The winter doldrums are finally behind us! Spring has arrived and with it an abundance of events and activities to enjoy. Whether you are a history buff, love the outdoors, or want to be entertained, you will find something in the month of April to delight in. Listed below are some of the highlights.

History Events:

For those interested in history, there are two vastly different events coming up. First is a celebration of the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, sponsored by the MLK50 Community Group.  The First Annual Candlelight Vigil is slated for April 3 at 5:30 on the grounds of the historic Centennial Baptist Church.

Downtown Helena will be the site for the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Parade  on April 7 beginning at 12 p.m. at the north end of Cherry St.

A very special presentation is planned for Sunday, April 8 at 2:30 p.m. at New Light Baptist Church. Dr. Brian Mitchell, professor at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock has been invited to be the guest speaker at the program entitled, “Moving Forward! Where Do We Go From Here, Chaos or Community?”  Contact: Phyllis Hammonds at 870-714-2262.

The Delta Cultural Center is commemorating the 155th anniversary of the Battle of Helena the weekend of April 13 – 15.  A variety of events are planned, but the main event is the re-enactment of the Confederate assault on Fort Curtis on April 14 at 12 p.m.

This year for the first time there will be an afternoon battle on Sunday, April 15 at 2 p.m. This will recreate Marmaduke’s advancement on the Helena River Park. The battle will be moved to the North Helena Park if the River Park is flooded.

Other activities include living historian presentations, a tea at the Pillow-Thompson House, and a period dance downtown. Contact information: Richard Spilman at 870-338-4350.

Music Events:

The King Biscuit Blues Festival will announce the lineup for this year’s festival on Wednesday, April 11 at 5p.m. at the Cherry St. Pavilion. Headliners and lineups will be announced for the Main Stage, the Lockwood-Stackhouse Stage, the CeDell Davis Stage, the Bit-O-Blues Stage and the Gospel Stage. Contact: KBBF office, 870-572-5223.

The 50th Anniversary Benefit for Warfield Concerts promises to be a highlight of 2018. A fundraising banquet is planned for Sunday, April 22, followed by an exciting benefit concert to celebrate 50 years of bringing outstanding performances to Phillips County. The Memphis Symphony Orchestra is collaborating with a Prince tribute band for what promises to be a very special evening. Contact: Maureen Jones at 404-697-7197.

Southbound Tavern is providing live music on the weekends through the next few months. There is no cover charge, so gather your friends to enjoy great music and good food. Contact: Joel Tipton at 870-228-5009.

Outdoor Events:

Phillips County is blessed to have two state parks close by. Both have great programs for those who enjoy the outdoors.

Explore the calm waters of Old Town Lake on April 14 as a park interpreter from Delta Heritage Trail State Park (DHTST) guides you through the grand cypress trees.

DHTST also has a Peddle Paddle Tour scheduled for April 28. Travel 12 miles on a bicycle with a park interpreter over the former route of the Missouri Pacific’s Delta Eagle passenger train and then paddle a kayak on Old Town Lake. Contact: Maggie Howard at 870-572-2352.

Volunteer to help with the Great American Cleanup along the Bear Creek Lake shoreline at Mississippi River State Park (MRSP) on April 7. Or take a kayak tour of Hornor Neck Lake on April 8 or Bear Creek Lake on April 14. A full moon kayak tour of Bear Creek Lake is slated for April 28.

Other activities at MRSP include a Spring Wildflower Walk and programs with snakes and other reptiles. Contact: Tara Gillanders at 870-295-4040.

If gardening is your passion why not volunteer at the Helena Community Garden on Walnut St. in downtown Helena? They have regular volunteer days – the next one is April 7.  Contact: Susan Alman at 870-338-4350.

Here is a great event for all the runners out there. The Boys and Girls Club of Phillips County is sponsoring a 5K Race for the Kids on Saturday, April 7. You can join a team or register as an individual. Contact: BGCPC at 870-572-1711.

Enjoy walking? The Humane Society of the Delta has a volunteer day planned for Sunday, April 22 and one of the best things volunteers can do is walk the dogs. So, if you love to walk, and love dogs, you’ll be a natural at this! Contact: Beth Florek at 870-753-2119.

Downtown Events:

The ever-popular Fabulous First Thursday luncheons at the Pillow-Thompson House continue on April 5. Local caterers provide special meals that you won’t find anywhere else in town. Contact: Donna Ussery at 870-338-8535.

A wine tasting event will be held on Friday, April 20 at the Hunt Education Center. This is in support of the Phillips County Relay for Life Survivors’ Team. Contact: Cora Blakely at 870-572-3396.

Speaking of Relay for Life – it’s moving downtown this year! This fundraiser for the American Cancer Society has relocated to Court Square Park. Everyone is invited to come out on April 28 to support cancer survivors and caregivers, and to remember the loved ones we’ve lost. Contact: Leslie Humphrey at 870-692-0398.

As you can see, there is a lot going on in April. Of course, this list is not complete, but its shows the variety of events happening over the next few weeks. So, get out and enjoy!