Newport’s Monster Nights to bring a variety of talent to downtown Newport

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Downtown Newport will be full of music, theater, movies, art, festivals, entertainers, and family fun over the spring, summer, and early fall.

The season kicks off Saturday with Kids’ Fest. The festival will feature a video game truck, a two-block laser tag course, petting zoo, bounce houses, a 25-foot rock wall, pony rides, BB gun shooting range, and more.  The four-time, Grammy-nominated band, Trout Fishing in America, will headline the festival with their award-winning children’s music.

M & P Banking, Insurance, and Investments will have four M & P Monster Beats concerts throughout the season featuring Queen Anne’s Revenge Dueling Pianos in a piano bar style; Ten Penny Gypsy, a 2018 ACMA Nominee for Album of the Year; Adam Wakefield, Season 10 Runner Up on The Voice; and The DeFrance Band, who opened for Bon Jovi in Little Rock.

Arkansas Steel Associates/KASU Monster Groovez concerts will feature the Akeem Kemp Band, from Morrilton, Ark.; The Brick Fields Band from Fayetteville; Gerry Moss, blues guitarist from Memphis; Lectric Lizz Lottman, a female guitarist from Black Oak, Ark.,; and Jubilation Jazz with their big band sound.

Movies sponsored by ASU-Newport this year include The Incredibles 2, Jumanji (1995), Mary Poppins Returns, and Hocus Pocus (1993).

Bright Star Touring Theater Troupe will also perform both young and older audiences. Their productions of popular plays are sponsored by Farmers Electric Cooperatives.

The Artist in U features art workshops sponsored by Unity Health Harris Medical Center. The workshops will bring well-known artists who will share their skills and techniques in an informal, hands-on setting.  The workshops will be free, but space will be limited so registration is necessary. Workshops include acrylics for adults and children, watercolors, mixed media, and ending with a Mommy and Me workshop for moms and children to learn together.

Gränges Americas is sponsoring Gränges Fun Nights, which brings an eclectic mix of entertainment to the series. Comedy night will be hosted by THEY Improv – a “Whose Line is it Anyway?” style of comedy to the Terry Scoggins Memorial Stage.  Galen Harp, world champion juggler with the Institute of Jugglology will bring an amazing show featuring fire, knives and painting with sand while juggling. Ellisa Sun will bring an acoustical music set to downtown Newport as part of her national Dreamboat Tour. Gränges’ events end with a storytelling group from Little Rock coming to perform “Tales of the White River Monster.”

The 11th annual Delta Arts Festival on June 7 and 8 will celebrate a wide variety of artistic expression.  Over 170 fine artists, 35 functional artists, 30 craft artists, 19 authors and 16 musical performances will be featured at the two-day event. The band Seeing Red from Memphis will headline on Friday night. Saturday, in addition to the visual arts on display, authors will be reading from their works and 15 bands will be playing both on the stage and at Frankie’s Place.

The 22nd annual Depot Depot Days Festival is bringing some great artist to Newport on September 27 and 28. Friday night will feature the Zyndall Raney Band at the Conductors Reception. On the main stage Lauren Gray, American Idol semi-finalist and Eric Gales, world-renowned electric blues guitar phenom will be featured. Saturday brings Andy May; The Jimmy Dunham Band; the Zyndall Raney Band; Cody Slaughter; The Cleverly’s; and country superstar Lee Roy Parnell. The festival will end with a fireworks extravaganza.

Admission and parking to everything all season long is free. Event details are available on Facebook @MonsterNightsNewport. For questions or a complete schedule of events, call (870) 523-3618. In the event of inclement weather, most events in the series will have an indoor alternate location.

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