Ozark Gateway Celebrates Tourism Week on Second Friday


This year National Tourism Week coincides with Downtown Batesville’s Second Friday Frolic on May 10. The Ozark Gateway Tourist Council, with help from Citizens Bank, First Community Bank, Main Street Batesville, and other local businesses is planning an all-day celebration integrating the two events. It will begin at 12:45 with a ribbon cutting ceremony and introduction followed by comments from Mayor Elumbaugh and County Judge Robert Griffin, then followed by a lunch of burgers, hot dogs, soft drinks, and other goodies.


WRD Entertainment’s Ken Loggains will be broadcasting live from 2:00 to 4:00. Local bands, musicians, buskers, and troubadours are invited to perform in round robin style on the Pocket Park stage from 3:00 to 5:00. Visitors are also encouraged to visit our antique and collectible stores while downtown. We have asked the stores to remain open until 7:00.


At 5:00 the Batesville Area Arts Council, at 246 E. Main Street, will present a selection of works from the 51st Annual Young Arkansas Arts Competition and Exhibition. The exhibition, held at the Arkansas Arts Center, showcases work by students from kindergarten to the 12th grade. This exhibition will be on view at the Batesville Gallery April 29 through May 31. An open public reception will be held from 5:00 until 7:00.


Simply Southern Music Hall at 201 E. Main will feature the New Kentucky Colonels. This well-known and highly-praised group is considered the premier bluegrass group in America, with over 125 years of combined experience. The band includes Eric Lewis, Bobby Glendy, John Neighbors, Jimmy Wingo, and fourteen year old newcomer Alex Hilliker on the fiddle. Doors open at 6:00; music begins at 7:00. Arrive early to guarantee seating. Admission is $5:00, $2:00 for children. Refreshments are available.


Local non-profits, charities, crafters, artists, and vendors are invited to attend, distribute information, have drawings or prizes, and sell their wares beginning 1:00. Ozark Foothills FilmFest will be selling the popular t-shirts and posters from the last decade at reduced prices. The posters, all but one the work of Arkansas artists, have become collectors items.


National Tourism Week celebrates communities that attract tourists who contribute to local economies. Communities also benefit from the media exposure that tourist attractions, festivals, and special events generate. Arkansas is fortunate to have such a wide variety of places to visit and things to do, as well as a strong tourism economy.