Summer in the square from Saturday

Temperatures are heating up, as is the fun with the return of Summer on the Square, which is slated for Saturday in downtown El Dorado with a program packed with family activities.

Summer on the Square is presented by Main Street El Dorado and Noalmark Broadcasting.

The public is invited to spend the day in the city’s historic downtown for the award-winning Grill Wars cooking competition; Showdown at Sunset, a historical re-enactment; Music in the square with live bands and other entertainment; the popular Cruise Night classic car show; a concert presented by the Murphy Arts District at First Financial Music Hall; food vendors, including Kernel Mustard’s Hotdog Cart and Catering and Oh How Sweet Cotton Candy; the Fun Zone with inflatables, big wheel races, interactive games and other attractions.

Free entry.

Participants are asked to bring their garden chairs and to respect social distancing. Hand washing and disinfection stations will be available.

MSE board members said other outdoor events, including Shamrockin ‘on the Square and May on Main in March and May, respectively, drew impressive crowds as restrictions on coronaviruses (COVID-19) have relaxed and they hope to repeat that success with Summer on le Carré.

“The response has been absolutely encouraging,” said Beth Brumley, Executive Director of MSE.

“We had wonderful weather and there were diverse crowds which made us super excited,” Brumley continued. “We have had parents and grandparents who came to tell us that they are happy that their children and grandchildren have something to do and we are super excited to see what we are going to do with Summer on the Square . “

SoS is set for the fourth Saturday in June, July and August.

The first payment starts at 8 a.m. on Saturday.

The program for the day is:

• From 8:00 am to 6:00 pm, the fourth annual Grill Wars, sponsored by Delek US. Categories include a Dual-Function Steak Cook-off, a Steak Cookoff Association (SCA) sanctioned event in which teams will be allowed to hand out two steaks and participate in the Grilled Cheese Challenge.

Check-in and set-up will begin at 8:00 a.m. in the Jefferson Avenue and Elm Street area and a cooks meeting will follow at 9:30 p.m.

At an MSE meeting on June 8, Brumley announced that nine teams have signed up for Grill Wars and that MSE expects more attendees.

A course will be held on Friday for those who wish to become an SCA judge.

From 4 p.m. to 5 p.m., quadruple SCA World Champion Johnny Joseph will prepare steaks that will be sold to the public for $ 25 per plate, which include a steak, a baked potato, a salad, baked beans, a bun, dessert and drink.

Only 100 plates will be sold.

At 5:30 p.m., the Grill Wars winners will be announced and the awards will be delivered on the west side (Jefferson Avenue) of the Union County Courthouse.

Entrants will compete for cash prizes totaling over $ 3,000 and bragging rights.

The big double-steak cooking champion will also receive a PKGO grill, courtesy of Pk Grills and Johnny Joseph Steak Rub. The registration fee is $ 150 for each steak cook ($ 300 for both) and $ 25 for the Grilled Cheese Challenge.

To sign up for SCA Cook-off, visit

For more information or to reserve a steak plate, call the MSE office at 870-862-4747. Also, visit the MSE Facebook page of

• From 10 am to 3 pm, El Dorado Masonic Lodge 13, 106 N. Washington, will be hosting an open house to celebrate its 175th anniversary.

Take the stairs next to Merle Norman.

El Dorado Lodge # 13 was chartered around 1846, during the region’s oil boom. The current Masonic temple was erected in 1924, when oil was still a hot commodity in El Dorado.

• 11 am – 5 pm, Fun Zone and vendors open.

• From 12:30 pm to 2 pm, Music on the Square, with live music from the Randall Lawson Band.

The Randall Lawson Band is made up of artists with over 70 years of professional experience. The band play a range of Classic Motown, rock and country with some originals.

• 2:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m., Brody McKinney.

The up-and-coming 17-year-old Smackover artist made his debut and on May 1 at May on Main.

• 4 p.m. Cruise Night, an exhibit of classic cars, hot rods and other fantasy cars on Washington Avenue.

• 4:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. Crutchfield the Band.

Based in Malvern, Arkansas, Crutchfield the Band is a contemporary Christian group led by brothers Matt and Adam Crutchfied. The band’s influences include Need to Breathe and Crowder and mix rock, pop and country in their sound.

• 6:30 p.m., Showdown at Sunset, a longtime historical re-enactment that depicts life in El Dorado and a fatal shooting that took place in Courthouse Square in 1902.

The re-enactment supports a cast of local actors and chronicles the events leading up to the shooting, which was a flashpoint in a feud involving two local families – the Parnells and Tuckers, the background of the former Arkansas Governor Jim “Guy” Tucker – and others, including El Dorado business owners.

Showdown takes place on the east side of the Union County Courthouse and is sponsored by the South Arkansas Preservation Society.

• 7 pm, a MAD concert featuring Tab Benoit, a Grammy-nominated blues singer-songwriter guitarist, at First Financial Music Hall, 101 E. Locust.

The show will also honor first responders, including law enforcement, firefighters and healthcare workers. General admission is $ 5.

First responders will be admitted free of charge upon presentation of their badge.

To purchase tickets or for more information, call 870-444-3007, visit or stop by the MAD box office, open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday at 101 E. Locust.

Seating for the event will be arranged in socially distant pods.

Other COVID-19 safety measures are recommended, including face masks when entering and exiting the building, visiting the dealership booth and washrooms, and when moving around the site at all times.

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