Arkansas Festivals and Events T-shirt helping small businesses in AR – Rock City Outfitters

Arkansas Festival and Events T-shirt - helping small businesses in Arkansas

Posted by Ryan Ritchie at

I miss the good ole days. When you could walk the streets of your favorite small town, throw back a Diamond Bear beer (or three!), and buy a balloon animal and a sweet beard oil you found from a local Arkansas native who slings merchandise at one of Arkansas’ many local hometown festivals? And Matt, Sheena, Melanie, Tom Brady and I miss slinging Rock City t-shirts for y’all even more. We love attending events all over the state of Arkansas and hanging out with y’all. 

I will never forget one year at RiverFest, Cheryl Crow and her band actually came by the Rock City booth before their performance! They bought tons of stuff and Cheryl bought our famous “Teabagging Arkansas” t-shirts. She posed for a picture with her cool new shirt and posted it on her social media. I couldn’t believe all the negative feedback and pushback she got from a bunch of prudes astonished she would wear such a tacky shirt. We thought it looked great though! (We love you Cheryl :)

All I’m saying is although it’s a lot of work, attending events around our home state of Arkansas is one of our favorite things to do! I mean, where else would I get to bet Matt Jones (my bestie and business partner) that he couldn’t eat 5 funnel cakes in 1 hour? And then see him spew all over the sidewalk. Clean up on aisle 5! 

When Rock City got started, selling our t-shirts at festivals was the best way to get the word out about our locally owned business and it was also the biggest part of our income when we first got started. And since festival season is pretty much non-existent right now due to COVID-19, our hearts go out to each and every person who is affected by this right now. From the thousands of vendors, the bands, the porta-potty people, the gatekeepers, the event organizers, the event venues, the parking attendants, and more, there are so many who were affected by this last year into this year. 

To try to do our part to help other locally owned small businesses in Arkansas to help the distress the retail industry was faced with in 2020, Rock City partnered with Arkansas Festival and Events Association to bring you a new T-shirt. 

What does the AFEA do you ask? The AFEA advocates for the education, promotion and improvement of festivals and events in the State of Arkansas and to set high standards for all member organizations so that visitors from within and without the State of Arkansas will unconsciously become ambassadors of Arkansas wherever they may go as a result of their visit.

Jenna Friday of the AFEA believes that festivals, events and civic celebrations are at the foundation of characteristics that distinguish human communities and interaction. Civic events promote civic pride, culture, heritage and community. The future development of our communities and world depend in part on the existence of these celebratory events.

And since the industry got little recourse in 2020 from the CARES act, Jenna is working hard to support the vendors of Arkansas until everyone these festivals and events support are all back up on their feet. Even the small towns that these events are held are being affected. These events bring tourism to their area and provide extra income to many individuals and businesses. 

Our new t-shirt design mentions some of our favorite Arkansas Festivals we have been to and a $10 of every t-shirt sale will go to AFEA to help offset their members’ membership fees since most of the festivals and events in Arkansas last year got cancelled. Rock City is even on the list of businesses who have been affected. We attend over 20 events and festivals each year and get to meet Arkansans from every corner of the state. 


If you NEED this new design and want to help other small businesses in Arkansas, you can get your shirt HERE.

$10 of every purchase of this shirt will be donated to AFEA


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