May is definitely “merry,” but in the Arkansas Delta this month, it’s absolutely “musical!”
Village Creek State Park in Wynne hosts the annual Pickin’ in the Park on May 3-6. There will be music throughout the day each day. Everyone is invited to bring their instrument and sit in with any of the bands playing around the campground or just bring a chair and enjoy the music. Music ranges from bluegrass to country to folk to gospel. The event is free. For details, contact the park at 870-238-9406.
Rockabilly legend and Arkansas Delta native Sonny Burgess makes two appearances in the region in May. In 2016, the band was awarded the Governor’s Folk Life Award for representing Arkansas around the world. On May 5, Burgess and the Legendary Pacers head to Stuttgart for the Rockabilly Reunion Revisited at the Grand Prairie Center, along with Charlie Rich, Jr., who gives a show-stopping tribute to his father, Arkansas Delta native Charlie Rich. Tickets are $25-35. Log on to www.pccua.edu/GPC for more information. On May 7, Sonny Burgess and the Legendary Pacers headline Warfield Concerts’ Outdoor Concert and Picnic at Phillips Community College in Helena-West Helena. Bring a blanket, a picnic basket and spend the evening enjoying the sounds of the legendary band. Visit www.WarfieldConcerts.com to learn more.
On May 6, it’s the inaugural West Memphis Big River Blues Classic in West Memphis. The event starts at 4 p.m. and features Grammy award-winner Bobby Rush. Also performing are O.B. Buchanan, Sheba Potts-Wright, The Lyrics Band with Bird Williams, Larome Powers, Dan Charett & Absolut Blue, and Greg Lackey & Kings of the Delta. Tickets are $35. For more information, visit www.VisitWestMemphis.com.
It’s the 19th annual Osceola Heritage Music Fest in Osceola on May 19-20. Enjoy a weekend of music, food and family fun along Arkansas’s Great River Road. The event takes place at the Mississippi County Courthouse Square. Admission is $10 per day for adults and $5 for youngsters ages 5-12. For a full lineup of performances, visit www.OsceolaHeritageMusicFestival.com.
The Delta Cultural Center in historic Helena hosts the 17th annual Arkansas Delta Family Gospel Festival on May 20. The event features some of the best in local and regional gospel music. This year’s performers include Grammy and Dove award-winning gospel artist Erica Campbell, Canton Jones, the Arkansas Baptist Choir, the Eternal Light Singers and Chosen. Admission is free. Visit www.DeltaCulturalCenter.com or phone 800-358-0972 for more information.