180

INFO — 888-762-7158, hillberryfestival.com


FYI

Hillberry Harvest Moon Festival

Music Schedule

Today

6 p.m. — Sad Daddy

8:15 p.m. — Mountain Sprout

10:30 p.m. — Horseshoes & Hand Grenades

Friday

4:25 p.m. — The Squarshers

6:45 p.m. — Keller Williams’ Grateful Grass

9 p.m. — The Infamous Stringdusters

11:50 p.m. — Leftover Salmon

2 a.m. — Julian Davis and the Hay-Burners

Saturday

2:25 p.m. — Arkansauce

4:30 p.m. — Dirtfoot

6:45 p.m. — Greensky Bluegrass

9 p.m. — Railroad Earth

12:40 a.m. — Fruition

2:30 a.m. — Opal Agafia & the Sweet Nothings

Sunday

11:30 a.m. — Picking contest

2:50 p.m. — Handmade Moments

4:50 p.m. — Old Salt Union

6:50 p.m. — Yonder Mountain String Band

9 p.m. — Railroad Earth

12:30 a.m. — Arkansauce

Rending Racism

Two halves meet to consider the whole

The Free Weekly/ANDY SHUPE Raven Cook, educator and founder of Foundations: Black History Educational Programming, speaks Saturday during the Sto(m)p Racism workshop at the Fayetteville Unitarian Universalist Fellowship. The event was sponsored by Omni Center, Compassion Fayetteville, Unitarian Universalist Fellowship and Industrial Workers of the World as a way to explore racism and what white residents must do to contribute to ending racism.

The Free Weekly/ANDY SHUPE
Raven Cook, educator and founder of Foundations: Black History Educational Programming, speaks Saturday during the Sto(m)p Racism workshop at the Fayetteville Unitarian Universalist Fellowship. The event was sponsored by Omni Center, Compassion Fayetteville, Unitarian Universalist Fellowship and Industrial Workers of the World as a way to explore racism and what white residents must do to contribute to ending racism.

Northwest Arkansas residents sipped coffee and chatted among themselves as the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship filled up for the Sto(m)p Racism workshop Saturday morning. Anticipation about the day’s topic could be heard and felt throughout the space.

The topic: What do African Americans want from white allies?

Speakers Raven Cook and Dorothy Marcy both said they can’t speak for all black people.

“There are no two people exactly alike,” Marcy said. “If you got all the black folk together, even just the black folk in Fayetteville, we would probably never be able to come to a consensus about what we want from you. So, I will not tell you what all black people want, because I don’t know. What I will try to do is to tell you what we don’t want. But this is just my perspective.”

Cook is the director of Foundations: Black History Educational Programming, an educator with Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville and grew up in North Little Rock. She’s the reason many in the audience said they came Saturday, calling themselves Raven groupies. She spoke about being committed and the importance of history and how it shapes the concept of Americanness.

“As an ally in the fight for humanity, it’s important to remain committed — committed to love for all people and committed to understanding to produce positive change,” Cook said. “Today, I challenge you to consider what gift you have in yourself that may be useful for not just the advancement of black Americans but humanity.”

Cook hit on topics such as criminalizing blackness and incarceration, cultural appropriation and black activism and patriotism, weaving in historical and modern examples, quotes from famous black intellectuals and her own humor and insight.

“History is a catalyst for change, but black history is not taught in school. It is not integrated into the American cultural history, and it is unfortunate,” she said. “The Confederate monuments and flags that are around our cities and are elegantly tied to stories of Americanness, even in its treason, are more integrated into the American historical record than black American history.”

Cook advised the audience it’s small things every day — such as joining a vigil and writing a letter to a local paper — that become part of a larger flow of choices. When enough people do enough small actions, change takes place, she said, “and that is to be committed.”

Marcy is a counselor who grew up in Fort Smith during the Jim Crow area. She took a more interactive approach to the topic.

She spent about 30 minutes allowing each person present, most of whom were white, to introduce themselves, say something they liked about themselves and why they were there. Many talked about their open-mindedness and desire to learn and said they think racism is getting worse.

Ines Polonius works in the Arkansas Delta with Communities Unlimited, which offers infrastructure services and economic entrepreneurial growth strategies.

Free Weekly/ANDY SHUPE Patty Besom of Fayetteville and Monique Jones, Northwest Arkansas Branch president of the NAACP, hold hands Saturday as they speak during the Sto(m)p Racism workshop at the Fayetteville Unitarian Universalist Fellowship.

Free Weekly/ANDY SHUPE
Patty Besom of Fayetteville and Monique Jones, Northwest Arkansas Branch president of the NAACP, hold hands Saturday as they speak during the Sto(m)p Racism workshop at the Fayetteville Unitarian Universalist Fellowship.

“With that work comes a lot of work around my own racism, and it is an onion. Every chance I get to learn more, I’m peeling back another layer of that onion,” she said about why she attended the workshop.

Northwest Arkansas is in a unique place to lead the state by example, Polonius said.

Monique Jones, Northwest Arkansas Branch president of the NAACP, also attended Saturday’s workshop.

“I wanted to be here to hear everyone’s input, to give input, to be open to suggestions that will help us in our organization to be inclusive in this community,” Jones said.

Marcy spoke about the struggle and the bravery it takes to reach across the racial divide.

“We live in a time in our culture when we have to pull back the veil of politeness and correctness and look at the truth,” she said. “There is reason we don’t speak up to you about things like this. It takes courage … Every black parent, even today, has that moment where they sit down with their children and explain their relationship with white people: How to stay alive in the world. It still feels threatening to have a voice.”

An attitude of condescension, a missionary-like stance, toward African Americans is deeply woven into white culture, she said, and affects the psyche of everyone, black and white.

“Racism and white supremacy were sprinkled on your cornflakes every morning. You still carry it,” Marcy said.


FAQ

Inspire 365:

A Journey Through the Black Experience

WHEN — 7 p.m. Tuesdays through the end of November

WHERE — Omni Center for Peace, Justice and Ecology, 3274 N. Lee Ave. in Fayetteville

COST — Free

INFO — 935-4422

 

 

Jen Sorensen Comics

sorensen-conspiracy

Football, Hunting, Mules Jumping

Autumn in the Ozarks offers unique competition

Photo courtesy Annette Beard Maggie Who was encouraged over the jump by her owner, Kenny Vaught, during a previous Pea Ridge Mule Jump. Maggie tied for first place that year by clearing 63 inches. A mule jumps from a standing position.

Photo courtesy Annette Beard
Maggie Who was encouraged over the jump by her owner, Kenny Vaught, during a previous Pea Ridge Mule Jump. Maggie tied for first place that year by clearing 63 inches. A mule jumps from a standing position.

It’s autumn in the Ozarks — time for football, hunting and mules jumping.

While raccoon hunters have used mules to jump fences for years, jumping mules for entertainment began nearly 30 years ago in Pea Ridge as just one of many events of the 1985 fall festival called Battlefield Daze.

Today, mules of all sizes — from the miniature Billie, at just 34 inches, to the statuesque Bulls Eye, whose back is higher than many people’s heads — and colors — buckskin, sorrel, red, white, black and spotted — descend on Pea Ridge for the annual Mule Jump.

Thousands of people are expected to attend the 29th annual event, which begins with opening ceremonies at 9 a.m. Saturday south of Pea Ridge Primary School off Weston Street. Various events — including halter class, barrel racing, pole bending and jumping — will fill the morning hours, with a short break for lunch, before professional jump begins about 1 p.m.

“It ain’t no step for a stepper,” says Kent Morris, announcing the success of a mule as he flies over the curtained jump.

“Come on, they feed off your excitement,” Morris encourages the crowd to cheer on a recalcitrant mule.

What began as friendly competition between coon hunters has become an annual tradition. For 29 years, people from around the nation have traveled to Pea Ridge, the town just west of the Pea Ridge National Military Park and the ridge after which both take their name, to watch mules and their owners battle wills over whether the mules will jump a curtain raised until all but one are eliminated.

Mule jumping comes from a tradition in coon hunting of having mules jump over fences rather than finding gates. Hunters throw a blanket over the fence so the mule will jump it.

In the jumping contest, mules can jump flat footed. Once a mule walks up to the jumping barrier, it has three minutes to jump. The mule has two tries to clear the barrier without knocking it down. Trainers cannot touch the mules. They must get the mules to jump by word commands.

Mules are eliminated until only one remains, and that mule continues to jump until it reaches its limit. The mule seems to know instinctively when that limit is reached because it just won’t jump anymore.

The first jump happened in October 1985. Don Shockly remembers: “Negel bought the old big mule. I bought a little red mule. We just got together down at the school. We had a little mule jump, a trail ride and a coon dog contest,” Shockley says. “That’s where it started. Negel had that good jumping mule.”


FAQ

Mule Jump

WHEN — Opening ceremony at 9 a.m. Saturday with the pro jump set to begin no earlier than 1 p.m.

WHERE — In a field off Weston Street, south of Pickens Road (Arkansas 94) in Pea Ridge

COST — $2-$5

INFO — pearidgemulejump.com

BONUS — More than 100 vendors are expected to be on-site sharing their crafted items, festival food and unique products.

A Gurdon Ghost Story

Arkansas traveler isn’t sure she saw the light

I have very vague memories of the light myself. Honestly, I still couldn’t tell you if I’m remembering something that actually happened to me or if it was told to me and I just remember the tale. I hope you enjoy it.

Photo courtesy Kat Robinson The Gurdon ghost light is among Arkansas’ most infamous hauntings. But a writer who was there in the late 1960s still isn’t sure what she saw.

Photo courtesy Kat Robinson
The Gurdon ghost light is among Arkansas’ most infamous hauntings. But a writer who was there in the late 1960s still isn’t sure what she saw.

The boys were excited — uncles and cousins of mine, all whooping it up out on the back side of the house. There was a spur of excitement going through the tight little pod of young men.

One of them came in the house and strode past with big steps, crossing the dining area and swiping the phone handset off its cradle in one long swoop. He spun the dial five times and paused, then started talking rapidly into the phone.

“Hey! Yeah, we’re taking the kids out to see it. How about your bunch?” He paused again, listening as I stood by the bar, peering up at him. “Well, if you want to send the boys, that’s fine. The girls will be too scared.”

“I’m not scared,” I piped up.

He looked down at me and kept talking. “We’re about to head out. Send them over.” The phone handset went back down on the cradle, and he bent over. “You’re too young.”

“I’m not scared of anything!” I insisted. He took off back toward the carport, and after a moment I decided to follow him. I must have been just 5 or 6, but I was certain I was 10 feet tall and bulletproof.

The trucks were being loaded up. One of my cousins, still a teenager, saw me coming out and picked me up, setting me in the back of the truck. A friend of one of my cousins — I knew his name was Marcus — had assumed a perch sitting on the wheel well. “Y’all know the story, don’t you?”

Some of the boys nodded. Marcus continued anyway for the benefit of those who had shaken their heads.

“There was a lineman named Will McClain. He worked on the MoPac line back in the ’30s. He got in a fight with one of his guys, a fellow named Louis McBride. Fella beat him to death with a rail spike. We’re gonna go see his ghost!”

Several of the boys yelled their approval, and two of them climbed back over the side of the truck to go hunt up a few more flashlights. I checked to make sure my little Snoopy flashlight was working and tucked my legs up under my arms.

I heard my grandmother come out and call my name, but I didn’t answer because I knew she’d make me come back in the house. Then the truck I was in started up, and we were crunching down the gravel and out to the highway.

We drove through town, over the big set of railroad tracks, then out onto Highway 67. We made another turn on Stickey Road and drove until we got right by the interstate. The trucks parked end to end along the side of the road, and we all piled out.

I turned on my little Snoopy flashlight and was bothered by how little it actually lit. But we weren’t far past the trestle when one of the guys hollered “Whoa!” He clicked off his light and we all followed suit, standing as quietly as we all could in the sliver of crescent moonlight along the train tracks. We listened, hearing a little rustling that could have been us or the wind or any sort of passing animal. And then, someone hollered:

“HEY LIGHT!”

… words that about knocked me out of my skin. I bit down on my tongue to keep from crying out. I was suddenly very scared.

But there was nothing.

“What light is it, Marcus?” one of the guys behind me asked.

“It’s supposed to be Will McClain’s lantern you see, but I think it’s his head. Don’t ghosts glow?”

Another voice piped up: “How far along is it supposed to be?”

“It could be about anywhere,” he replied. “We gotta keep going.”

And on we went. Two more times we paused, cut our lights and waited for some sort of light to appear. It was a long trek to Highway 53; we’d gone past where we were supposed to see the light. So they all turned back. This time we were quicker, and I was nearly running to keep up.

Then I tripped. My flashlight landed on the tracks and then fell over the side of the embankment. My knee hurt from scraping the gravel between the cross ties. I tried not to whimper.

Right about that time another halt was called. The lights went out — all but my little Snoopy flashlight, which was just out of my reach. I crawled forward and finally got over to it, clicking it off just as one of the guys hollered, “Hey, there it is! See it?”

At first, I thought they were talking about my light, but then it was followed by “There it is!”

“Where?”

“Ahead! See it bob?”

“Hey, Light!” two of them hollered. For a few moments we were all quiet and still. I think everyone was trying to determine whether what they saw was real. And then Marcus again: “See? There he is!”

There was a whooping amongst the men, and I heard a couple of hands clapped on shoulders.

“Are we going to see it again?” someone asked.

“Naw,” Marcus shouted for all of us to hear. “We’ve probably done spooked him back to his grave.”

KAT ROBINSON

kat@tiedyetravels.com

Boo To You!

Scares creep in on October nights

File Photo/BEN GOFF Virginia Graves and sister Jenny Graves of Bentonville get candy from Emerson Johnson, right, with Arkansas Public Theatre during last year’s Main Street Rogers Goblin Parade in downtown Rogers. This year’s trick-or-treat event is set for 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. Oct. 31 beginning at Frisco Park.

File Photo/BEN GOFF
Virginia Graves and sister Jenny Graves of Bentonville get candy from Emerson Johnson, right, with Arkansas Public Theatre during last year’s Main Street Rogers Goblin Parade in downtown Rogers. This year’s trick-or-treat event is set for 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. Oct. 31 beginning at Frisco Park.

The Expelled Unleashed

WHAT — Haunted house in an abandoned slaughter house

WHEN — 7 p.m.-midnight Friday

WHERE — 29555 Arkansas 23, Huntsville

COST — $20; must be 18 to enter without a signed waiver from legal guardian

INFO —466-8556 or theexpelled.com

Ozark Corn Maze

WHAT — Three separate corn mazes, a hay maze, corn cannon, pumpkin sling shot, barrel train, children’s play area, miniature donkeys, corn pool, a 10-acre pumpkin patch, concessions and a free hayride.

WHEN — Noon-dark Fridays, 10 a.m.-dark Saturdays and noon-dark Sundays through October 29

WHERE — 12880 Arkansas 12, Cave Springs

COST — $9 per person or $8 per person in groups of 20 or more; 2 and younger free

INFO — 644-1036 or ozarkcornmaze.com

Nash Back At Ya

Monsters’ Ball

WHAT — Trick or Trunk, kids’ games, adult costume contest, trivia, live DJ, silent auction, Nightmares Haunted House Phantom 13 bus tours, pictures with Spider-Dude, car/truck/bike show with all proceeds benefiting the local animal shelter

WHEN — 3 p.m. to dark Saturday

WHERE — 100 N. Dixieland Road in Rogers

COST — Free; vehicles and bikes registering for the events are asked to donate a bag of dog food, cat food or any item of cleaning supplies for the local animal shelter

INFO — nashbackatya.com

Illusionist & Ghost Talker

WHAT — An evening of mystery and intrigue with Sean-Paul the Illusionist and Juliana Fay, the medium, featuring special guests from the other side

WHEN — 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 19, 21 and 26

WHERE — Intrigue Theatre, 80 Mountain St. in Eureka Springs

COST — $24.95-$34.95

INFO — (855) 446-8744 or intriguetheater.com

Anna: A Haunting Theatrical Experience

WHAT — A walk-through experience, much like a haunted house, blended with theater, dance and special effects

WHEN — Begins each hour from 7 to 9 p.m. each Friday and Saturday in October

WHERE — Melonlight Theatre, 2 Pine St., Eureka Springs

COST — $20

INFO — (720) 278-5672 or melonlight.com

Voices from Eureka’s Silent City

WHAT — Walking tour of the city cemetery featuring actors in period costumes sharing stories of their colorful pasts

WHEN — Tours begin at 5:30 p.m. and leave every 20 minutes until 8:30 p.m. Oct. 19-21 and Oct. 27-28.

WHERE — Tours begin at the former Victoria Inn, 4028 e. Van Buren St. in Eureka Springs, with shuttle service to the city cemetery; there is no parking at the cemetery

COST — $15 adults, $5 children 12 & younger

INFO — 253-9417 or eurekaspringshistoricalmuseum.org

Photo courtesy APT Fresh off a three-week, sold-out run, the cast of Arkansas Public Theatre’s “Rocky Horror Show” will host and perform at a screening of the “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” at 10 p.m. Friday at the Victory Theatre in downtown Rogers. Tickets are $20 with $10 prop kits available at 631-8988.

Photo courtesy APT
Fresh off a three-week, sold-out run, the cast of Arkansas Public Theatre’s “Rocky Horror Show” will host and perform at a screening of the “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” at 10 p.m. Friday at the Victory Theatre in downtown Rogers. Tickets are $20 with $10 prop kits available at 631-8988.

‘Frankenstein’

Dinner Theatre

WHAT — Northwest Arkansas Audio Theater will present Mary Shelly’s 1818 classic gothic tale “Frankenstein” like you’ve never seen it before. On the eve of its 200th anniversary, this creature feature comes to life with the help of actors in a 1940s old-time-radio studio, musicians, singers, sound effects artists and plenty of other hauntingly unexpected guests.

WHEN — Doors open at 6:30, dinner service starts at 6:45 p.m. Oct. 20-21

WHERE — Rogers VFW Hall 3031, 11160 N. Old Wire Road

COST — $23

INFO — nwaaudiotheatre.ticketspice.com/frankenstein, facebook.com/nwaaudiotheater

Banshee Manor

WHAT — Haunted house recommended for children older than 13 and adults and a scare-free Banshee Fun Tour for young children.

WHEN — Banshee Manor: 7 p.m. Oct. 20-22, Oct. 27-28 & Oct. 31; Banshee Fun Tour: 5:30-7:30 p.m. Oct. 20, 1-6 p.m. Oct. 21-22 and Oct. 27-29 and 3-6:30 p.m. Oct. 31

WHERE — 4520 N. College Ave. in Fayetteville

COST — Banshee Manor: $10; Banshee Fun Tour: $5

INFO — 879-3368 or bansheemanor.com

The Expelled Family Night

WHAT — Haunted house in an abandoned slaughter house with flashlights allowed.

WHEN — 7-9 p.m. Oct. 26

WHERE — 29555 Arkansas 23 in Huntsville

COST — $10

INFO —466-8556 or theexpelled.com

Ozarktober Fest Barn Party

WHAT — Traditional regional music, food truck dinner options and free performances before two ticketed hayrides to historic Bluff Cemetery.

WHEN — 5-9 p.m. Oct. 27

WHERE — Shiloh Museum of Ozark History’s Cooper Barn, downtown Springdale

COST — $10 for hayride and cemetery tour tickets

INFO — 200-7929 or downtownspringdale.org.

‘Frankenstein’

WHAT — Northwest Arkansas Audio Theater will present Mary Shelly’s 1818 classic gothic tale “Frankenstein” like you’ve never seen it before. On the eve of its 200th anniversary, this creature feature comes to life with the help of actors in a 1940s old-time-radio studio, musicians, singers, sound effects artists and plenty of other hauntingly unexpected guests.

WHEN — 7:30 p.m. Oct. 27-28

WHERE — Arts Center of the Ozarks, 214 S. Main St. in Springdale

COST — $13; group rates available

INFO — 751-5441 or acozarks.com

Intrigue Theatre

Halloween Show

WHAT — The sixth annual Halloween Show will be full of surprises with Sean-Paul and Juliana Fay.

WHEN — 8:30-10:30 p.m. Oct. 28

WHERE — Eureka Springs City Auditorium, 32 S. Main St.

COST — $34.95-$44.95

INFO — 855-446-8744 or intriguetheater.com

Zombie Crawl

WHAT — A creeping procession of hearses, doomsday vehicles, Halloween floats and post-mortem street performers will lead the hungry horde of the undead down historic Spring Street from the Eureka Springs Public Library to Basin Park.

WHEN — 6 p.m. Oct. 28

WHERE — Starts at Eureka Springs Public Library, 194 Spring St. in Eureka Springs

COST — Free to watch, but participants are asked to bring two or more cans of food to benefit the Flint Street Food Bank

INFO — eurekaspringszombiecrawl.com

Dance of the Dead

WHAT — Third annual Grotto Halloween Party and sixth annual Zombie Crawl After-Party, an eerie electronic mashup and monster-rific mixes of DJ Testube.

WHEN — 8 p.m.-2 a.m. Oct. 28

WHERE — Upstairs at The Grotto, 39 Spring St. in Eureka Springs

COST — $10 at the door; must be 21 to enter

INFO — facebook.com/upstairsatgrotto

Howl-O-Ween Fundraiser

WHAT — It’s the one time a year that you can see the animals after dark at this fun-filled event for the whole family, with games, prizes, hay rides and scares.

WHEN — 7-9 p.m. Oct. 28

WHERE — Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge in Eureka Springs

COST — $20

INFO — 253-5992 or turpentinecreek.org

Halloween Fest

WHAT — Carnival games, pumpkin drop, pumpkin carving contest, costume parade, touch-a-truck and Hotel Transylvania.

WHEN — 4-7 p.m. Oct. 28

WHERE — Downtown Springdale

COST — Free

INFO — 200-7929 or downtownspringdale.org.

Monster Dash

File Photo/J.T. WAMPLER Runners begin last year’s Halloween Monster Dash 5K and Fun Run in Fayetteville. This year’s event begins with registration at 1 p.m. Oct. 29. The start/finish line is at the intersection of Church and Center streets in Fayetteville, and entry fees are $15-$30 at 521-7766 or halloweenmonsterdash.com.

File Photo/J.T. WAMPLER
Runners begin last year’s Halloween Monster Dash 5K and Fun Run in Fayetteville. This year’s event begins with registration at 1 p.m. Oct. 29. The start/finish line is at the intersection of Church and Center streets in Fayetteville, and entry fees are $15-$30 at 521-7766 or halloweenmonsterdash.com.

5K & Fun Run

WHAT — A Halloween-themed untimed 5K and Fun Run involving a costume contest and candy treats along the course.

WHEN — Registration begins at 1 p.m. with the 5K beginning at 2:30 p.m. Oct. 29

WHERE — The start/finish line is at the intersection of Church and Center streets in Fayetteville

COST — $15-$30

INFO — 521-7766 or halloweenmonsterdash.com

Ozarktober Fest

Brews & Tunes

WHAT — A full afternoon of free performances of traditional regional music and celebration of the culture that has evolved in the Ozark Mountains. Live music, dancing, beer festival featuring microbrews from Northwest Arkansas.

WHEN — 1-6 p.m. Oct. 29

WHERE — Magnolia Gardens, 501 N. Main St. in Springdale

COST — $40 for beer tasting tickets and commemorative stainless steel beer pint cup

INFO — 200-7929 or downtownspringdale.org.

Haunted Eureka

Ghost Tours

WHAT — A shuttle bus/walking tour exploring the town’s haunted locations. This is not a tour designed to scare people.

WHEN — Various times each night in October

WHERE — Tours begin at 45 1/2 B Spring St., Eureka Springs

COST — $10-$24.50

INFO — hauntedeurekasprings.com

Crescent Hotel

Ghost Tours

WHAT — Tours of the Crescent Hotel

WHEN — Ongoing in October

WHERE — The 1886 Crescent Hotel and Spa, 75 Prospect Ave., Eureka Springs

COST — $8-$22.50

INFO — 253-9766 or americasmosthauntedhotel.com

— Deb Harvell

dharvell@nwadg.com

History Mysteries

Ghost Walks tell tales of very cold cases

Courtesy Photo A costumed interpreter tells the story of Mary Bolin, the first murderess in Rogers, on a previous Rogers Historical Museum Ghost Walk.

Courtesy Photo
A costumed interpreter tells the story of Mary Bolin, the first murderess in Rogers, on a previous Rogers Historical Museum Ghost Walk.

Death by poisoning.

Murdered.

Accidental death.

Weather-related death.

Murdered by family member.

Death by injury.

Murdered by a gang.

It might sound like seven episodes of “Forensic Files.” But these cases are all cold — really cold — like 1891 to 1927 cold. They are the mysteries that surround this year’s Rogers Historical Museum’s Ghost Walks.

“It’s the third time we’ve done the ghost walks,” says Terrilyn Wendling, the museum’s assistant director and curator of collections. “We do them every other year, and we always have new stories.

“We went through the obituaries and pulled out the strange occurrences and odd deaths and then picked out who might portray them,” she elaborates. Each storyteller writes his own script, “so it’s a very individual perspective, mixed in with what we know really happened.”

Education assistant Ashley Sayers will be telling the tale of the death of Joe D. Baker, who was murdered in 1927 in his barn in LaRue. The farmer’s 15-year-old son, Lawrence, told police three different versions of his father’s death — but were any of them the truth?

“We don’t actually portray the deceased,” Sayers says, but rather act as storytellers who might or might not be associated with the events.

“We’re not trying to make it hokey,” adds Wendling. “Everything that happened is true.”

Courtesy Photo Participants on a previous Ghost Walk hear the story of Constable Will Dalton’s death in a shootout east of town from B.F. Sikes, his father-in-law. This year’s Ghost Walks, hosted by the Rogers Historical Museum, begin Oct. 19.

Courtesy Photo
Participants on a previous Ghost Walk hear the story of Constable Will Dalton’s death in a shootout east of town from B.F. Sikes, his father-in-law. This year’s Ghost Walks, hosted by the Rogers Historical Museum, begin Oct. 19.

Storytellers Jennifer Kick, Dan Barrett, Robert Rousey, Michael Mattox, Shannon Bewley and John Ford — along with Sayers — will be positioned around downtown Rogers, and participants will go to them on what amounts to about a 45-minute walk. There is no correlation between the locations and the stories — but that doesn’t stop intrepid ghost hunters from coming armed with cameras, EMF detectors and Mel Meters, Wendling says.

Perhaps Mrs. Sam King will show up this year to point the finger at her poisoner. Or John Banks Hayes will let visitors know his death was no accident.

“It’s October! And the popularity of ghost walks and ghost hunting and ghosts in general is a big thing,” Wendling says. “We’re just trying to put more of a history spin on it.”

— Becca Martin-Brown

bmartin@nwadg.com


FAQ

Historic Rogers

Ghost Walks

WHEN — Oct. 19-21 & Oct. 26-28; first walk leaves at 7 p.m. with additional tours every 15 minutes until 9 p.m.

WHERE — Rogers Historical Museum, 322 S. Second St. in Rogers

COST — $5

INFO — Register at 621-1154

FYI — The tours are intended for older teens and adults.

A Labor Of Love

Art On The Creeks grows up into unique show and sale

Courtesy Photo Work by artist and Art on the Creeks founder and coordinator Tania Knudsen will among that of 80 artists on show Saturday at Village on the Creeks in Rogers.

Courtesy Photo
Work by artist and Art on the Creeks founder and coordinator Tania Knudsen will among that of 80 artists on show Saturday at Village on the Creeks in Rogers.

Professional artist, teacher and Art on the Creeks creator and coordinator Tania Knudsen says the art show has exploded since the first event was created seven years ago as a way for her students to share what they had learned and created with the general public.

“This was back when we were in a warehouse, and no one involved had ever had a show before,” remembers Knudsen. “It was a new and exciting experience. We had 400 people show up for this little show in a warehouse on a Thursday afternoon! The next year, I moved my studio to Village on the Creeks, and we decided to have another show, and expand it to other businesses in the Village.”

This Saturday, says Knudsen, visitors can expect to see the work of 80 artists, including the original Studio 7 artists. Sixty of the artists are juried, chosen by a committee from Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art.

“We had close to 270 artists apply to be in this year’s show,” she says. “It’s a big deal!”

The day will also include live music, beer and wine and food trucks.

Knudsen says she’s particularly proud of the fact that the show is entirely volunteer-based and funded with donations, which helps keep the costs down for the artists.

“The artists get to come here with no expense of their own, and they get to keep 100 percent of the proceeds of their sales,” she says. Most art shows require an fee to participate as well as commission on any sales made. “I’ve had artists from around the country say, ‘I’ve never seen anything like this.’ It’s designed as an opportunity for giving — a gift to the community to see this high quality art from all over the country and a gift to the artists to be able to show and sell without any expense for them.

“It’s all really done with a heart of love.”

— Lara Jo Hightower

lhightower@nwadg.com

A Visual Stunner

Traditional ‘King and I’ still richly beautiful, beautifully moving

Set Me Free … Weekly
JOCELYN MURPHY
"The Kind and I."

“The Kind and I.”

If you’ve somehow never seen an adaptation of “The King and I” — most famously, the 1956 musical version with Deborah Kerr and Yul Brynner, but also 1946’s “Anna and the King of Siam,” 1999’s animated musical “The King and I” or Jodie Foster’s ‘99 live action “Anna and the King,” or, of course, the Rodgers and Hammerstein stage version — the abbreviated story is as follows:

In the 1860s, British teacher Anna Leonowens is hired by the king of Siam (now Thailand) to teach his children and his wives in the “scientific ways” of the West. Anna’s modern ideas of equality between men and women and her strong will puzzle, frustrate and intrigue the king. Though he wishes to modernize his country, his traditional views and stubbornness see the two often at odds. Through her years there, Anna falls in love with the children, the country and perhaps even the king.

I think a good way to consider the show that opened at the Walton Arts Center on Tuesday is to know it is traditional Rodgers and Hammerstein with its elegance and sweeping score. The thing is, “The King and I” is traditional Rodgers and Hammerstein in a time when — in competing with special effects, over-the-top dance numbers and ever-innovative music — “traditional” is difficult.

That being said, if, like me, your grandmother introduced you to Deborah Kerr and Yul Brynner waltzing around the palace — Kerr’s iconic dress swirling behind her — when you were younger, you might be able to approach the show with a little more appreciation, awe and even nostalgia than perhaps someone unfamiliar with the story.

I was surrounded by mixed feelings upon leaving Baum Walker Hall on Tuesday night. I think some, like me, had fond memories of the music and the story from their childhood and were excited to see both come alive on stage. However, at least one woman who falls into that category also shared with me which scenes in the movie she “always fast-forwards through.” One of those scenes is the memorable “Small House of Uncle Thomas” — a ballet adaptation of “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” performed for the king by his wives and children. While that scene was skippable for my friend, another woman expressed admiration and interest at seeing the story told through the cultural lens of the Siamese people. What this says to me is that, as with much art, what speaks to and moves a viewer often varies from person to person.

Surely everyone in the audience could agree, though, on the unquestionably breathtaking costumes and sets. At the first moment the curtain opens, an impressive boat drifts into the “harbor” on stage, with Anna and her son Louis at the bow as they take in the sight of Bangkok. Most of the other scenes take place throughout the palace and admittedly, don’t make quite the impact as that boat in the beginning, but I still found myself willingly transported from set to set as beautiful pieces floated down from the ceiling or drifted on and off stage to change the setting.

The juxtaposition of Anna’s traditional English attire of hoop skirts and corsets next to the beading, colors and details of the Siamese people’s costumes is a visual delight. Of course Anna’s recognizable lavender dress during “Shall We Dance” is stunning, but the richness and texture of the entire company’s wardrobe is enchanting, as well.

Laura Michelle Kelly as Anna certainly earned her role with her divine vocals and charm, but I have to say Jose Llana as the king delivers my favorite performance of the show. He nails the humor, but also does the character’s complexities and mortal struggles justice.

There are six more chances to experience this Rodgers and Hammerstein classic at the Walton Arts Center through Sunday.


FAQ

‘The King and I’

WHEN — 1:30 & 7 p.m. today; 8 p.m. Friday; 2 & 8 p.m. Saturday; 2 p.m. Sunday

WHERE — Walton Arts Center in Fayetteville

COST — $43 & up

INFO — 443-5600

Real News, ‘Fake’ Laughs

Journalists take to stage to spoof their world

DEBBIE MILLER

Special to The Free Weekly

“There is nothing in the world so irresistibly contagious as laughter and good humor.”

— Charles Dickens

The Free Weekly / FLIP PUTTHOFF Charlie Alison, from left, Brenda Blagg, Clarissa Bustamante and Dave Edmark rehearse a skit for this year’s Northwest Arkansas Gridiron Show.

The Free Weekly / FLIP PUTTHOFF
Charlie Alison, from left, Brenda Blagg, Clarissa Bustamante and Dave Edmark rehearse a skit for this year’s Northwest Arkansas Gridiron Show.

The challenge for this year’s Northwest Arkansas Gridiron Show writers and cast wasn’t in finding material to lampoon.

“It’s a funny show,” says Gridiron veteran Ray Minor, “but there’s so much material we had to leave out.”

Still, the writers, producers and cast have managed to pack a lot into the annual show, which spoofs news and newsmakers on the local, state, national and world stages. No matter what one’s political point of view, this Gridiron’s “a great opportunity to laugh at our politicians, local and national,” says DeMarius Davis, who will perform in his fourth show.

The curtain rises on the annual production this Friday and Saturday at Arkansas Public Theatre in Rogers.

The theme for this year’s show is “Fake Laughs.” Rogers Mayor Greg Hines is this year’s master of ceremonies. The Northwest Arkansas Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists produces the show with support from the Fayetteville Branch of the American Association of University Women. Emily Kaitz is the musical director.

Britt Graves is one of three producers for this year’s show, sharing those responsibilities with Sarah Warnock and Erin Spandorf. Graves mentions some of the challenges in trying to stage a show about the news. “We’re trying to deal with national politics in a way that will make everyone laugh instead of cry,” she says.

Graves will take to the stage herself and portray a national icon in the show in a skit related to a policy subject in the news. National news, such as protests and health care, will be spotlighted, and there’s also a skit that does a takeoff on the former television series “The West Wing.” State and local issues also will be spoofed, as the Gridiron offers a glimpse at how medical marijuana might be implemented, takes a peek at traffic on the new section of the Bella Vista bypass and lets the audience listen in to a sports call-in show.

The Free Weekly / FLIP PUTTHOFF Clarissa Bustamante, from left, Dave Edmark and Katherine Shurlds rehearse.

The Free Weekly / FLIP PUTTHOFF
Clarissa Bustamante, from left, Dave Edmark and Katherine Shurlds rehearse.

“The Arkansas legislature was plenty busy this year, and the Gridiron writers took notice, while also recognizing the 50th anniversary of the Beatles’ ‘Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band’ album,” Spandorf says. Closer to home, “the Arkansas Music Pavilion — the AMP — has seen some disturbances this year, something the Gridiron writers couldn’t ignore. Outdoor art seems to be quite popular these days, so Gridiron sits in on a presentation of new ideas for murals, [and] finally on the local scene, the writers poke fun at the frequent listing of Fayetteville and other Northwest Arkansas towns on ‘best of’ lists.”

Favorite segments from past shows will return again with “Timely News Update” — including commentator Dr. Red Neck (Steve Voorhies) — and longtime Springdale News reporter and Freedom of Information Act advocate Brenda Blagg will share her thoughts about the events of the day as her Ozarkian alter-ego Letitia Mae Stufflebeam.

The Society of Professional Journalists will fund scholarships with its portion of the proceeds, and AAUW will contribute its share to the Single Parent Scholarship Fund, the AAUW scholarship at the University of Arkansas and the AAUW Educational Foundation and Legal Advocacy Fund. The show will also benefit the Arkansas Public Theatre building fund.


FAQ

Northwest Arkansas Gridiron Show

WHEN — Doors open at 6:45 p.m. with the show at 7:30 p.m. Friday & Saturday

WHERE — Arkansas Public Theatre at the Victory, 116 S. Second St. in Rogers

COST — $25

INFO — 631-8988 or nwagridiron.com

BONUS — There will be a cash bar and snacks for sale.