Mountain View, Arkansas – After experiencing a delayed opening in 2020, the Ozark Folk Center State Park announced it will open during the Arkansas Folk Festival on April 16th and 17th within current Arkansas Department of Health guidelines.
The state park’s 20 shops in the Craft Village, Gift Shop, and gardens will open during the festival and remain open Tues.-Sat. from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. through the fall. Visiting guests can expect to find skilled artisans at work making, selling, and demonstrating handmade crafts in the Village and a tapestry of flowers, native plants, and herbs for cooking and healing in the Heritage Herb Garden.
The Skillet Restaurant will also open the week of Arkansas Folk Festival and resume serving southern style entrees and desserts. The Cabins at Dry Creek serve guests year round.
Daren Dortin, Music Director at the Ozark Folk Center, reported the park will not host its annual music workshops but anticipates hosting live music at its outdoor stage when the Craft Village opens in mid-April. He added that staff are laying plans to re-open the state park’s indoor music venue, Ozark Highlands Theater, for two new music events later this year.
To learn more information about upcoming events, register for craft classes, or book a cabin for your next retreat, visitOzarkFolkCenter.com. To learn more about Arkansas State Parks other 51 parks to visit in the Natural State, visitArkansasStateParks.com.
The mission of Ozark Folk Center State Park is to perpetuate, present and promote the Ozark way of life in an educational and enjoyable manner.
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.
She has 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.