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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (July 4, 2012) - Pops on the River, presented by the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, will take place today, July 4, in downtown Little Rock.

In it's 29th year, the annual event has expanded to include more activities, additional hours and a larger event site.

Pops on the River will begin at noon in the River Market area of downtown Little Rock with free activities for kids in the Kid's Pavilion, a classic car show, a marketplace for shopping, food trucks and a showcase of the latest lines of new vehicles from the Bale family of dealerships, a main sponsor of the event. Most of these events will continue through 10 p.m.

The Kid's Pavilion will feature free bounce houses for kids of all ages, as well as games. A small fee to play will go to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Arkansas. Other activities will include facepainting, caricatures by John Deering, cartoonist for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, and entertainment.

The marketplace will feature 15 vendors, food trucks and other activities. Traditional festival food items such as nachos, funnel cakes and corn dogs will be for sale as well as other favorites like Chick-fil-A sandwiches and Yarnell's Ice Cream. There will also be a menu of other food items such as alligator on a stick, turkey legs, Barbe­cuesandwiches and much more.

The classic car show will feature the top 10 cars selected for spectators to view in the River Market area from noon to 5 p.m.

The gates will open in the Riverfest Amphitheatre at 5:30 for the other planned entertainment that has made this event popular throughout the years.

The finalists of the Oh Say! Can you Sing? contest will perform at 6:30 p.m., the Happy Tymes Jazz Band will perform at 7 p.m., and the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra concert will begin at 8:30 p.m. Music Director Philip Man will conduct this year's performance. Fireworks will begin at ap­proximately 9:30 p.m. and are shot off the Main Street Bridge.

Trolleys will be provided in Little Rock and North Little Rock. The route in Little Rock includes stops at the Clinton Presidental Center, US Post Office, Arkansas Arts Center and River Market where the event will be held. The North Little Rock stop is at Pershing Road at the Hays Senior Center.

The following roads will close between 5 and 11 p.m.: Rock, Ottenheimer, Commerce and the Main Street Bridge.

The event is free to the public. People are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and blankets to enjoy the festivities. Amphitheatre seating is limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis. The public can reserve amphi­theater seating for only $10 prior to the event through the Pops on the River website. No fireworks or pets will be allowed in the park.

(Source: Arkansas Democrat Gazette)

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