Beatlemania takes over Walnut Ridge

Beatlemania takes over Walnut Ridge

WALNUT RIDGE, AR (KAIT) - Beatles fans and memorabilia has taken over a Region 8 community.

The Beatles at the Ridge Festival is underway in Walnut Ridge throughout the weekend.

Doors opened Friday at The Studio in downtown Walnut Ridge with a Beatles symposium.

Surrounded by photos of the band lining the walls, authors and filmmakers shared their stories about the 60's rock band.

Chairperson of the Beatles symposium, Jude Southerland Kessler, said what's amazing about these festivals is seeing the range of people the Beatles are able to reach.

"It's changing to become these new 20-year-olds and teens," Kessler said. "They are passionate about the Beatles, so we have an ever-evolving and ever-growing audience."

That's what Kessler said keeps these events going.

Seth Swirsky interviewed hundreds of people to make the movie Beatles Stories.

He said there's something that stands out to him that keeps the famous name alive.

"The music continues to be as great as it was then," Swirsky said. "As long as it continues to be, great movies get made, books get made, and we learn more and we enjoy more, but it starts with the music."

Friday's events included speakers, live music, and book signings.

Ivor Davis, author of The Beatles and Me on Tour, spent a large amount of time reporting on the Beatles throughout their stardom.

"In the 60's, when I was with the Beatles, they never thought they would last more than 5 years, and here we are, half a century later talking about them," Davis said. "They've become an industry."

Parts of Main Street will be blocked off for the festival.

The main events are on Saturday around noon.

For a list of events and times visit www.beatlesattheridge.com.

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