POCAHONTAS, AR (KAIT) - Randolph County residents are gearing up for the 4th Annual Rock N' Roll Highway 67 Music Festival starting Thursday.
The festival continues through September 8 in Pocahontas on the downtown square.
Thursday festivities include a doggie costume contest hosted by the Randolph County Humane Society, a sock hop, and the "Haunted Tour of Pocahontas".
The event was established to celebrate the designation of Highway 67 as a Rock 'N' roll Highway in 2009.
"After naming Highway 67 Rock 'N' Roll, we started this festival to celebrate and to keep the 50's and 60's music alive," said Randolph County Tourism Association Director Dewrell Thompson.
The annual festival commemorates Rock 'N' Roll legends who got their starts in music when they performed at clubs and events along Highway 67 in Randolph, Jackson, and Lawrence Counties.
"We're talking about Johnny Cash, Roy Orbison, Sonny Burgess and many of the other local musicians started their career in this area here," he said.
"There's so much history here. It's just overwhelming with the information that's here," said new Pocahontas resident Kent Kirklin. "I love to see upcoming artists that are really trying to make it big. Chili Rolls is going to be here."
This year the festival coincides with Stroll the Square, an event the first Thursday of every month that is also meant to draw tourists to downtown Pocahontas.
"Stroll the Square started in November 2011 with three businesses participating. Since then we have grown to about 15 businesses that participate," said Black River Beads and Pottery co-owner James Tinker. "The businesses offer specials and have events and live music downtown."
James Tinker believes the festivities will showcase the fun and history in Pocahontas.
"I hope that with it coinciding that way that lots of new people will come down to check out what the downtown historic district has to offer."