Memorial Day weekend festival to feature hot air balloons, music 

The Northshore Golf Range in North Little Rock will host a new, three-day festival on Memorial Day weekend that will feature musical acts at night and during the day, hot air balloons will be soaring over in the sky.

The range is located at 5401 Northshore Cove and in the business park by the Arkansas River.

Rodney Williams, formerly of Little Rock, is with Branson Balloon in Branson, Missouri and is responsible for getting the festival, umm, off the ground and soaring.

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“Previously, RiverFest took place on Memorial Day Weekend, but it's been gone for several years now,” Williams said in an email and, “we aren't affiliated with the RiverFest event in any way, but this event does offer a similar experience.”

Williams said the “almost 200 acres on the Northshore Golf Range” and with “very easy to access from Little Rock, North Little Rock, Maumelle” and “lots of parking” made it an attractive location for the festival, plus the dozen hot air balloons, one of which will look like a golf ball, that will be in operation.

“I've been flying hot air balloons for 31 years,” Williams said. “In 2003 I moved to Branson and have owned and operated a balloon ride business called Branson Balloon. I've been attending balloon events for the past 30 years and have been organizing balloon and music events for the past 10 years.”

The mornings will start with a sunrise balloon flight, and reservations for the $250 flight must be made in advance and can be done by calling 417-336-6060. In the evenings, there’s tethered balloon flights and the cost is $20 for adults and $10 for children under 12. Rides start at 6:30 p.m. and continue until 9:30 p.m. Thirty minutes before sunset, and for 30 minutes after, all the balloons will light up and glow, that is free to watch. The sunrise and tethered balloon rides are all weather permitting.

Individual tickets for the entertainment lineup can be purchased and for Friday night it is $20, while Saturday night is $35 and Sunday is $30, while a pass for all three nights is $45. All tickets can be purchased by clicking here.

Music starts at 4 p.m. on Friday and the lineup, dubbed “Bluegrass and Balloons, is:

  • The Finley River Boys, 4 - 5 p.m.

  • Route 3 Bluegrass, 5 - 6 p.m.

  • Goldwing Express, 6 - 7:15 p.m.

  • The Cleverlys, 7:30 - 9 p.m.

Saturday, Urban Cowboy

  • Jettway Performance, 2 - 5 p.m.

  • Marty Haggard, 5 - 6:15 p.m.

  • Johnny Lee, 6:30 - 7:30 p.m.

  • Mickey Gilley, 7:30 - 8:30 p.m.

  • James Carothers, 8:30 - 10 p.m.

Sunday, Motown and more 

  • Jettway Performance, 2 - 5:30 p.m.

  • James Brown Tribute Show, 5:30 - 6 p.m.

  • The Best of Motown and More, 6 - 7 p.m.

  • Richie Rodriguez, 7 - 8 p.m.

  • The Best of Motown, 8 - 9 p.m.

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