Posts Tagged ‘Razorback Greenway’

Bentonville Film Festival returning May 3-8

February 28th, 2016 by Laughlin House

With Bentonville’s biggest “hometown company” being none other than Walmart Stores, Inc., our town plays host to droves of business people every week selling products and services. And because Walmart is the largest seller of goods in many consumer industries – including the entertainment industry – it should come as no surprise that from time to time, some of the business people visiting are pretty famous and influential.

You never know who you’ll run into on the Square or at Crystal Bridges or at the Walmart Home Office. Celebrities like Tom Cruise and Harry Connick, Jr., dining at Tavola Trattoria (it happened, I swear!)  George W. Bush riding the mountain bike trails (I kid you not. Saw it with my own eyes.) Drew Barrymore promoting her Walmart-exclusive makeup line “Flower”.  Famous musicians, athletes, business icons, world leaders, philanthropists, politicians … the list of names and causes who’ve visited our town is endless.

In May, (May 3-8, to be exact), Bentonville will host more notable personalities than normal as they serve as judges, panelists, speakers and hosts for the Bentonville Film Festival (BFF). Geena Davis is the co-chair of the event, and she brings friends and colleagues along with her to promote the festival. Last year attendees had the opportunity to hear Geena, Rosie O’Donnell, Robert De Niro, Jeffrey Katzenberg, Soldedad O’Brien, and plenty of other famous faces in film and media speak.

WAY beyond just a place for celebrities to converge, BFF promotes a worthy cause. Its mission is to champion women and diverse voices in media. The festival is intended to bring together filmmakers and media content creators to influence media in depicting a range of gender and diversity.

In order to qualify for BFF, film submissions must meet at least two of the following criteria: the film must have a female or diverse director, producer, writer or lead character, or that at least half of the cast, crew or extras are either female or diverse (or both!).

And the other really, really awesome thing about it — the winning films are automatically guaranteed distribution, which could include a theatrical release via AMC theaters,  television release via STARZ and Lifetime, and digital and retail home entertainment distribution in partnership with Walmart.

This year all of the film screenings are rumored to be in the downtown area, which we’re really excited about. More details about the schedule and venues to come as soon as its been released!

BFF is just one of several events we can count on to be fun, entertaining and educational this year.

In fact, be on the lookout for more exciting events in the area in 2016. Coming November 10-12, the International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA) will be hosting its World Mountain Bike Summit in Bentonville! According to their website, the World Summit program “includes keynote speakers, educational sessions, an expo, networking and—of course—plenty of time to explore local trails.”

More to come on that, too.

Until next time …

Northwest Arkansas: A Cycling Paradise

September 3rd, 2013 by Laughlin House

Within the next couple of years, cyclists will be able to bike from Fayetteville all the way north to Bella Vista. The trail system, known as the Razorback Greenway, is more than 36 miles of paved bike trail  aimed at providing alternative transportation and recreation for the region. Not only does it run north and south, but it will eventually connect (and in many areas already connects) with other spur trails weaving in and of Fayetteville, Johnson, Springdale, Rogers, Bentonville and Bella Vista to create more than 80 miles of bike- and pedestrian-friendly routes.

Bentonville has been growing and nurturing a very active biking community over the past couple of years, led by the efforts of local bike shops including Phat Tire (located just off the Square (and 2 blocks from Laughlin House!) and Mojo Cycling.  In partnership with cycling organizations FAST Friends at Slaughter Pen Trail and Bike Bentonville, among other groups, these organizations rally behind cycling and fitness activities to help make Bentonville a more active, bike-friendly community. (I’d be remiss if I didn’t also mention the growing running community and advocates here, spearheaded by Rush Running.) Together they organize events, group rides, races and educational activities centered around cycling.  It is a very common site to see cyclists in full riding gear gathering at the Square before heading a block north to the Crystal Bridges Bike Trail (which is also only a block from Laughlin House!) on their way to Slaughter Pen Hollow, a world-class, 30-mile system of off-road mountain biking trails located in north Bentonville. (To see riders in action, click through the dozens of videos on YouTube of Slaughter Pen rides; here’s one example I found.)

Want to check out a trail and don’t want to lug your bikes with you?  Rent one from Phat Tire or  from the Downtown Activity Center.  And download trail maps from Phat Tire’s website.

Slaughter Pen Jam Festival

Speaking of bike-centered events, this weekend is the much-anticipated Slaughter Pen Jam, a 3-day weekend of bike racing action, live music and great food in Bentonville.  The Bentonville First Friday festival touts the World Trials Champion Bicycle Stunt Exhibition from 5 to 8 p.m. on the Square — one of our favorites of the year. It’s like watching bicycle ballet. Read a little more about the events of the September First Friday and come check it out this weekend.

Upcoming Bike-Themed Art Events

And of course we have to mention what’s going on in the local art scene this month. The Norberta Philbrook Art Gallery (located on Central across from Phat Tire Bike Shop) is hosting The Art of Cycling throughout the month of September, both at their gallery and across the street at The Pressroom. This event is being described as a “month-long collaborative exhibition that celebrates cycling and cyclists, opening as an accompaniment to the Slaughter Pen Jam & Music Festival,” featuring several local artists who will provide bike-themed artwork and experiences. The Norberta Philbrook Gallery and The Pressroom will also host a public reception for the artists on Tuesday September 17th from 6-8pm.

See you on the trails!


 

»