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Contact(s):Jordan Johnson

Thursday, March 23, 2006


Patterned after the highly popular "White House Easter Egg Roll", the William J. Clinton Center is hosting its first annual Easter Family Festival, Saturday, April 8, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m on the grounds of the Clinton Presidential Park in downtown Little Rock. All events are free and open to the public. Little Rock City Year Corps members and Clinton Presidential Center volunteers will be assisting.

The Easter Family Festival opens with the arrival of the Easter Bunny riding on top of a fire truck and a ribbon cutting for the new Clinton Center exhibit "Over The Jumps: The Arkansas Carousel", according to Tyler Denton who coordinates events and center programming for the Clinton Foundation. The festival will also include an Easter Egg Hunt, children's activities, crafts and games, music, food vendors, informational booths, petting zoo sponsored by the Little Rock Zoo and free photos with the Easter Bunny. Little Rock Fire Chief, Rhoda Mae Kerr will be the grand marshal for the festival 's Easter Egg Hunt.

The Easter Egg Hunt will begin at 11 a.m. Six thousand plastic eggs filled with goodies and very special prizes will be hidden throughout the park . Souvenir egg hunting bags will be provided.

There will be two designated areas for egg hunting: one for children ages 2-5 and the other for children ages 6-12.

"The White House Easter Egg Roll is one of the great American traditions and one of the most popular events at the White House," Denton said. "With the Easter Family Festival, we look forward to beginning a similar tradition in Arkansas. We hope people from all over the state will attend and enjoy the festivities."

The new Clinton Center exhibit "Over the Jumps: The Arkansas Carousel" features one of only four remaining track type merry go rounds known to exist anywhere. Listed on the National Register of Historic places, this carousel traveled on the local carnival circuit, including the Arkansas State Fair. The exhibit will be on display at the Clinton Center from April 8 to May 7.

"We like being a part of an exhibit that is both of local interest and of interest to former President Clinton," said Christine Mouw, Curator of the Clinton Presidential Library. "As governor, President Clinton placed the carousel on the Arkansas State Historic Register," Mouw added. Regular admission prices will be required to view the special exhibit. Children under 6 are always admitted free into the Clinton Library.

The historic carousel operated in the War Memorial Park Midway from 1942 to 1991 during which time over 30 layers of paint were applied to the 40 hand carved wooden horses and four chariots.

Over the past several years, the Friends of the Carousel Inc. has professionally restored the Arkansas Carousel to its original condition. It will be permanently housed in a pavilion at the Little Rock Zoo following the Clinton Center exhibit.

In addition to on site parking at the Clinton Center, Easter Family Festival visitors will be able to ride free shuttles down Clinton Avenue and from downtown parking decks.

"If the weather is good, we encourage people to walk in and also enjoy the Sculpture Promenade along the riverfront from the Riverfest Amphitheater to the Clinton Park," Denton said.

Denton said more Easter Family Festival details would be announced closer to the event. In the event of inclement weather, the Easter Family Festival will be rescheduled one week later, on Saturday April 15th.


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