Organizers switch to Plan B for Portfest

(Source: KAIT-TV)
(Source: KAIT-TV)

JACKSON COUNTY, AR (KAIT) - Several people are gearing up for this year's Portfest Festival. But, the location has changed.

According to Julie Allen, director of Newport Area Chamber of Commerce, they're moving this year's Portfest Festival to downtown Newport.

Allen said Mother Nature is always a possible spoiler.

She said in to have the festival at the Jacksonport State Park, which sits by the White River, the water level has to be at least at 18 feet. The river is currently sitting at 25.8 feet.

However, Allen said they were able to come up with Plan B to relocate this year's Portfest to downtown Newport.

The Chamber of Commerce will host a variety of events between 3rd, Front, Beech, and Main streets.

"That's where we have our art show. That's where we have our Depot Day Festival," she said. "We are familiar with the land and we're still able to provide everything that we have booked at Jacksonport State Park Portfest and move it to Newport's downtown area."

Allen said with the help of sponsors, volunteers and staff, Portfest will still be held on June 9 and 10.

She said all of the scheduled tribute acts and activities such as HoopFest will take place.

With this new change, local business owners are excited that of Portfest is moving to downtown.

Claudia Walker, the manager at Frankie's Bar & Grill downtown, said having Portfest running on the same street is going to bring better business.

"It's really exciting to know that we're going to be able to show our downtown which has been neglected the last few years," she said. "So, we're just hoping that it brings back the life of downtown Newport."

In the meantime, organizers are verifying the final details on the new layout.

Allen said the Newport Chamber of Commerce is also selling new shirts.

She said you can pick up shirts and tickets at the Chamber of Commerce, or you can find them online at 

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