City puts finishing touches on Portfest

NEWPORT, AR (KAIT) - Portfest is just two days away and the Newport Area Chamber of Commerce has been on a mission to relocate this year's festival to downtown Newport.

According to Julie Allen, director of the Newport Area Chamber of Commerce, tonight is the opening night of the carnival.

She said some of the biggest issues they had to work on was the overall layout. 
Allen said power and water requirements, a footprint for the carnival, and things like that had to be tackled before they could move forward.
Organizers were able to place the carnival in a parking lot next to the Chamber on Hazel and Third Street. 
Allen said the carnival will be opened Wednesday and Thursday night. Also, people can come out and enjoy as many rides as they want with one armband.

"Two stages will be set up tomorrow," she said. "We have ICE coming. We have food vendors starting to set up tomorrow. We have all of our porta potties in place. Our special VIP areas,  backstage areas, and feeding areas are already set up. So things are coming a long nicely and we should be ready by four o'clock Friday."

Tickets will be for sale at the gate or in advance.
Allen said for the first time this year, they have restricted their ticketing options for children 12 and under. Only one child per paid adult gets in free at the gate.

Chamber officials have also been working to make sure everything is in place with security.

Allen said they will have law enforcement scattered all around downtown Newport.

However, she said Portfest is not the first event that security had to tackle in the downtown area.

"We had a meeting with the Jackson County Sheriff's Office, the Newport Police Department, the mayor, and we also have some State Park rangers that are coming to help. And we have a game plan for security. They will all be on site and in the general area patrolling to make sure everyone is safe."

Allen also said parking is a major concern for people who live in the area; and for those coming out of town.

However,  the chamber is encouraging people to look for the white parking signs they have placed along the main road through town. 

Allen said they also hired two local organizations to provide parking and directional services. 

For more information about Portfest, or parking locations, contact Newport Area Chamber of Commerce 870-523-3618.

Copyright 2017 KAIT. All rights reserved.

Watch Region 8 News On Demand: On your Desktop | On your Mobile device

Region 8 News App - Install or update on your: iPhone | Android