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September 5, 2003

Ricky Skaggs, .38 Special To Headline El Dorado Fest

By Jim Taylor, travel writer
Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism

EL DORADO -- Ricky Skaggs, the country music artist now widely known as a premier bluegrass performer, and .38 Special, the prominent Southern rock band, are the scheduled headline acts for El Dorado's 16th annual MusicFest to be staged downtown Oct. 3-4.

Skaggs, along with his band Kentucky Thunder, will perform at 9:30 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 3, on the festival's Main Stage. A Kentucky native, Skaggs departed from his bluegrass roots in the late 1970s and enjoyed a successful country career, producing a dozen #1 hits on country music charts, winning four Grammy awards and being named Entertainer of the Year in 1985 by the Country Music Association.

With the release of his "Bluegrass Rules!" album in 1997, however, Skaggs returned to the genre in which he'd begun and garnered a Grammy for "bluegrass album of the year." Through numerous tours and television appearances, Skaggs has earned a reputation as a leading ambassador for bluegrass.

Formed in Jacksonville, Fla., in 1977, .38 Special has produced five gold and four platinum recordings and is best known for such hits as "Caught Up in You," "Back Where You Belong" and "Hold on Loosely." The band will take MusicFest's Main Stage at 9:45 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 4.

Musicfest admission is $5 daily for those aged 7-12, and $5 on Oct. 3 and $6 on Oct. 4 for persons 13 and older. Admission is free for children 6 and younger. Advance tickets, each discounted by $2, are available through Sept. 19 by phoning MainStreet El Dorado at (870) 862-4747.

In addition to the headline acts, MusicFest will feature on three stages performers of classic, alternative and Christian rock, the blues, country and other musical styles. The music will begin at 6 p.m. on Oct. 3 and at 11:30 a.m. on Oct. 4.

Though best known for its music, the festival provides numerous activities for children. This year's event will include a petting zoo, an exhibit of tigers and cats from the Turpentine Creek Wild Animal Park at Eureka Springs, performances of magician Rocky Clements, a climbing wall and a "Kidsworld" with an entire block of inflatable slides, obstacle courses and other activities. Other MusicFest activities will include arts and crafts vendors, a food court, a 5-K run/walk, a chicken grill-off competition, a motorcycle ride-in and show with people's choice trophies awarded, a quilt show and a Miss MusicFest pageant.

Musicfest proceeds benefit Main Street El Dorado, a downtown revitalization organization. Through combined public and private efforts, El Dorado has turned its historic core into one of Arkansas's most scenic and shopper-friendly downtowns. The area features an outstanding collection of 1920s and '30s architecture made necessary and financed by the oil boom that began on the city's outskirts in 1921.

For more information, visit or phone the Musicfest hotline at (888) 921-BOOM. To inquire about El Dorado’s lodging, restaurants and other attractions, contact the El Dorado Chamber of Commerce by phone at (870) 863-6113.


Submitted by the Arkansas Department of Parks & Tourism
One Capitol Mall, Little Rock, AR 72201, (501) 682-7606

May be used without permission. Credit line is appreciated:
"Arkansas Department of Parks & Tourism"



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