Entertainment Headed to Oaklawn Racing and Gaming

The Monkees in 2011
Amanda Galiano

Oaklawn recently announced a few upcoming concerts for their Finish Line Theater series.  This is the eighth season for the Finish Line Theater Series.  The Finish Line Theater Series mostly brings in oldies but goodies, and the intimate setting means there isn't a bad seat in the house.  Oaklawn is so cozy, I wouldn't be surprised if you saw one of the headliners in the electric gaming center after the show.  You never know.  Hot Springs is pretty quirky like that.

First on May 2, Gladys Knight will be performing.  Knight is known as the "Empress of Soul" and has won 7-Grammy awards, and was most popular in the 60s and 70s.  Some of her hits include: "That's What Friends are For," "Midnight Train to Georgia," "Neither One of Us (Wants to Be he first to Say Goodbye)", and "I Heard it Through the Grapevine."  She released her latest album in 2014.  Glady's Knight can still belt it out like she did decades ago.  This should be a great show.

For the classic rock lover, Steppenwolf performs on June 17.  Steppenwolf was the original "heavy metal" band and they were most popular in the 70s.  Their hits include “Born to be Wild,” “Magic Carpet Ride,” “Rock Me” and “Monster.” 

And the last act announced is the Monkees (at least two of them) on July 22,  Mickey Dolenz and Peter Tork are on tour to promote their 50th Anniversary album, "Good Times."  The Monkees are well known for their bubblegum pop, including “Last Train to Clarksville,” “I’m A Believer,” and “Daydream Believer.”  Other band members included David Jones, who passed away and Micheal Nesmith, who generally doesn't tour.

“This is one of the most exciting lineups the Finish Line Theater has ever had,” said Director of Marketing Kim Baron. “Ever since the dates were posted on the bands’ websites, our phone lines have been lighting up. There are a lot of people looking forward to reliving some great memories that these legendary musicians are sure to invoke when they hit our stage.”

More acts are expected to be announced in the coming months.  Tickets go on sale in March, and judging by the response on their Facebook post, they are bound to go quickly. 

The Finish Line Theater is an intimate theater that seats about 700 people.  The concert season usually starts at the end of live racing season. After the show (or before), you can experience Oaklawn's electronic gaming. Similar to casino games, they have well liked slot machines, electric card games and even real card games.  Oaklawn also offers many dining options, making a concert the perfect night out on the town.

Oaklawn is a thoroughbred racetrack and gaming center.  It is the home for electric gaming and other types of gambling in Arkansas.  It is closer to Little Rock than Tunica, and during the live racing season, spectators can visit the park to see Thoroughbreds race in one of the country's leading prep races for the Kentucky Derby.  The live racing season for Oaklawn is between mid-January and mid-April, but spectators can come to watch and place bets on simulcast racing from around the country year round.  Their electric gaming center is also open year round.

Oaklawn and the Finish Line theater are about an hour away from Little Rock in historic Hot Springs.  There are many fun things to see and do in Hot Springs, including some excellent dining opportunities, thermal baths and some off-the-wall attractions you won't find anywhere else.  You can learn about Al Capone's time in Arkansas at the Gangster Museum, visit Mid-America Science Museum or even see a live alligator feeding. Hot Springs also has some of the nicest resorts and hotels in the area, including the Arlington and Mountain Harbor Resort.  Al Capone liked the Arlington.  Hot Springs is a great city with a lot of fun history.  It might be fun to make a weekend of the concert.

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