EL DORADO — With entertainment, food, carnival rides, games and more, Main Street El Dorado is putting the “Fest” into MusicFest XXXI, which is set for Thursday, Oct. 18 through Saturday, Oct. 20, in the Union Square District downtown.

Some of the biggest attractions include country music superstar Toby Keith, rock and roll legend Sammy Hagar, Lita Ford, Bret Michaels, Gucci Mane and 2 Chainz, among many others.

For the second successive year, Main Street is teaming up with the Murphy Arts District (MAD) to present MusicFest, the seven-time Arkansas Festival of the Year winner and South Arkansas’ largest music event.

MAD is booking musical headliners for ticketed shows in its amphitheater on Locust Street, while two blocks north, Main Street will offer loads of entertainment, attractions and fun for the entire family, a news release said.

Gate admission is free for “Fest” events, with costs for some attractions and festival vendors.

New events

The weekend will be filled with popular MusicFest attractions, along with a fresh batch of new activities, including a night dedicated to celebrating Hispanic culture and heritage. Fiesta El Dorado is the theme for the opening night of MusicFest. Vendors will serve up authentic Mexican food and display arts and crafts that showcase Hispanic culture. Tejano music group Grupo Tremendo De Zacatecas will take the PJ’s Coffee Main Stage at 8:15 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 19.

“We’re very excited about MusicFest and (Fiesta El Dorado) night,” said Bruce Butterfield, president of the Main Street board of directors.

The city’s history will also be incorporated into MusicFest XXXI this year with tours to visit historic buildings and sites in Union Square and other areas in El Dorado. Local cooks will be able to show off their best recipes with a Dutch Oven Gathering, which will be presented at the Newton House Museum by the South Arkansas Historical Preservation Society.

The Jason Hardy State Farm Baggo tournament with adult and kids’ divisions will be another new addition to MusicFest.

Returning this year are the Miss MusicFest Pageant on Sunday, Oct. 14, presented by Cole’s Jewelers, and the MusicFest 5K/10K Run on Saturday, Oct. 20, presented by the Medical Center of South Arkansas.

Attractions

Downtown El Dorado will be bustling with a bevy of ticketed attractions during MusicFest XXXI, including a 70-foot tall Ferris wheel, four-man bungee jumper, zip line, mechanical bull, Nascar simulator, pit-stop challenge, jousting, a cannonball blaster and laser tag.

Flight Crew, a jump rope troupe who appeared on America’s Got Talent, will offer free performances at 11 a.m. 12:30 p.m., 2 p.m., 3:30 p.m. and 5 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 20, presented by Delek US.

Lanxess Kids World, a MusicFest staple, will be back with free inflatables, games, face-painting and more.

Looking for a parents’ night out at MusicFest? Take advantage of a paid childcare service that will be provided by Victory Church of El Dorado, 1432 N. West Ave.

Music

While MAD is taking care of the MusicFest headliners Oct. 18-20, Main Street will fill two downtown stages — PJ’s Coffee Main Stage and Murphy USA Acoustic Stage — with live music from local and regional acts and performances by marching bands, choirs and orchestras from El Dorado schools.

Admission is free to Main Street events on the square. For more information about costs for attractions, historic tours and the childcare service; entry fees and registration deadlines for the pageant, 5K/10K Run and Baggo tournament; or the MusicFest schedule, call Main Street at 870-862-4747 or visit www.musicfesteldorado.com.

To purchase tickets for MusicFest concerts, call MAD at 870-863-4547 or go to www.eldomad.com.

MusicFest Sponsors

Sponsors for MusicFest XXXI are Murphy USA, PJ’s Coffee, Delek US, Medical Center of South Arkansas, Lawrence Electric, Budweiser, Cole’s Jewelers, The Spot, LanXess, South Arkansas Historical Preservation Society, Jason Hardy State Farm, The Creamery, Noalmark Broadcasting, KTVE NBC 10, The El Dorado A&P Commission and more.

About Main Street El Dorado

Main Street El Dorado is a nonprofit, Main Street America™ Accredited program that is committed to continued downtown revitalization.

Main Street builds on the total image of downtown with an incremental approach that utilizes four elements: organization/membership, design, promotion and economic vitality.

It is among a national network of more than 1,200 neighborhoods and communities who share both a commitment to creating high-quality places and to building stronger communities through preservation-based economic development.

All Main Street America™ Accredited programs meet a set of National Accreditation Standards of Performance as outlined by the National Main Street Center.

Schedule

Day One - Thursday, Oct. 18

6:30 p.m. - Sheila E (MAD Amp)

7:45 p.m. - Morris Day & the Time (MAD Amp)

9:00 p.m. - George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic (MAD Amp)

10:30 p.m. - Dazz & Brie Official Funkadelic Afterparty (Griffin Restaurant)

Day Two - Friday, Oct. 19

6:00 p.m. - Lita Ford (MAD Amp)

7:30 p.m. - Bret Michaels (MAD Amp)

9:00 p.m. - Sammy Hagar & the Circle (MAD Amp)

10:30 p.m. - Josh Walker & the Tannehill Band- Official Red Rocker Afterparty (Griffin Restaurant)

11:00 p.m. - 2 Chainz (Griffin Music Hall)

Day 3 - Saturday, Oct. 20

5:30 p.m. - Jimmie Allen (MAD Amp)

6:15 p.m. - Carly Pearce (MAD Amp)

7:30 p.m. - Justin Moore (MAD Amp)

9:00 p.m. - Toby Keith (MAD Amp)

10:30 p.m. - Mary Heather & the Sinner Official Toby Keith Afterparty (Griffin Restaurant)

11:00 p.m. - Gucci Mane (Griffin Music Hall)