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Big Boo!-seum Bash comes to Little Rock

October 19th, 2015 by Sharon Welch-Blair

The Empress of Little Rock loves its downtown location because of easy access to such fun events as the Big Boo!-seum Bash!  Remember that children over 6 are welcome to stay at The Empress!

Be sure to wear your costumes to the Big Boo!-seum Bash!

• Trick-or-treating
• Fun and games
• Safe and accessible for children and families



Arkansas Arts Center (partnering with the Little Rock Visitor Center at Curran Hall)

Historic Arkansas Museum

MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History

Mosaic Templars Cultural Center (partnering with the Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site)

Museum of Discovery

Old State House Museum (partnering with the Arkansas State Capitol)

Witt Stephens Jr. Nature Center (partnering with the Arkansas Inland Maritime Museum)


Pick up a game card for prize drawings! Each location will have game cards for visitors. Go to each participating location to get the card stamped.

Post Instagram photos while at a Boo!seum location with the hashtag #LRBooseum.

After the fun we hope you retire to the creepily elegant Empress of Little Rock, with our ghoulish innkeeper has bedecked the halls with spiderwebs, witches, broomsticks and pumpkins.  Ghosts are not guaranteed, but we can’t promise you that they won’t be present either!



Biketoberfest 2015

October 12th, 2015 by Sharon Welch-Blair

Did you know that Little Rock was lauded by Bicycling Magazine as one of America’s top 50 bike-friendly cities? Among the features noted are the world’s longest pedestrian only bridge (the Big Dam Bridge) and the Junction Bridge  in downtown Little Rock, the Two Rivers Bridge in west Little Rock, the new mountain bike trails at Pinnacle Mountain State Park , and the conversion of the historic Rock Island Railroad Bridge next to the Clinton Presidential Library in downtown Little Rock.

Another bicycle-friendly option for both Little Rock and North Little Rock  is the ability to rent bikes for cruising through the downtown districts. River Trail Rentals is located on the north side but services the south shore as well, and Bobby’s Bike Hike is located in the RiverMarket.  Their rentals make bicycling an easy spur-of-the-moment pleasure.

With such a bike-friendly city, it is no wonder that events like Biketoberfest are coming to the capitol city.  Biketoberfest is Family Friendly and FREE to attend. Festivities include the Southern BMX Stunt Show, back again this year with an even bigger setup and new, exciting tricks!

Other event attractions include the judging and awards for the 2015 Rat Rod Buildoff, Adult Trike Races, Food & Lost Forty Brews!NEW This Year: A Family Fun Ride led by Major Taylor’s riding group. Meet & Greet virtually all the bicycling groups in Little Rock – from casual riders to serious competitors on Sunday, Oct 18, 2015, from noon 4:00 p.m. in the RiverMarket Pavillions.

Discover Little Rock Walking Tour

October 7th, 2015 by Sharon Welch-Blair

The Empress is proud to be a part of downtown Little Rock.  The city’s urban center is filled with exciting attractions, fun events, amazing restaurants and beautiful scenery.  So we are so glad that the Downtown Partnership is taking the opportunity to share their intimate knowledge of the area with locals and visitors alike in the Downtown Navigators Tour.
Discover downtown like never before with a streetcar and walking tour guided by the Downtown Little Rock Partnership Navigators and Rock Region METRO streetcar drivers each Saturday in October.
Each tour is approximately 90 minutes, beginning at La Petite Roche Plaza, located in Riverfront Park near the base of the Junction Bridge, and wrapping up at the President Clinton Ave. trolley stop. Comfortable shoes are encouraged.
The tours are free to the public. Tour participants receive a free streetcar day pass.  No reservations needed.
If you are as excited about the tour as we are, we invite you to stay at The Empress and make a weekend of it.  Get an insider’s look at what makes Little Rock special…and then go out that night and enjoy it all!  Rooms are still available throughout October.  Call us now to make your reservation! 501-374-7966!!!!

Main Street Food Truck Festival

September 29th, 2015 by Sharon Welch-Blair

This Saturday, Oct. 3, the Main Street Food Truck Festival comes to Little Rock’s downtown area. Boasting free admission and blocks of buskers, arts and crafts (and not to mention food!), this year’s festival will host a record-breaking 48 food trucks and 18 vendors. The yearly success of the Main Street Food Truck Festival has been noticed by and the Arkansas Times; the event was named one of the top ten “Best Food Truck Festivals in the United States” by the former and selected as one of the top food festivals in Arkansas by the latter.

Picky eater? Don’t worry! All tastes will be satisfied from the offerings at this year’s event. Start the day well-fueled with a coffee from Benton’s Cafe 7181. Several trucks specializing in burgers will be present, including BASH Burger Co. of Benton and Excaliburger of Little Rock. And it can’t be an Arkansas festival without some Arkansas originals – No Buns BBQ of Salem and Yvettes’ Sandwiches of Searcy are just two of the many vendors serving up the ‘que this Saturday. The Pie Hole of Little Rock and Eat My Catfish of Benton will please palates with plates reminiscent of grandma’s.


Several food trucks will have healthy options available and Derby Farms of Fort Smith will be present with sugar- and gluten-free options. The Clean Eatery of Little Rock will offer sandwiches, salads and meal-prep options. Beast Food Truck, also of Little Rock, will serve paleo choices and specializes in farm-to-table preparation practices.




Want to taste the world? Enjoy Alaskan dumplings from Slader’s of Searcy or Nepalese dumplings from Katmandu Momo of Little Rock. El Cubano Loco (Little Rock) specializes in Cuban fare, and Mexican cuisine will be available from El Buen Gusto (Benton), Cheto’s Authentic Mex (Paron) and Luncheria Mexicana Alicia (Little Rock), to name a few. Several of Little Rock’s favorites, including Banana Leaf (Indian), the Southern Salt Food Company (Asian BBQ/Southern Fusion) and The Southern Gourmasian (Southern Asian Specialties) will offer some of their popular plates.



Treat yourself and your culinary curiosity with hand-dipped Italian ice from Repicci’s or one-of-a-kind popsicles from Le Pops, both from Little Rock. Loblolly Creamery will be on-hand serving up their unique flavors from locally-sourced ingredients and beautiful lotus blossom cookies will be offered by Wok-N-Roll of Russellville.

Food isn’t the only event at the Main Street Food Truck Festival. Keep the kiddos happy with children’s activities provided by Heifer International. Five beer gardens will be well-stocked with ice-cold refreshments. Buskers and artists at work will be featured on every block and vendors will be present selling Arkansas-made items, artisan jewelry, handmade clothing and reclaimed woodworks, among other products.

Festival activities will begin Saturday, Oct. 3, at 11 a.m. and will run until 4 p.m. Main Street will be blocked off from Third to Eighth Streets for the event. The Main Street Food Truck Festival is organized by the Downtown Little Rock Partnership.

Race for the Cure

September 28th, 2015 by Sharon Welch-Blair

Have you reserved your room for Race for the Cure weekend yet?

Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure® Series is the world’s largest and most successful education and fundraising event for breast cancer ever created. Every October,  thousands gather in downtown Little Rock for the Arkansas Race for the Cure. Together, we honor those who are surviving breast cancer and remember those who have lost their battle with the disease. Whether you walk, run, volunteer or donate, your involvement is helping us save lives and provide priceless support to those in need.

The Race for the Cure is unique in the fact that 100% of the net proceeds are allocated to our mission. 75 percent of the net income stays in Arkansas to help fund local programs offering breast health education and breast cancer screening and treatment. The remaining 25 percent of the net income supports the Susan G. Komen® Grants Program.

Here is a schedule of race day events:

Komen Arkansas Race for the Cure

Saturday, October 10, 2015
Downtown Little Rock, Arkansas
Start Line: Intersection of Capitol & Arch



Event Schedule for Race Day:

6:00 a.m. – 8:00 a.m. Packet Pick-Up & Registration (4th and Arch St.)

6:30 a.m. Survivor Breakfast

7:15 a.m. Survivor Photo

7:30 a.m. 5K Competitive Run

7:40 a.m. Pre-Race Ceremony

8:00 a.m. 5K Run/Walk

8:20 a.m. Family 2K Fun Walk/Fun Run

9:30 a.m. Survivor Parade

Survivor After Party immediately following Survivor Parade

Locally Labeled~A Celebration of Local Beverage Makers

September 26th, 2015 by Sharon Welch-Blair


On Oct 15 from 5:30-7:30 p.m, an exciting event will take place in Little Rock.  Join local breweries Stone’s Throw, Diamond Bear, Lost Forty, Vino’s Brewpub, Damgoode Brewhouse, and Blue Canoe Brewing Co. along with wineries BoBrook Farms and An Enchanting Evening for a night celebrating local beverage makers. 

All of the listed businesses will be on hand with samples and products for sale. Rock Town Distillery will also be on hand with all sorts of fun, branded swag.  As you browse the local beverages, the fun and funky Amasa Hines Band will entertain the whole night through!22035318628_385d409d56_m

During the event, guests can pick up passports with information about all of Greater Little Rock’s local beverage makers. When visiting each location, present your passport for a sticker, once full, return the passport to Shop the Rock inside Ottenheimer Market Hall for an exclusive prize.

The Locally Labeled Kick Off event is a 21 and up event.  Check out their Facebook Page for more information!

Weekend Events in Little Rock

September 15th, 2015 by Sharon Welch-Blair


There are always events happening in Central Arkansas, and the Empress still has rooms available for this weekend!  Located in the heart of Arkansas’s capitol city, the Empress of Little Rock is a AAA 4-Diamond establishment with historic charm.  Join us for the weekend and see all that Little Rock has to offer.  No idea what to do this weekend?  Let us help you with your planning.  Our concierge is ready to give you advice on restaurants, attractions and events.

If you book a room for this weekend here are a few things to check out in the area!

ACANSA Arts Festival, Central AR: Wednesday Sept. 16- Sunday Sept. 20.

The festival offers multiple venues on both sides of the Arkansas River in Little Rock and North Little Rock. Artists of all types have helped make this area part of the thriving New South culture—vibrant, cosmopolitan and filled with charm, hospitality and natural beauty.

Hot Springs Blues & BBQ Festival, Oaklawn Infield: Sept. 19 & 20

The Hot Springs Blues & BBQ Festival, presented by Budweiser, will be headlined by the Los Lonely Boys Saturday, Sept. 19 and Keb’ Mo’ Sunday, Sept. 20. The event, hosted jointly by Oaklawn and the Spa City Blues Society, will take place in Oaklawn’s infield and also feature some of the region’s best barbeque.

Little Rock Bacon Fest, AR State Fairgrounds: Saturday Sept. 19

The 2nd Annual Bacon Festival at the Arkansas State Fairgrounds to support the Arkansas State Fair Scholarship Program. Bacon Fest will include a 5K bacon themed run in the morning, live music, professional and amateur bacon themed cooking contests, a bacon eating contest, vendor booths, kids zone and live music.

Main Street Food Truck Festival

September 14th, 2015 by Sharon Welch-Blair




ms food truck

The Downtown Little Rock Partnership will present the Main Street Food Truck Festival in the fall of 2015. The festival, started by DLRP and the Main Street Revitalization Committee to help bring people back to Main Street, as ideas for a major renaissance on Main Street were starting to gel. Was it just four years ago that windows were boarded and Bennett’s and the Arkansas Repertory Theatre lonely neighbors?!  My how times have changed!

Thirty food trucks, 11 of them new to the Festival, will join musicians, artists and other vendors on Main from 4th to 8th streets, coinciding this year with the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure crossing Main Street in the early morning at 6th and around to 3rd on the return. If you’re downtown for the Race, come on over for brunch! Many trucks will do early bird specials 8-10 a.m. for racegoers and fans. (Just to whet your appetite: primal biscuits covered in paleo gravy with scratch breakfast sausage, cinnamon buns a la mode, asparagus and smoke salmon eggs benedict, sausage pancake on a stick, handmade traditional Mexican tamales, breakfast tacos with chorizo and scrambled egg topped with onion, cilantro & raw cheddar with a side peach-habanero sauce, iced coffee float and much more!)

6 Bridges Regatta

September 8th, 2015 by Sharon Welch-Blair


The second annual Six Bridges Regatta (6BR) will be held on Saturday, September 19. Rowers from across the South will compete in a full day of sprints and races on the Arkansas River. Participants will launch at the Arkansas Boathouse Club in North Little Rock and row west to the start line near Big Rock Quarry. They will compete east down the river passing the Baring Cross Train, Broadway, Main Street, Junction, I-30 Bridges and finishing at the Clinton Presidential Bridge. Spectators can find great spots for watching the events on both sides of the river while enjoying food, refreshments, and live entertainment.

Rowing has been a popular sport in Little Rock for over 100 years. In 1877, the Capitol Hotel was opened after extensive remodeling of the Denkla Building. Here a group of young men gathered to discuss how to spend their leisure time; during this conversation the idea for an athletic club to include rowing was hatched. The young men continued to gather at a men’s store located in the Capitol Hotel – Bernays & Maxwell – to firm up their idea.

In 1882 the Little Rock Athletic Association was formerly organized. P.H. Bernays was elected President. This was the first effort in Little Rock to organize a boat club. By 1883, the club had 125 members. The group charged $25 annual membership dues and was able to purchase the equipment it needed. Soon after, a wood frame clubhouse was built on the bank of the Arkansas River at the foot of Main Street.

The club had a board comprised of 10 members. In addition to rowing, the group fielded a football team which competed across the South. Since the boathouse was the gathering place for these 100+ young men to gather, the name Boathouse Club became widely used in place of Little Rock Athletic Association.

This exciting event is bringing a new generation of rowers to Little Rock and the Empress is proud to be a part of the downtown atmosphere.  The perfect place to relax after a hard day of rowing is the 200 ft veranda overlooking the gardens of The Empress of Little Rock!

Razorback Nation River Market Takeover

September 3rd, 2015 by Sharon Welch-Blair


The Empress of Little Rock is excited that the Razorbacks are bringing football back to Little Rock!  Do you know what else we are excited about?  Movies in the Park returns to downtown Little Rock as part of a special “Razorback Nation River Market Takeover” event the night before the Arkansas Razorbacks host Toledo in Little Rock.

That’s right, on Friday, Sep 11, 2015, KARK-TV and the Little Rock Convention and Visitors Bureau will present a free showing of Guardians of the Galaxy at sundown around 8:00 p.m. Movies in the Park takes place at the First Security Amphitheater in Riverfront Park.

Prior to the movie, dining specials will be offered at various restaurants in and around the River Market to celebrate Razorback fans.  Check out their Facebook Page for more information.

If you were planning on coming to Little Rock for the game on Saturday, this is the perfect excuse to stay an extra night (at the Empress…wink,wink) and enjoy the nightlife in the Rock.  We promise you a cozy bed and an amazing breakfast and we hope that movies and the game will provide the rest of a fantastic Razorback weekend!