Count­down to class

School starts in 192 hours, but there is still time for some sum­mer fun

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - STYLE - SHEA STE­WART

There are only 192 hours left, and the clock is tick­ing. As of 7 this morn­ing, sum­mer has only 192 hours re­main­ing. Unof­fi­cially, of course, as sum­mer sci­en­tif­i­cally ends with the au­tum­nal equinox on Sept. 22. But as stu­dents, par­ents, grand­par­ents, teach­ers and count­less others know, sum­mer ends when school starts.

That start — for most schools from cen­tral Arkansas and North­west Arkansas to Jones­boro and Pine Bluff — is Aug. 14. So, at 7 a.m. Aug. 14, sum­mer is pretty much over. That means be­tween 7 a.m. to­day and 7 a.m. Aug. 14, there are 192 hours left of sum­mer va­ca­tion. That’s still

a lot of time to do what you said you’d do this sum­mer, like go to the beach or visit a big city. But even if you’re stay­ing in Arkansas for the next 192 hours, it’s pos­si­ble to spend one more full week of free­dom be­fore school starts.

Let’s say you and the chil­dren (or grand­chil­dren) take the week off. Here are sug­ges­tions for fill­ing these last 192 hours. And if the start of school has no ef­fect on your cal­en­dar, well, there are ideas here for every­one.

Get go­ing. The count­down has be­gun.


7 a.m. (192:00)

Wake up. Take these hours to ease into the day. Eat a leisurely break­fast, read the news­pa­per and re­lax for a bit. Things are about to get busy. Check out lo­cal movie list­ings. Watch CBS Sun­day Morn­ing’s Mo­ment of Na­ture. 10 a.m. (189:00) Nowa­days, most the­aters of­fer Sun­day morn­ing screen­ings, and Sun­day morn­ings mean smaller crowds. The Dark Tower and Detroit opened this week­end. Based on the Stephen King nov­els, The Dark Tower is the story of the Gun­slinger search­ing for the Man in Black in two worlds. Detroit is from Os­car-win­ning direc­tor Kathryn Bigelow (2009’s The Hurt Locker) and is based on Detroit’s 1967 12th Street Riot.

But there are plenty of movies still in the­aters worth check­ing out:

Dunkirk, Girls Trip, Atomic Blonde.

Maybe the lo­cal theater is show­ing some older movies. Maybe this is the day you catch up on all the movies you missed this sum­mer.

2 p.m. (185:00)

We’re just go­ing to as­sume that you watched two movies — and, of course, paid for both. Af­ter spend­ing a few hours in­side a dark­ened theater, go out­side for some na­ture by vis­it­ing your city park.

But, if you hap­pen to be in the Moun­tain View area, go see some mu­sic at the Sun­day Court Square Mu­sic Con­cert Series on the Court Square in Moun­tain View. The free per­for­mance is 2-3 p.m. un­der the shade of the oak tree on the east side of the court­house. The mu­sic is usu­ally Ozark moun­tain mu­sic, and, af­ter play­ing, mu­si­cians host an open pick­ing ses­sion from 3 to 4 p.m. Guests can take a lawn chair and an in­stru­ment to join in the pick­ing.

7:30 p.m. (179:30) There’s still time to get tick­ets to the Dou­ble Fea­ture Tour fea­tur­ing Post­mod­ern Juke­box and Straight No Chaser at the Wal­mart AMP in Rogers. The gates opened at 6 p.m. but the mu­sic is just now start­ing, at 7:30. Tick­ets start at $39.95. The opener is Jon McLaugh­lin.

Straight No Chaser is an a capella group known for “jaw-drop­ping vo­cal prow­ess and soul­ful har­monies on past and cur­rent hits,” ac­cord­ing to press ma­te­ri­als. Scott Bradlee’s Post­mod­ern Juke­box reimag­ines con­tem­po­rary pop, rock and R&B hits in the style of yes­ter­year’s swing, doo-wop, rag­time and Mo­town. Bradlee, who founded the group in 2009, has de­scribed Post­mod­ern Juke­box as “pop mu­sic in a time ma­chine.”

11 p.m. (176:00)

Day One is com­plete. Go to bed.


7 a.m. (168:00) Hope­fully you got your eight hours of sleep. Spend this morn­ing get­ting in some ex­er­cise, drink­ing cof­fee, eat­ing break­fast, read­ing the news­pa­per and pre­par­ing for the day.

10 a.m. (165:00)

Watch The Price Is Right. Yes, it’s Mon­day. Chill. Noon (163:00)

Get out the door and go visit one of Arkansas’ 52 state parks. For peo­ple in cen­tral Arkansas, this means a hike to the top of Pin­na­cle Moun­tain. For Texarkana res­i­dents, head up to Mill­wood for its 29,500-acre lake filled with large­mouth bass, cat­fish, bream and crap­pie. Lake Chicot near Lake Vil­lage of­fers fish­ing boats for rent at its ma­rina, along with kayaks for pad­dling around the lake and check­ing out na­ture. Crow­ley’s Ridge, west of Paragould, has four hik­ing trails of vary­ing lengths, and Devil’s Den in North­west Arkansas has miles of moun­tain bik­ing trails for rid­ers from begin­ner to ex­pert.

6:45 p.m. (156:15) Match­box Twenty and Count­ing Crows bring A Brief His­tory of Ev­ery­thing Tour 2017 to the Wal­mart AMP, with the gates open­ing at 5 p.m. and the mu­sic start­ing at 6:45. Tick­ets start at $35.

It has been more than 20 years since Match­box Twenty re­leased its break­through al­bum Your­self or Some­one Like You, which has sold more than 15 mil­lion copies world­wide and in­cluded the hits “Push” and “3 A.M.”

Want to feel older? Count­ing Crows re­leased its mul­ti­plat­inum break­out al­bum Au­gust and Ev­ery­thing Af­ter in 1993. Yep, al­most a quar­ter cen­tury ago. “Mr. Jones,” any­one?

10 p.m. (153:00)

Just be­cause sum­mer is com­ing to an end doesn’t mean sum­mer read­ing should. One should al­ways be read­ing. Some book sug­ges­tions, based on sev­eral Best Sum­mer Books 2017 lists? The Pot­likker Pa­pers: A Food His­tory of the Mod­ern South by John T. Edge; Any­thing Is Pos­si­ble by El­iz­a­beth Strout; Borne by Jeff Van­derMeer; Killers of the Flower Moon by David Grann (I read this book and it’s ex­cel­lent); Run­nin’ With the Devil by Noel E. Monk and Joe Lay­den; and Good­bye, Vi­ta­min by Rachel Khong. 11 p.m. (152:00)

Bed time


7 a.m. (144:00)

To­day is mu­seum day. Most mu­se­ums don’t open un­til mid­morn­ing, so take this time to for­mu­late a plan for vis­it­ing the most mu­se­ums pos­si­ble.

9 a.m. (142:00)

Go wan­der through the Univer­sity of Arkansas’ botan­i­cal gar­den at Gar­van Wood­land Gar­dens out­side Hot Springs.

10 a.m. (141:00)

The Arts & Science Cen­ter for South­east Arkansas in Pine Bluff fea­tures “Color in Space: The Art of Justin Bryant,” a col­lec­tion of wa­ter­col­ors.

Noon (139:00)

The Arkansas Arts Cen­ter in down­town Lit­tle Rock’s “The 59th An­nual Delta Ex­hi­bi­tion” is still up (un­til Aug. 27). Also up is “Draw­ing on His­tory.” Up the road at the Mo­saic Tem­plars Cul­tural Cen­ter, the ex­hibit of note is “Not For­got­ten: An Arkansas Fam­ily Al­bum,” which show­cases pho­tog­ra­phy by Nina Robin­son.

4 p.m. (135:00)

The Fort Smith Re­gional Art Mu­seum is open un­til 6 p.m., so en­joy the art­work of Car­los Luna, whose art com­bines Cuban, Mex­i­can and Amer­i­can cul­tures.

7:05 p.m. (131:55)

The North­west Arkansas Naturals kick off a series against the Mid­land Rock­Hounds at Ar­vest Ball­park in Spring­dale and its $1 brats night.

11 p.m. (128:00)

Turn in for the night.

WED­NES­DAY 8 a.m. (119:00) Yes­ter­day was ex­tremely busy and every­body needs a day of rest. This is it. The week­end is com­ing. To­day might be a good day for Net­flix. All three Ma­trix films have re­turned to the on­line stream­ing site, and the first sea­son of Wet Hot Amer­i­can Sum­mer: Ten Years Later pre­miered Aug. 4.

Over on Ama­zon Prime, check out Bill & Ted’s Bo­gus Jour­ney, five of the Saw movies and Su­per­bad.

If you’re look­ing to binge watch to catch up on a cur­rent show, check out The Amer­i­cans or Bet­ter Call Saul.

This could be the day you also re­turn to the theater to see any other sum­mer movies you haven’t seen. Or you could spend this day watch­ing trashy day­time TV.

11 p.m. (104:00)

Rest those bleary eyes.


7 a.m. (96:00)

The early bird gets the best deals with the 18th an­nual Bar­gains Ga­lore on 64, which is through Sat­ur­day. Spread along U.S. 64 from Fort Smith to Beebe, the three days in­clude 160 miles of yard sales, an­tiques, col­lectibles and flea mar­kets at stops along the high­way.

4 p.m. (87:00)

All that shop­ping makes some­one thirsty, so now is the time to en­joy an Arkansas craft beer. The Fayet­teville Ale Trail in­cludes 11 par­tic­i­pat­ing or part­ner­ing brew­eries stretched from Ben­tonville to Fayet­teville.

In cen­tral Arkansas, it’s pos­si­ble to visit up to eight brew­eries within a few miles of each other in down­town Lit­tle Rock and North Lit­tle Rock.

7:10 p.m. (83:50)

One can­not have too much mi­nor league base­ball, and the Frisco RoughRid­ers visit Dickey-Stephens Park in North Lit­tle Rock for a game against the Arkansas Trav­el­ers. It just so hap­pens it’s Su­per Hero Theme Night, so get a free hero cape at the gate or come dressed as your fa­vorite su­per­hero and en­ter the seventh in­ning cos­tume con­test. 11 p.m. (80:00)

Off to sleep


8 a.m. (71:00)

It’s Fri­day morn­ing so sleep in a lit­tle later be­cause the week­end is here.

1 p.m. (66:00)

Each Fri­day at 1 p.m., the Delta Cul­tural Cen­ter in He­lena-West He­lena broad­casts Delta Sounds, its weekly halfhour ra­dio show ex­plor­ing the mu­sic and mu­si­cians of the Arkansas Delta and be­yond, live from the cen­ter’s vis­i­tors cen­ter. Be­fore or af­ter, check out the mu­seum’s ex­hibits, in­clud­ing “Songs From the Field,” which tells the story of early Delta mu­sic, from spir­i­tu­als to the blues.

5 p.m. (62:00)

The sec­ond Fri­day of the month means 2nd Fri­day Art Night in down­town Lit­tle Rock, where gal­leries, mu­se­ums and busi­nesses are open af­ter hours, from 5 to 8 p.m. And it’s free. The Old State House Mu­seum has the blue­grass mu­sic of Run­away Planet dur­ing the event.

6:30 p.m. (60:30)

The rodeo re­turns to Jones­boro with the NE Arkansas Pro Rodeo at the Arkansas State Univer­sity Con­vo­ca­tion Cen­ter. The night in­cludes bare­backs, sad­dle broncs, tiedown rop­ing, steer wrestling, bull rid­ing and more. Doors open at 6:30 p.m., and tick­ets start at $13 for adults and $8 for chil­dren.

The show con­tin­ues Sat­ur­day even­ing.

11 p.m. (56:00) Good­night

SAT­UR­DAY 7 a.m. (48:00)

The Eureka Springs Mul­tisport Fes­ti­val is Fri­day, Sat­ur­day and Sun­day, and in­cludes a sprint-dis­tance triathlon on Fri­day af­ter­noon and run­ning races on Sun­day. Sat­ur­day morn­ing is the Gran Fondo, three bi­cy­cle rides of ei­ther 21, 62 or 100 miles. The fin­ish is in down­town Eureka Springs, so en­joy the town after­ward. Noon (43:00)

You don’t have to wake up at the crack of dawn to en­joy the River Mar­ket Farm­ers Mar­ket in down­town Lit­tle Rock. It helps, but the farm­fresh pro­duce, hand­made arts and crafts and more are there from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. ev­ery Sat­ur­day.

8:30 p.m. (34:30)

The 41st an­nual Hope Wa­ter­melon Fes­ti­val has been go­ing on since Thurs­day, but things re­ally get go­ing Fri­day and Sat­ur­day, with arts and crafts, food, a 5K race, a dog show, the “Wa­ter­melon Idol” tal­ent con­test and the wa­ter­melon eat­ing con­test. The fes­ti­val comes to a close with an ap­pear­ance at 8:30 by Joe Diffie, the coun­try mu­si­cian who has scored five No. 1 hits, in­clud­ing “Pickup Man.”

11 p.m. (32:00)

Get some rest.

Aug. 13

7 a.m. (24:00)

This is it. Only 24 hours left. The end is near. Act ac­cord­ingly and spend it smartly. It be­ing a Sun­day and right be­fore the start of school, say­ing some prayers might be wise.

10 p.m. (9:00) Ben­jamin Franklin once said: “Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.” That’s good to re­mem­ber dur­ing the school year. A bet­ter maxim that I learned from a former em­ployer years and years ago? “You can’t party with the buz­zards at night and soar with the ea­gles in the morn­ing.”

Aug. 14

7 a.m. (0:00) God­speed.

The last day of school for Lit­tle Rock pub­lic schools looks to be May 29, de­pend­ing on the weather. That’s only 288 days away.

Or, 6,912 hours.

Arkansas Demo­crat-Gazette/NIKKI DAWES

Arkansas Demo­crat-Gazette/MITCHELL PE MASILUN

The wa­ter­melon eat­ing con­test at last year’s Hope Wa­ter­melon Fes­ti­val drew an en­thu­si­as­tic par­tic­i­pant in Ti­mothy Lan­des of Hope.

Arkansas Demo­crat-Gazette/MICHAEL STOREY

The 56-foot-high wa­ter­fall at Devil’s Den State Park near Winslow is one of two on the park’s self-guided tour.

Cour­tesy of The Arkansas Arts Cen­ter

North Lit­tle Rock artist Cathy Burns’ pho­to­graph is fea­tured at “The 59th An­nual Delta Ex­hi­bi­tion” at the Arkansas Arts Cen­ter.

Arkansas Demo­crat-Gazette/THOMAS METTHE

Arkansas Trav­el­ers’ Justin DeFra­tus throws a pitch at a re­cent game at Dickey-Stephens Park in North Lit­tle Rock. The team plays the Frisco RoughRid­ers on Thurs­day.

The pho­tog­ra­phy of Nina Robin­son is fea­tured at Mo­saic Tem­plars Cul­tural Cen­ter in Lit­tle Rock. The ex­hibit is ti­tled “Not For­got­ten: An Arkansas Fam­ily Al­bum.”

Arkansas Demo­crat-Gazette/MICHAEL STOREY

As this sign points out, a hike on the wildlife trail at Mill­wood State Park of­fers al­li­ga­tor view­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties.

Match­box Twenty and Count­ing Crows per­form Mon­day at the Wal­mart AMP in Rogers.

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