The Batesville Area Chamber of Commerce (BACC) and 2018 Water Carnival sponsors have released the details of the 75th White River Water Carnival to be held on Sept. 8, at Riverside Park in Batesville.
“The White River Water Carnival is a unique event, adding to the quality of life in north central Arkansas for the past 74 years,” said Crystal Johnson, BAAC president and CEO, in an announcement. “In a time when many long-standing events are dissolving, we are pleased with continued growth and support for the event. The carnival continues to be a successful community development tool for our area. We look forward to carrying on this family-friendly tradition.”
In honor of the 75th anniversary of the carnival, the theme has been named after Elvis Presley. The King of Rock & Roll performed at the Water Carnival in 1955. The performance is remembered more for Presley’s behavior during his stop in Batesville. Scheduled to perform two sets for $100, he played only one — refusing to perform the second show. The Water Carnival demanded a refund and half of Elvis’s fee was returned. Presley never played in Batesville again.
Pres Ellis and the Prestones will pay tribute to the Presley Saturday night. The band includes Dr. Bill Shelton, Danny Dozier, Jerry Bone, Mike Foster, Kenny Loggains, Molly Hudson, Courtney Clay, and Alicia Davidson.
A special Elvis Night will take place on Friday, Sept. 7, at the Melba Theater. This event will include a free screening of Blue Hawaii, an Elvis costume contest, and more Elvis inspired activities.
In addition to themed events, favorites like the Smokin’ on the White BBQ Championship, the River City Cruisers’ Car Show, the Kid Zone will return, and the Water Carnival Parade will take place at Riverside Park.
Team Aquafly to return!
Team Aquafly will return for the 75th anniversary of the White River Water Carnival / Image from BACC
“We recognize the importance of incorporating water into the carnival,” said Kyle Christopher, BACC tourism director. “Water events will include several ski and wakeboard demonstrations. Back by popular demand, Hydroflight will return this year with Team Aquafly of Austin, Tex. Rides will be available to the public for purchase.
“We have the best stage of them all, the White River, and we plan to continue to take advantage of that by offering the best on-the-water entertainment in the region.”
Parade entry forms, vendor applications, and a full schedule of events can be found at whiteriverwatercarnival.com.