By Rick Kennedy, managing editor
In separate joint statements on Friday, Hempstead Hall and the Hope Hempstead Chamber of Commerce confirmed a number of changes from the traditional banquet and keynote speech for the Chamber’s annual banquet on April 6.
In her statement, Chamber Director Beckie Moore said, “Due to the ever-increasing request for Annual Meeting & Banquet tickets, the chamber and Hempstead Hall have put a plan in place that will allow additional opportunities to attend & hear President Clinton speak.”
“The entire program, including President Clinton’s keynote speech, will now be staged in the Hempstead Hall Theater. For those who purchased banquet tickets / tables, the banquet meal will remain the same. Once the meal has ended, everyone will transition to the theater. This plan allows a greater number of people to join us for the evening,” Moore said.
At 11:54 on Friday, Hempstead Hall emailed, “President Clinton Returns to Hope April 6, 2019,” which provided a public link to tickets priced at $21 to be purchased in advance.
Hempstead Hall’s email says, “President Clinton Returns to Hope April 6, 2019, Saturday, April 6, 2019 at 6:30 p.m. Hempstead Hall on the University of Arkansas Hope campus, Hope Chamber of Commerce Annual Meeting and Awards Presentation to follow.”
Since the initial public announcement of Clinton’s return to speak at the 2019 Chamber banquet last week, tables for the banquet effectively sold out within 12 hours.
Over the past weekend and into the begining of this week, Chamber and Hempstead Hall officials formulated an alternative plan, relocating Clinton’s keynote speech and much of the Chamber’s program into the main Hempstead Hall theatre, which holds a capacity of 1,600 persons, from the tradition dining area, which holds approximately 68-tables with each table seating eight persons.
Scheduled to appear with Clinton will be Mack McLarty and Joe Purvis, both of whom were in Hope during Hempstead County’s Bicentennial Celebration on December 15.
Clinton’s arrival back to Hope has been highly anticipated since the announcement was made. The former President and former Arkansas Governor was last in Hope eight years ago for the national site dedication of his birth place, which today is known as the President William Jefferson Clinton Birthplace Home National Historic Site, located at the corner of 117 South Hervey St.
The live link for tickets as provided by Hempstead Hall in its Friday email is: