A local musical festival in Pine Bluff hopes to bring a positive light to the community following the Arkansas River flooding.
This is the second year for Forward Fest in Pine Bluff. It is meant to be a celebration of the city’s recent development.
"Pine Bluff is basically a city that’s back on the move with a new library, new aquatic center, the casino on its way here,” Joseph McCorvey said.
But, the Arkansas River flooding suddenly became a setback for both the festival and the city. Chairman Tavante Calhoun says the fest was originally planned to take place in Regional Park at the amphitheater. Backwater from the Arkansas River left the theater underwater.
"We went into panic planning mode. With the support of our local county sheriff and our Mayor's office, we went into planning mode to figure out how long the flooding was going to take place, how bad it was going to be,” Calhoun said.
Calhoun said the fest will now take place at Hestand Stadium.
"As our mayor says it best, 'We will rise again' and we want to take this time to celebrate our community and celebrate Pine Bluff in spite of the flooding, in spite of the disaster that took place,” he said.
Joseph McCorvey with the Convention Center said the Arkansas River flooding devastated hundreds of people in Pine Bluff. He hopes the festival will bring something positive to the community following the disaster.
"But as they say in the music business, 'the show must go on,' and it will. We've talked with Anthony Hamilton, who is the headliner. He will be here as well as other acts on the lineup,” McCorvey said.
Calhoun said people displaced by the flooding will receive free tickets to the concert.
“We're actually going to go to our local Red Cross center and present tickets to those people,” Calhoun said.