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Beatles at the Ridge Festival wins AFEA Gold Award

Walnut Ridge, AR -- Beatles at the Ridge, an annual volunteer-run and free-to-attend festival in Walnut Ridge, Arkansas, has just been named Festival of the Year by the Arkansas Festival and Events Association. Over 40 entries were received by AFEA for their awards, each being judged based on festival idea, media, security, publicity, and creativity.

"This is an unbelievable honor and credit is due to all involved with this wonderful festival," said Beatles at the Ridge Symposium Chair, Jude Southerland Kessler. "Beatles experts from all over the world donate their time and talents, making it the cutting-edge festival it truly is!"

Mayor Charles Snapp, Jackie Snapp, Lesa Walter and Jon Walter

The initial idea for the festival stemmed from a brief visit from the Fab Four to the quiet town of Walnut Ridge back on September 20, 1964. News of what was supposed to be a secret airport landing quickly spread through the area, with a crowd gathering to greet the band when they arrived en route to a weekend ranch getaway.

Now, the occasion is marked each year that same weekend in September with authors, artists, musicians and more. The two-day takeover of Main Street includes vendors, events and presentations both in the streets and inside at The Studio, with local businesses also joining in the Beatles fun by offering themed food, drink and souvenir specials.

"Keep in mind the Beatles at the Ridge music festival and symposium is a totally free event to attend and receives no financial support from the city of Walnut Ridge," said Mayor Charles E. Snapp. "It is paid for by the generosity of sponsors that understand the value of keeping our community front and center to the world. They can certainly see the changes in Walnut Ridge since the festival started."

The festival began as a Sunday afternoon tribute to the Beatles in 2011 (in the rain!). The following year, Beatles at the Ridge won the best new festival ALFiE award, and this year also won a silver award for their website and gold for T-shirt design. But the Festival of the Year award typically goes to the much bigger financially-backed "mega festivals" of the area. "We didn't know we would even place!" Snapp added.

This year's festival symposium will boast the appearance of New York Times bestselling author Vivek Tiwary (The Fifth Beatle), author and filmmaker David Bedford from Liverpool, as well as several other Beatles-related authors, artists and performers.

For more information on Beatles at the Ridge, go to www.beatlesattheridge.com or visit facebook.com/BeatlesAtTheRidge/.

Related articles:

• NY Times best-selling author to headline Beatles at The Ridge festival (9/13/18)
• Beatles at the Ridge festival is this weekend (9/12/18)
• Music expert and author Kit O'Toole to close Beatles symposium (9/10/18)
• John Lennon stamp to be available with special postmark at fest (9/5/18)
• Liverpool film maker and author to be featured at Beatles at the Ridge (8/24/18)

Published February 13, 2018

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