Walnut Ridge’s Claim to Fame
Before you made the life-altering decision to move to Walnut Ridge, Arkansas, and attend Williams Baptist University, I bet you had no idea that Walnut Ridge even existed. Who would know the name of a small, southern town with a truly impressive mosquito population?
The Beatles did.
Yeah, that’s right, those guys.
Those shaggy-headed, English boys from Liverpool? Arguably the most influential band of all time?
Yeah, they knew that Walnut Ridge existed, because they were here.
In 1964, the Beatles stopped at the airport in Walnut Ridge, AR, and the town has not let it go since. Seriously, they were here for, like, five minutes when they got here Friday night, another five minutes when they flew out on Sunday, and the town has a stinkin’ festival dedicated to them.
Fun fact: the residents of Walnut Ridge only knew about this because Polar Freeze owner Jack Allison spotted their airplane flying overhead (for more information on Polar Freeze, see Eagle View #2).
“Beatles at the Ridge” is an annual, fun-filled festival that begins this Friday and continues until Saturday evening. Admission to the festival, as well as parking and entertainment, is entirely free (although I suggest you get there early to get a good parking space because people truly do come from all over to attend this all-day party).
The festival’s largest attraction is live music, which is played practically all day long. Some of the bands expected to play are the Lockhouse Orchestra (rock and country tunes from the 50’s to the 70’s), Bodagus (country, blues, rock, alternative), Central Worship Collective (worship), Cory Jackson (country), Justin Warren (worship), Gary Hardy (rock), and the Liverpool Legends (Grammy-nominated Beatles tribute band). If you like live music of all genres, this is definitely the place for you; if you don’t like live music and still want to go, the music is sort of unavoidable, so suck it up and go anyways. Of course, I saved the most exciting performance for last: the WBU Worship Team (if you’ve been missing chapel, you’ve been missing out)!
Also at the festival is an Authors and Artists Symposium; this year’s theme is Beatles Memorabilia. This is a hot spot for lovers of the arts, whether that be literature or craftsmanship. The authors and creators will be on hand at the symposium, ready to meet and greet each person who wishes to do so.
If you’re interested in old-timey – and I use that phrase because, honestly, I don’t know a better word for it – cars, there is an Abbey Road car show that will be on display. This attraction is also cool for people who don’t know much about cars; personally, I just like to ooh and aah at the fancy vehicles.
Another big attraction for this festival is the many vendors that will set up all around the site. These vendors offer a wide range of products, from food (yes, barbecue nachos will be offered; why do you think I go?), to arts and crafts, to retail, to informational booths. It doesn’t cost a thing to wander throughout the festival and check out the vendors, but you might want to bring along some extra cash just in case something catches your eye. Speaking from personal experience, I always go into the festival with money but planning (hoping) to avoid shopping; this never, ever works out.
My favorite part of the Beatles at the Ridge is the fellowship atmosphere it creates. I recommend gathering a big group of friends and heading to the festival early Saturday morning to enjoy a day off from stressing about those pesky, upcoming exams.
For more information about the Beatles at the Ridge, visit beatlesattheridge.com!
Thanks for reading an eagle view,
COMING NEXT WEEK: Old Davidsonville State Park