Pine Bluff Mayor Shirley Washington spoke about upcoming events and the need for volunteers Tuesday during the monthly Coffee with the Chiefs, sponsored by Interested Citizens for Voter Registration and held at Trinity Lutheran Church.
She said she hoped that the Forward Fest this Saturday in downtown Pine Bluff “will be the biggest event Pine Bluff has ever experienced.”
Forward Fest, sponsored by Go Forward Pine Bluff, will begin at noon and end around 10 p.m. It will feature entertainment, food and activities for all ages.
Washington said she and Ryan Watley, the CEO of Go Forward Pine Bluff, have looked closely at the recent attempt to revive Riverfest in Little Rock, which took place over the Memorial Day weekend. But according to its promoters, it didn't draw the number of people expected. However, plans are being made to hold the event again next year.
“This will be an event for the entire community to have a good time in the community,” she said.
A week after Forward Fest, Washington said the city will be “Bringing Juneteenth back to Pine Bluff.”
“It will be from 10 (a.m.) to 1 (p.m.) at the Amphitheater at Regional Park,” she said.
The mayor's next Town Hall meeting will be June 25 at the Pine Bluff Convention Center, and she encouraged people to attend and ask questions.
Switching gears, Washington said the city will need “an army of volunteers as we move forward,” mentioning specifically the Coretta Scott King building at the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Park.
“The building is idle but it could be used everyday,” the mayor said, adding that the building could be used for children's activities.
“We need volunteers because we can't pay for all the service we need,” Washington said.
She also mentioned the future Innovation Hub, to be located downtown near the UAPB Incubator, which will allow children and adults to develop ideas and inventions.
“It may even develop into a career,” Washington said. “Stay positive, stay focused and welcome the fresh breeze of change that is blowing in Pine Bluff.”