75th Anniversary White River Water Carnival Coming September 8
July 19, 2018 (Batesville, AR)—The Batesville Area Chamber of Commerce (BACC) and 2018 Water Carnival sponsors announce the details of the 75th White River Water Carnival to be held on September 8, 2018, at Riverside Park in Batesville, Arkansas.
BACC President and CEO, Crystal Johnson said, “The White River Water Carnival is a unique event, adding to the quality of life in North Central Arkansas for the past 74 years. In a time when many long-standing events are dissolving, we are pleased with continued growth and support for the event. The carnival continues to be a successful community development tool for our area. We look forward to carrying on this family-friendly traditio.”
In honor of the 75th anniversary of the carnival, the theme has been named after Elvis Presley, King of Rock & Roll. Elvis performed at the Water Carnival in 1955. The performance is remembered more for Elvis’s behavior during the show. Scheduled to perform two sets for $100, he played only one, refusing to perform the second show. The Water Carnival demanded a refund, and half of Elvis’s fee was returned. Elvis never played in Batesville again. Pres Ellis and the Prestones will pay tribute to the King Saturday night. The band includes Dr. Bill Shelton, Danny Dozier, Jerry Bone, Mike Foster, Kenny Loggains, Molly Hudson, Courtney Clay, and Alicia Davidson. A special Elvis night will take place on Friday, September 7, at the Melba Theater. This event will include a free screening of Blue Hawaii, an Elvis costume contest, and more Elvis inspired activities.
In addition to themed events, favorites like the Smokin’ on the White BBQ Championship, the River City Cruisers’ Car Show, the Kid Zone, and the Water Carnival Parade will take place at Riverside Park. Kyle Christopher, BACC Tourism Director, said, “We recognize the importance of incorporating water into the carnival. Water events will include several ski and wakeboard demonstrations. Back by popular demand, Hydroflight will return this year with Team Aquafly of Austin, Texas. Rides will be available to the public for purchase.
We have the best stage of them all, the White River, and we plan to continue to take advantage of that by offering the best on-the-water entertainment in the region.”
Parade entry forms, vendor applications, and a full schedule of events can be found at www.whiteriverwatercarnival.com.
About the White River Water Carnival:
The White River Water Carnival is a free, family event that features entertainment, food vendors, craft and commercial vendors, a parade, and kids’ activities. Kids’ activities require the purchase of an admission band sponsored by FNBC, Littlefield Oil, Pepsi, Walmart, and Westrock Orthodontics. River City Cruiser’s Car Show is sponsored by Wood Family Dealerships. The parade is sponsored by Citizen’s Bank. Other carnival entertainment sponsored by ARCare, Bad Boy Mowers, the City of Batesville, Flowers Baking Company, Home Depot, Life Plus, Merchants & Planters Bank, Ozark Mountain Poultry, Precise Heating & Air, Sherwood Urgent Care, Sonic Drive-In, Southern Charm, UPS Store, and White River Now. For more information, please contact Kyle Christopher at (870) 793-2378 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cathy Drew is a lifelong resident of the region that she loves to promote. As a matter of fact, she was born in downtown Batesville in the late ’60s, which is in one of the eight counties she now enjoys encouraging people to visit.
Jeff Drew is her husband of almost 29 years. They have a son, Jonathon (Jon) Drew, his wife Devyn Stewart. Drew is also grandmother to Jon and Devyn’ s son, Jase Drew.
However, Drew can’t skip the other part of her family: the pets! Lady Bird (a stray dog welcomed into their home in June 2012) and of course, Howard – – a puppy compliments of Lady Bird shortly after arriving at the Drew home. They also have Kasha whom Drew inherited when her mother passed in 2016, and they adopted Bullet, a stray in November of 2016.
Drew, became associated with the Ozark Gateway Region in 1990 while working at the ad agency (The Media Market Inc.). The agency handled marketing for the regional association where she along with her co-workers produced an annual tabloid publication. She began work as the director of the Ozark Gateway Region In June 2000.
After Drew became director, she took the region to the next level by helping the tourism organization create a new website and moved it from the old newspaper paper tabloid publication to a color magazine format.
Over the years Drew has helped the organization meet new marketing goals, such as in- and out-of-state marketing, assuring that all 105,000 copies of their magazines are distributed each year.
Drew also helped the region create a heritage trail map that is still on posters in many establishments across the region and Arkansas. She oversaw development of a motorcycle route map that folds into a credit card format for riders, as well as those seeking scenic routes to enjoy the beautiful Ozark Mountains.
She has attended several AARP Shows across the U.S., representing Arkansas. She helped open a visitor center for the Ozark Gateway, allowing visitors to pick up information from across the entire state 24/7.
In 2016, she assisted creating the first Ozark Gateway Region Golf Classic and the tournament continues to grow each year, allowing the organization to grow its co-op program, helping each county have dedicated promotion. Drew stays busy at Ozark Gateway as the ad sales manager, magazine editor, day-to-day office operations, trade show representative, as well as magazine distribution representative all while making sure that the region is represented all over Arkansas and southern Missouri.
Drew has been featured in several local and statewide publications over the years as well as the 1997 cover of the Ozark Gateway Region tabloid along with her then 4-year-old son, Jon. She has received several awards such as the Batesville Rotarian of the Year in 2010 as well as a three-time Paul Harris Fellow.
She also has served as an Independence County election commissioner for several years and now serves as their co-election coordinator, helping with behind-the-scenes management of voting equipment, day-to-day election deadlines as well as poll worker training.
Drew serves on the Arkansas Travel Council Board of Directors, Ozark Foothills Film Fest Board of Directors, Batesville Rotary Club Past President and is the Rotary Clubs current publicity chair.
In March of 2018, Drew was honored with induction into the Arkansas Tourism Hall of Fame for her many years of dedicated service to the tourism industry.