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The Soiree Blog

At the parties, in the trenches, behind the lines. An inside look at shops, food and fun from the editors of Little Rock Soirée.
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Celebrate Earth Day at Heifer Saturday

Happy Earth Day!

The Arkansas Earth Day Festival will celebrate 11 years of promoting green living with a festival on the grounds of Heifer International, 1 World Ave., Little Rock, Saturday (April 19).  

This year, they will have something pretty new and exciting coming to the festival: The CHOmobile is coming your way. Chobani will be passing out free samples of Chobani Greek Yogurt from their CHOmobile. Yum!

Of course, families will have plenty to keep themselves busy with children’s activities-- the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission Education Aquarium will educate children about the types of fish living in our waters with a 1,500-gallon aquarium exhibit and get ready to jump in the solar-powered Jump Zone Area that is $5 for unlimited jumping throughout the day. Coming from northwest Arkansas and sponsored by the Illinois River Watershed Partnership, Marshall Mitchell with the Clean Water Raingers will perform environmental songs, perfect for the kiddos.

See how you can make a difference by checking out all of the informational and entertaining booths that will be lined up, especially the super-fun Tie Dye Booth. Participants can bring their own T-shirt and dye it for just $3, buy a previous year’s Earth Day Festival T-shirt for $5 or purchase a new festival shirt for $10 and tie dye it for free.

Several local food trucks will be present at the festival, including the Café@Heifer, along with Loblolly Creamery (organic and gluten-free ice cream, anyone?). 

For music lovers, talented musicians will play throughout the day, including Kish Moody and the House of Melody Band. 

Since 1944, Heifer International has provided livestock and environmentally sound agricultural training to improve the lives of those who struggle daily for reliable sources of food and income. Heifer is currently working in more than 40 countries, including the United States, to help families and communities become more self-reliant. 

Admission is free to the festival. Hours will be 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Get more info here!

Easter Brunch: 6 Places to Check Out

It's Easter weekend and along with the Easter bunny sightings, church services and egg hunts, there will be eateries across central Arkansas offering traditional brunches.

Here is a look at where you can go celebrate the holiday this weekend:

  1. Brown Sugar Bakeshop, 419 E. Third St., Little Rock: Downtown Little Rock's Brown Sugar Bakeshop is gearing up for its 3rd Annual Pre-Easter Jazz Cupcakes Brunch featuring local sensations Rodney Block and The Real Music Lovers on Saturday (April 19). Starting at 10  a.m., the brunch will have a limited amount of reserve seats that are available for only $5; mimosas will be available for reserve seat guests. Succulent desserts of all varieties will be available for purchase. Doors open at 9:30 a.m. Get more information by calling (501) 372-4009.
  2. Cafe 42 at Clinton Presidential Center, 1200 President Clinton Ave., Little Rock: Get your Easter brunch at Cafe 42, which will be from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Sunday (April 20). The buffet-style brunch will offer traditional breakfast and Easter dishes. The cost is around $30. Call (501) 537-0042 for more information and to make reservations.
  3. The Arlington Hotel, 239 Central Ave., Hot Springs: If you're down in Hot Springs, the historic hotel will be offering brunch on Sunday with carving and omelet stations, desserts and of course, an appearance from the Easter bunny. Brunch is $35. Get more information by calling (501) 609-2575.
  4. Wyndham Riverfront, 2 Riverfront Place, North Little Rock: Wyndham Riverfront is hosting brunch from 10:30 a.m.-2 p.m. Sunday. Enjoy a traditional Easter meal, with omelet and waffle stations on hand. The cost is $20. Call (501) 907-4826 for more information and to make reservations.
  5. YaYa's Euro Bistro, 17711 Chenal Pkwy., Little Rock: Ya Ya's hosts brunch from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Sunday. On Easter, they will host their typical brunch buffet with a few added extras-- enjoy pizza, waffle and omelet bars, fresh meats, a pasta station and desserts. Holiday brunch is typically around $30. For more information and to make reservations, call (501) 821-1144.
  6. Crowne Plaza Hotel, 201 S. Shackleford, Little Rock: The hotel will serve up a traditional Easter brunch buffet on Sunday, which includes traditional breakfast foods, prime rib and all the sides. Cost is about $30. Call (501) 223-3000 for reservations.

The Beatles are Leaving Argenta Saturday

Image by Argenta Arts District

The Beatles are leaving Argenta soon!

"The British Invasion Fifty Years Later,” an archival photography exhibition of the Beatles, will be ending its run Saturday (April 19) in North Little Rock’s Argenta Arts District with a grand finale party. 

The free photo exhibit has a few special ticketed events left today and tomorrow (April 18-19) to raise money for the Argenta Arts Foundation, a nonprofit with a mission to provide arts and cultural experiences for the people of Arkansas.

The exhibit, which includes some never-before-seen photos, focuses on the public and private lives of these musical and cultural icons and one of the world’s most beloved bands.

Here are the remaining events left to check out:

  • April 18: From 8-11 p.m., The Libras will share a Fab Four Retrospective featuring guest musicians Bonnie Montgomery, John Willis, Indy Grotto, Isaac Alexander, and Greg Spradlin at the Argenta Community Theater. Tickets are required.
  • April 19: From 12-3 p.m., get a look at the best of British classic cars when the British Motor Club of Arkansas makes a stop in Argenta.
  • April 19: From 3-6 p.m., stop by the Inland Maritime Museum for a British Invasion BBQ and Karaoke. Attendees can explore the newly renovated museum while enjoying live music by the Marchese Hendricks Project, featuring Jessica Lauren with special guest Steve Bates. Beer, wine and soda will be served and mouth-watering barbecue will be catered by Whole Hog Café of North Little Rock. Tickets are required. Proceeds go directly to “Save the Hoga,” AIMM’s initiative to bring USS Hoga from California to North Little Rock for the public’s education and enjoyment.
  • April 19: The exhibit will conclude with a Fab Four Finale Celebration that features live British Invasion music by the Steve Bates Band, live art demonstrations and auction featuring top Arkansas artists, the Argenta Arts Foundation Friend of the Arts Awards, food and beverages from 7-10 p.m. Tickets are required.

The photo exhibit is the second archival collection displayed in the Argenta District. Last spring, the “JFK 50 Years Later” exhibit was held in a variety of locations up and down Main Street.

Get more information about this special exhibit here and get your tickets for these special events here.

Nominations for Best Real Estate Agents Ends This Weekend

Know of a real estate agent in Little Rock who provides exceptional customer service? Nominate them now for Little Rock Soirée’s Best Real Estate Agents 2014.

Click here to nominate your best agent. 

The 2014 class of Best Real Estate Agents will be featured in Soirée’s July issue.

Deadline for entries is Sunday, April 20.

Weekend To-Do List: 12 Events to Check Out

It's Easter weekend, and there is plenty to do around Little Rock! For more information on what you and your family can do this Easter, check out our guide here. There's also plenty of other weekend events, including concerts, art galleries and shopping!

Check out our lineup of events this weekend:

Thursday (April 17)

David Scheuer: Ten Principles for Building Healthy Places at Sturgis Hall of Clinton School of Public Service, 1200 President Clinton Ave., Little Rock: David Scheuer, president of Retrovest Companies, will speak Thursday afternoon on things to keep in mind to build healthy places. Scheuer has more than 35 years of experience in the real estate and construction industry, and has developed various award-winning residential and mixed-use projects. Retrovest designs and constructs high-quality buildings, street capes and neighborhoods on sites where the urban environment will be significantly enhanced. The lecture begins at noon Thursday. To reserve seats, email PublicPrograms@ClintonSchool.uasys.edu or call 683-5239.

Arkansas Symphony Orchestra's Rockefeller Quartet at the Capital Hotel, 111 W. Markham St., Little Rock: The ASO's Rockefeller Quartet presents Mozart's String Quartet No. 19 in C Major, in addition to music from ASO Composer of the Year, Christopher Theofanidis. The event is free, and will be held in the Capital Hotel's lobby. The start time is 5 p.m. For more information, click here.

Wine & Design: Puttin' on the Glitz at Next Level Events, 1400 W. Markham St., Little Rock: Enjoy a 1920s casino night, free wine and hors d'oeuvres, door prizes, music and a silent auction while benefitting Our House on Thursday night. The American Society of Interior Designers Little Rock District is hosting the event. Tickets to the event are $30 in advance and $40 at the door. Ticket proceeds will go toward Our House, a local homeless shelter that provides housing and job training in Little Rock. Guests are encouraged to wear their best 1920s attire. The event runs from 6-9 p.m. For more information, click here.

First Thursday Shop & Sip in Hillcrest, Little Rock: Shops and restaurants in the area offer discounts, later hours and live music during Shop & Sip on the first Thursday of every month. The monthly event is led by the Hillcrest Merchants Association. Eventgoers are able to walk the sidewalks, enjoy local music, window shop and browse the stores during the extended hours each month. For more information, visit www.HillcrestMerchants.net.

FOCC Spring Fling at 9 Beverly Place, Little Rock: Join FOCC members for a spring garden party at the home of Ron and Patty Pyle. Guests will served light hors d'oeuvres and tour the home. Tickets are $10 for members and $25 for non-members. The event is set for 5:30-7:30 p.m. Click here for more information.

Paul Wall at The Rev Room, 300 President Clinton Ave., Little Rock: If you see something like a disco ball Thursday night in the River Market, chances are its Paul Wall's grill. The rapper is coming to Little Rock and The Rev Room for a performance Thursday. The artist, formerly musical partners with rapper Chamillionaire, is known for singles such as "Sittin' Sidewayz," "They Don't Know" and "Girl." He was part of Nelly's "Grillz" single, which was a Grammy Award-nominated song for Best Rap Performance as a Duo or Group. The show starts at 9 p.m. Tickets are $20 before the show or $30 for VIP, and can be purchased here. You must be at least 18 years old to enter. For more information, call Chad Wigley at 499-0101 or John Hamilton at 358-1934.

Friday (April 18)

A Peace of My Mind at William F. Laman Public Library, 2801 Orange St., North Little Rock: The "Peace of My Mind" exhibit is comprised of 52 panels, each subject is showcased on a 24-inch by 36-inch canvas gallery that includes their name, biography, portrait and a 250-word excerpt from their interview about what peace means to them. It's hosted nationally and has been on display at more than 40 venues. For more information, click here.

Southern Women Artists opening reception at Greg Thompson Fine Art, 429 Main St., North Little Rock: This group exhibition will feature work by Sheila Cotton, Louise Halsey, Robyn Horn, Dolores Justus Linda Palmer and Rebecca Thompson. The opening reception is set for 5-8 p.m. Friday. The gallery will be open through June 14. Gallery hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. For more information, visit www.GregThompsonFineArt.com.

Saturday (April 19)

Annual Boat Demo at Pinnacle Mountain State Park, Little Rock: Come check out the selection of boats and kayaks at this year's boat demo at Pinnacle Mountain. The fun starts at 10 a.m. and runs to 3 p.m. The boats and kayaks will be set up at the Big Maumelle River Pavilion and boat ramp at Pinnacle Mountain State Park. For more information, click here.

Brantley Gilbert: Let It Ride Tour at Verizon Arena, One Verizon Arena Way, North Little Rock: One of the up-and-comers in country music, Brantley Gilbert, is bringing his headliner tour to North Little Rock on Saturday. The Georgia native first gained national notoriety after country star Jason Aldean recorded and released multiple Gilbert songs, including "My Kinda Party" and "Dirt Road Anthem." Gilbert has released three studio albums, and his fourth, "Just as I Am," is set to be released May 19. The album includes his current single "Bottoms Up." Other Gilbert singles include "More Than Miles," "Country Must Be Country Wide," "You Don't Know Her Like I Do" and "My Kind of Crazy." Fellow country singers Thomas Rhett, "It Goes Like This," and Eric Paslay, "Friday Night," will join Gilbert at Verizon Arena. The show starts at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $36, $41 and $48.50, and can be purchased here.

Sunday (April 20)

Community Sunrise Easter Service at First Security Amphitheater, 400 President Clinton Ave., Little Rock: Gather with hundreds more Sunday at the 26th annual Community Easter Sunrise Service on the bank of the Arkansas River in downtown Little Rock. The worship service, organized by Pulaski Heights United Methodist Church, features keynote speakers and performances from the choirs of Pulaski Heights United Methodist Church, Parkview Arts and Science High School and Philander Smith College. A special offering will be collected for Our House, a local homeless shelter that provides housing and job training in Little Rock. Speakers this year include Our House Director Georgia Mjarten, Channel 7 Anchor Erin Hawley, Catholic High School for Boys Principal Steve Straessle and former state Rep. Kathy Webb. The service begins at 7 a.m. at the First Security Amphitheater, and will be broadcast live by KATV.

Saturday-Sunday (April 19-20)

Easter Egg-Stravaganza at the Capital Hotel, 111 W. Markham St., Little Rock: Looking for something fun and entertaining for the kids this Easter Weekend? Look no further than Capital Hotel on Saturday and Sunday. The hotel will have visits from the Easter Bunny, Easter eggs with treats and a bunny lunch at Ashley's. Let your kids meet with the Easter Bunny, who will hand out eggs with treats including two golden eggs with special prizes, at 10:30 a.m. Saturday. The bunny lunch at Ashley's is set for 11:30 a.m. Saturday. Meals include grilled cheese and fries, $8, chicken fingers and fries, $8, and desserts of banana pudding, $5, and strawberry tart, $5. The Easter Bunny will be back at 10:30 a.m. Sunday for more photos. For more details, click here. For more information on Easter activities, click here.

Find more events here.

Learn How to Bake from Natchez's Head Pastry Chef

Baking Basics 101!

It’s easy to be intimated by baking. Everything has to be so exact and unless you know what you’re doing, being creative is not an option. Feel the same? Check out this classic baking class with Zara Abbasi Wilkerson at Eggshells Kitchen Co. Thursday, April 24.

Wilkerson is head pastry chef at Natchez in downtown Little Rock. Born in New York City but raised in Boston and Little rock, Wilkerson began baking at the age of six. Entirely self-taught, the chef began baking for family and friends before beginning a small baking operation that eventually lead her to Natchez.

The class is $50 and you can register here. It starts promptly at 6 p.m. and the class begins with wine and beer.

We’re ready to make some sweet treats! 

Come To Diamond Bear Brewing Company's Grand Opening on Monday

A Diamond Bear tasting at Cregeen's Irish Pub includes the Little Rock brewery's Irish Red.

Beer lovers, rejoice! 

Diamond Bear Brewing Company is holding a ribbon cutting Monday at its new location in North Little Rock, and you're invited!

The local brewery is moving from its current location on Cross Street in downtown Little Rock to its new digs at 600 N. Broadway St. across the river. 

The grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremony is set for 3 p.m. Monday. Gov. Mike Beebe, Congressman Tim Griffin and North Little Rock Mayor Joe Smith will be on hand at the event. 

SoMa Food Truck Thursdays Return Next Week

Green Cuisine

It's food truck season here in Little Rock.

In addition to Main Street Food Truck Fridays starting back up Friday, April 25, SoMa Food Truck Thursdays will make its grand return from 5-8 p.m. Thursday, April 24 at the Bernice Garden, 1401 S. Main St., Little Rock. 

The lineup for this month will be updated on its event page here, so check back closer to time!

Mark your calendars for the fourth Thursday of every month for the SoMa Food Truck Court in The Bernice Garden.

Get more information here.

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