Annual Holiday Gala Ball – Jacksonport State Park Nov. 18th!! (Posted by Ginger Smith)

Jacksonport Courthouse Night

It’s time to begin celebrating the upcoming holidays and what better way to do this than attend the Annual Holiday Gala Ball at Jacksonport State Park! Once again, the 52nd Regimental String Band will be providing traditional dance music popular during the Civil War era. Ladies and   gentlemen, this is the perfect opportunity to share an evening of dancing and socializing among friends, old and new. What a perfect opportunity to celebrate another successful year with someone special! We do hope that you will come out and spend the evening with us. You are encouraged to come dressed as you please to this dance! Dressy, casual, formal or even period attire – all are welcome!

Arkansas Steel Associates of Newport and Jacksonport State Park are graciously sponsoring the Annual Holiday Gala Ball at the Jacksonport Courthouse on Saturday, November 18th, 2017 from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.  The 52nd Regimental String Band from Memphis, Tennessee will perform live the heartfelt, lively, or romantic melodies of the 19th century.

For beginning dancers, the evening begins with ballroom dancing instruction under the twinkling lights of the courtroom chandeliers. Learn new steps along with other beginners from the best instructors!

Refreshments will be served throughout the evening.  Admission for the grand evening are adults $10, ages 12 through 7 $5, and ages 6 and under free.  

For more information contact: Jacksonport State Park, Vicky Schoeneweis, Park Interpreter, 205 Avenue Street, Newport, AR, 72112, Telephone: (870) 523-2143 or E-mail:

This event program is accessible for visitors with disabilities.

Ginger Smith joined OGTC in 2014 as a volunteer, and has lived in this area since 1972 when she moved to be near her parents, the late Doss and Vivian Burgess. Her late father was Independence County Appraiser and any time family, whether kids or grand kids, came to visit for even a short time, he would take them to A.D. Hill’s grocery store, and get them a soda pop and candy bar, see the talking bird there, and end up “checking out the great White River.” All the kids and grands have played on the banks there, picnicked, and played on the old train. Ginger is adamant, since she moved to Batesville, there is just no other place to raise a family. Her love for the area and desire to help promote it in her professional capacity led her to seek volunteering, and Charlie Morris, whom she met when she was a typesetter at the Daily Guard Newspaper, put her in touch with Cathy Drew, Executor Director of OGTC. She has been on board since then and says she has loved everything she has done and is proud to represent North Central Arkansas.
The last 20 years of her employment she worked for the late County Judge David Wyatt, West Elementary School Principal Jerry Harris, and Circuit Clerk Claudia Nobles and Judge John Kemp. At the Guard Office she says she made friends for a life time, and then the West Elementary teachers, students, and their families grew close to her forever. Her last job she was hired in a newly created position to collect felony fines and restitution. She was so proud that after three years she more than tripled the annual revenues that she retired! Her part-time retirement job was with the ortho docs, Drs. Allen and Angel where she also met many people from all over the area, and made another set of new friends! She is a published writer and has also written feature articles for the Batesville Guard TV Guide and the Arkansas Democrat Gazette.
She has a daughter, Misty Long Sparks, son-in-law Dloyd Sparks, and three grands, Dalton Lee, Victoria Lynn and Anna Rose, who own her heart, and three more heartbeat grands, Nico and Corbin of Washington, and a late granddaughter, Ginger Savannah. Her late husband, Ken Smith, was the Batesville Postmaster.
Totally retired now, Ginger offers her time and writing abilities to OGTC as she travels around the state and visits with so many nice folks, writes reviews, and tries to be a worthy representative for Ozark Gateway Tourism. She is a people person who really cares for all God has blessed us with in our beautiful state of Arkansas in the United States of America.