In the thick heat of every Arkansas summer, we usually look to the light toward the annual four-day musical and culinary celebration called Roots Fest. When COVID-19 struck at the beginning of spring, it skewed this year’s plans. Although we won’t be attending the festivities in person, the Roots crew has curated a live-stream event this week.

Hosted by Kyle Kellems of Ozarks at Large, and Roots co-founders Bernice & Bryan Hembree of Smokey & The Mirror and Chef Jerrmy Gawthrop, the Thursday Stream-a-Thon will give viewers a helluva time. Roots regulars and favorites Birds of Chicago, John Fullbright, The Steel Wheels, Raina Rose, The Honey Dewdrops, and even Nick Offerman and Megan Mullally are a handful of musical guests set to perform on Thursday night.

Though the event is free, the festival still needs your support. Please consider making a donation, if you are able, or purchase Roots merchandise to wear during the Thursday Night live stream. Roots viewers may also purchase a chef-curated chicken dinner or handcrafted pizza (available for Thursday curbside pickup from the ROOTS HQ in downtown Fayetteville) to enjoy while watching the live stream.

“ROOTS has always believed in the importance of accessible community programming. In this spirit, the virtual streaming event will be open and free to everyone, however, advance registration is required.”