Mark Martin to host final annual Fan Appreciation Days in Batesville

Mark Martin to host final annual Fan Appreciation Days in Batesville
Jill Rohrbach

Racing Legends Jack Roush and Jimmy Fennig to attend event on Saturday

This marks the 14th and final year that NASCAR Hall of Fame driver Mark Martin will host his annual Fan Appreciation Days event in Batesville. Set for April 27-28, this year’s event includes special guests Jack Roush and Jimmy Fennig.

The event is free and Martin invites his friends, fans and family to share in the weekend.

“We’ve enjoyed celebrating with our fans during this event in my hometown now for 14 years,” said Martin. “We really look forward to this every year. It’s a chance for me to acknowledge how much I’ve appreciated all of their support throughout my career.

“We invite everyone to come join us the last weekend in April for our final spring Fan Days,” added Martin. “After this I will focus my energy on our one big event in the fall – The Race For Hope 74 – during the week of Sept. 25-29. Stay tuned as this event grows and we look forward to seeing all of you there.”

Fan Days starts on Friday, April 27 with Martin on hand for a free barbecue luncheon at Mark Martin Powersports, located at 869 Batesville Blvd. Additionally, the Hall of Fame hometown racer invites everyone to nearby Batesville Motor Speedway on Friday night for the Comp Cams Late Model racing series.

On Saturday, April 28, Martin will host a complimentary lunch at Mark Martin Ford, located at 1601 Batesville Blvd. Martin will visit with fans throughout the day. At 6 p.m., he will be joined by Roush and Fennig. They will sign autographs and tell stories centered around the trio’s tear through NASCAR in the late ‘90s.

Roush is one of NASCAR’s most successful owners and a pioneer in bringing engineering technology into the sport. He boasts a NASCAR record 325 wins and his teams have had 135 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series victories since he began with Martin in 1989. The duo of Martin and Roush would go on to form one of the most successful partnerships in NASCAR history. Roush was inducted into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame in 2006 and the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame in 2010.

Fennig first joined Martin’s team as crew chief in the American Speed Association in ’85. In their two ASA seasons together, the duo had nine wins, 13 pole positions and won the championship in 1986. He rejoined Martin in 1996.

Martin and Fennig had four wins together in 1997, 24 Top 10s, and three poles to finish third in the points. They finished second in points in 1998 with seven victories and remained together for three more wins until the 2001 NASCAR season. The Sporting News named Fennig crew chief of the year in 2004, after leading Roush Fenway to its second Cup Championship. One of the most successful crew chiefs in NASCAR history, Fennig has worked during his career with racing legends Bobby Allison, Carl Edwards, Matt Kenseth, Kurt Busch and Martin among others.

For more information on Martin’s career, the Mark Martin Museum adjoins Mark Martin Ford, and is open at 8 a.m. on weekdays and 9 a.m. on Saturdays. Several of Mark’s race cars are on display including a ’55 Chevy that started the driver’s dream come true in the ‘70s when he was just a teenager. Read early news reports of “The Kid” from Arkansas and see a phenomenal display of memorabilia, awards and trophies from throughout his 40-year career. The museum also has a gift shop.

Accepting the challenge of a new year

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Accepting the challenge of a new year
Katherine Stewart

For most people, a map is just a map—a useful planning tool, something handy to keep in the car. But for some, it can take on a meaning far greater than the fretwork of highways and rivers tracing its surface. When Tanya Reddin of Conway looks at a map, she sees an index to her memories, a to-do list full of unchecked boxes, and a way forward into a bright future.

In late 2016, Tanya’s husband of nearly two decades, Greg, passed away after a yearlong battle with cancer. During their years together, the Reddins spent a lot of time looking at maps the way most people do, picking out where to stay in a cabin for an annual Arkansas birthday trip, which state to visit for an anniversary. They also looked at plenty of guidebooks, specifically for hiking trails—avid hikers both, the Reddins’ time spent on trails goes back to their dating years.

When they began to have children, it was only natural to get them on the trails as well. Hiking with their children (five of them in total, ranging in age now from 6 to 18) has been an inspiration to them both; Tanya created a Facebook group for other families to share stories and pictures of their hikes, and Greg submitted an essay about hiking with a large family to the book “Families on Foot,” by Jennifer Pharr Davis. His essay was published posthumously in early 2017.
Not long after Greg’s death, something called the 52 Hike Challenge—a global movement encouraging people to discover the benefits of hiking once a week for an entire year—caught Tanya’s eye, and signing up to participate seemed like a no-brainer. “I wanted to try to step over the grief and start trying to heal,” she says. Her first hike of the challenge was on January 1st at Woolly Hollow State Park, and subsequent hikes took her to parks and recreation areas all over the state, including Cadron Settlement Park, Whitaker Point in the Upper Buffalo Wilderness Area, Lake Sylvia and Toltec Mounds State Park.

Some hikes she took with her kids, passing along memories she and Greg had created together and showing them how much fun they’d had. Some she took alone, when she could talk out loud to herself and “argue with God about how sad I am, and why he did this, and how bad I feel.” And there are trails she hasn’t done yet. “A lot of them were places we hiked together, so it’s forcing yourself to see something painful,” she says. “I’ve been avoiding some because I feel like my heart can’t handle it.”
By December of 2017, Tanya had completed 22 hikes (“Between April and August I don’t do a lot of hiking; it’s too hot,” she explains). She doesn’t consider this a failure, because the positive effects of simply being out for a walk were so immediate and powerful. “I find a lot of peace being out in the woods,” she says. “And there’s a sense of empowerment, as a woman. It’s not ‘poor little me.’ I’ve been given this responsibility to take care of my family. I have a lot of strength, and hiking has shown that progression.”

The benefits of spending time in nature have been well documented, and in recent years, time out of mind and in the woods has even begun to be seen as a form of therapy. (You can read more about this in a story about “forest bathing” in Arkansas here.) In fact, Tanya has begun considering the possibility of creating a hiking group, or even a ministry, that would cater specifically to people experiencing loss and grief. She’s intrigued by the fact of Arkansas’s having 52 state parks, and wondering if a new challenge could be forged out of that. In any event, she’s determined to try the challenge again in 2018 and see where it leads her.

“I have to believe there’s a blessing in it,” says Tanya. “Not right now, but there will be. The Lord will show me what this is for.” These words are uncannily reminiscent of some Greg wrote in his essay for “Families on foot,” which he wrote while undergoing cancer treatment:

There are so many parallels between hiking and life. I can face challenges in the perspective of life’s journey. I don’t know what’s over the top of the next rise. But if I keep pressing on, the view at the top will be well worth the trouble.

So: How will you challenge yourself in 2018, and what great new heights will you rise to?

Visiting the Central Arkansas Nature Center

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Visiting the Central Arkansas Nature Center

Zoie Clift

The Witt Stephens Jr. Central Arkansas Nature Center in Little Rock is located in the popular Riverfront Park district and is a year round option to head to when the call of the wild strikes in the city. There is no admission fee to browse through and inside, you will find displays and exhibits that teach about the wildlife and natural resources of the state. The River Trail runs right by the center so you can walk or bike here and enjoy the expansive view of the Arkansas River while you do so.

Fishing lure display inside the nature center. Photo by Z. Clift.
Fishing lure displays inside the nature center. Photo by Z. Clift.

A large aquarium is a showpiece of the center and is segmented into sections that teach about five different aquatic habitats of the state. Each has fish you can watch swimming around in the specific environment the section is representing, such as a cypress swamp or a mountain spring. A range of other exhibits you can browse by tell the history of the many projects the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, which runs the center, has conducted over the years.

In the back of the center, there is an impressive collection of fishing lures and other fishing memorabilia you can immerse yourself in, which offer a peek into the history and impact of the sport in the state. A replica of an old trapper’s cabin, with furs and other items one might find from the era, is also on site and makes for a good photo op.

The trapper’s cabin. Photo by Z. Clift.
The trapper’s cabin. Photo by Z. Clift.

Outside the center are bird-feeding stations and gardens that feature native plants. Programs take place here throughout the year including some that take place each week such as the fish feedings on Wednesdays from 2-2:30 p.m. and the alligator feeding each Fridays from 2-2:30 p.m. For more details on the center, visit centralarkansasnaturecenter.com.

Other Arkansas Game and Fish Commission nature centers in the state include the Gov. Mike Huckabee Delta Rivers Nature Center in Pine Bluff, the Forrest L. Wood Crowley’s Ridge Nature Center in Jonesboro and the Janet Huckabee Arkansas River Valley Nature Center in Fort Smith.

Out of the dead of winter walks Eureka Springs Paranormal Weekends

Out of the dead of winter walks Eureka Springs Paranormal Weekends

Submitted by Bill Ott, 1886 Crescent Hotel & Spa and 1905 Basin Park Hotel

(Eureka Springs, Arkansas) – For those desiring unlimited access to “America’s Most Haunted Hotel” in the “dead” of winter comes Eureka Springs Paranormal Weekends, Jan. 5-7 and Jan. 12-14. It is widely accepted that two of the most popular venues in the country for such hunts have been the 1886 Crescent Hotel and her sister, the 1905 Basin Park Hotel, located here in Eureka Springs, Arkansas. Both are known internationally for their paranormal activity thanks to the airing of numerous network television programs introducing viewers to the “guests who check out but never leave.” Now, for two haunting weekends in January, both hotels have been set aside for paranormal enthusiasts who will be given the same full, free rein that the professionals have enjoyed during their televised investigations of these two ghostly properties.

More commonly known as ESP Weekends, the 2018 weekends will include such topics as psychomanteum; telepathy assessment; independent nocturnal investigations of known active areas; dream exchange; group séance; interactive, personal ESP explorations; evidence exchange sessions for participants to share and compare weekend experiences; plus the hotel’s classic ghost tour. Headliners for the two weekends are author and noted paranormal researcher Larry Flaxman; and from the wildly popular paranormal talk radio show, Darkness On The Edge Of Town, comes author and world-acclaimed paranormal conference speaker Dave Schrader.

“A castle on a mountain top overlooks a village that grew up around magic springs in this hidden valley. She is haunted by the shades of the many whose lives were led within its walls. Just steps away below limestone bluffs is the second iteration of a hotel specifically built adjacent to the most magical spring of them all,” explained Keith Scales, event coordinator and director of ghost tours at both hotels.

Scales goes on to ask, “How would you like to participate in paranormal investigations of both hotels as well as testing your own second sight, psychic awareness, and ability to connect with those who have passed away and traversed into another dimension? This is what we are offering at both of our ESP Weekends.”

“So much of what has previously been hidden will come to the fore during these two weekends for those who dare to take that first step walking boldly into the ‘dead’ of winter,” Scales concluded.

Complete schedules for both weekends are found at http://www.AmericasMostHauntedHotel.com. Reservations should be made in advance. In order to keep the weekend events more intimate for individual attendees, reservations are limited.

Ozark Mountain Music Festival announces its full 2018 lineup, 12 bands total

Ozark Mountain Music Festival announces its full 2018 lineup, 12 bands total
Submitted by Bill Ott, 1886 Crescent Hotel & Spa and 1905 Basin Park Hotel

(EUREKA SPRINGS, ARKANSAS) — The 2018 Ozark Mountain Music Festival, better known as OzMoMu, has just added 10 bands to its two headliners to fill out the lineup for its January 18-21 event. This popular event features what is called Ozark mountain fusion of bluegrass, folk, and Americana roots music. Headlining this year’s “outdoor music festival held indoors” is Tall Tall Trees from Asheville, NC and Carrie Nation & The Speakeasy from Lawrence, KS.

Mike Savino, the Tall Tall Trees’ banjo-wielding bard, has reshaped the landscape of what is possible with his instrument featuring its basic iteration and the banjo’s drum roots. Audiences become wildly mesmerized with his mastery of electronic effects, loops, toy ray guns and heaps of spontaneous creativity.

Carrie Nation & The Speakeasy is a high-energy “Brass ‘n’ Grass” sextet whose sound has been described as “a stagecoach in overdrive.” Their eclectic blend of bluegrass, ska, punk and Dixieland has energized audiences all across America and in five other countries.

The trending bands to round out OzMoMu during its fifth successful four-day weekend of music include:

– DimeTrip: Five guys out of Eureka Springs, AR that have decided to work towards a common goal of creating and playing original music with diverse sounds for as many people as this life allows.

– Alaina Blake & Dylan Hawf: A pair of expert musicians from Fayetteville, AR who have teamed up to prove that when it comes to music, style and performance skill one plus one does equal three much to the wild enjoyment of their fans, and audience members who quickly become fans.

– Urban Pioneers: Mix one part Texas fiddle and one part Tennessee banjo, add doghouse bass and a splash of guitar and you have a delicious cocktail for your ears known as the Urban Pioneers. This string band hammers out a variety of original songs that encompass old time hillbilly music, western swing, rockabilly and even a few gypsy type songs for good measure.

– High-Fi Hillbillies: A trio of “knuckle-heads” from Tulsa, OK, who have way too much fun playing music! They came together through a comedy of errors and are riding this musical train to see where it goes. They play great songs by artists like Johnny Cash, Buddy Holly, Carl Perkins and Creedence Clearwater Revival!

– The Creek Rocks: This duo, part of the former group Big Smith, from Springfield, MO delves into the ups and downs of the deep Ozarks sound with a special focus on old-time music that soars above the hills and hollers.

– American Lions: From Conway, AR comes this band formed in early 2012 and today features a new style of music from blues-driven ballads to rowdy indie rock, all connected with the influences of Southern roots.

– Grassfed: A quick pickin’ string band out of Kansas City, MO that pivots on the foundation of traditional bluegrass entwined with an eclectic array of influences. Forged by songwriters and driven by instrumental conversation, this band brings a punching sound all its own.

– Miles Over Mountains: a progressive bluegrass band based in McHenry, IL. Their live shows are high energy, centered around an arsenal of original material and refreshing variety of cover songs served up in their own unique style.

– Camptown Ladies: Two ladies, Gina Gallina and Melissa Carper, from Eureka Springs, AR who serve up hillbilly swing like it was a banquet of sound. This duo, plus some surprise guests, is dynamic, to say the least.

All performances all four days will be on stages in the 1905 Basin Park Hotel, located in the middle of Eureka Springs Downtown Entertainment District. The popular Late Night Jam on both Friday and Saturday nights will be held in nearby Chelsea’s Corner Cafe & Bar.

For more information including tickets, go to http://www.OzarkMountainMusicFestival.com.

 

Sister Rosetta Tharpe heads to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

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Sister Rosetta Tharpe heads to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
Kim Williams

sister rosetta 2Elvis grew up listening to her music. Bob Dylan, Little Richard, Carl Perkins, Tina Turner, Isaac Hayes, Jerry Lee Lewis and even fellow Arkansan Johnny Cash cited her as a musical influence. Her guitar playing appealed to legendary guitarists such as Eric Clapton, Keith Richards and Jeff Beck. She’s been called “the Godmother of Rock ‘n’ Roll.” Now, nearly 45 years after her death, Arkansas Delta native Sister Rosetta Tharpe is being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as an Early Influencer.

Born in Cotton Plant, Arkansas, on March 20, 1915, Rosetta Nubin Atkins grew up in a musical and religious family. Her mother was an evangelist, mandolin player and singer, and Rosetta began singing and playing guitar at age 4…by age 6, she was performing alongside her mother. Rosetta and her mother joined a touring group of musicians and evangelists and eventually made their way to Chicago in the late 1920s.

 

In the 1930s, Rosetta headed to The Big Apple, and while in New York City, she married a minister, Thomas Thorpe. Although the marriage ended in divorce, she began using “Tharpe” as her stage name. In 1938, Sister Rosetta Tharpe signed a contract with Decca Records and became an immediate hit with black and white audiences. In fact, it was Sister Rosetta’s “Strange Things Happen Every Day,” recorded in 1944, was the first gospel song to cross over on the Billboard charts. In fact, some music historians refer to the record as the first rock and roll song.

 

Sister Rosetta continued to perform gospel and secular music the rest of her life. In fact, she performed gospel music in blues clubs, such as Harlem’s Cotton Club, with blues and jazz musicians, which upset some in the gospel community (many of which also did not like that she played guitar).

In 1970, Sister Rosetta suffered a stroke and complications from diabetes. In 1973, she scheduled a recording session in Philadelphia but died the day before after another stroke.

 

But that little girl from Cotton Plant who sang and played guitar at four-years-old has not been forgotten. She’s a member of the Blues Hall of Fame, the Arkansas Entertainers Hall of Fame, and she was featured on a U.S. Postal Service stamp in 1998. Earlier in 2017, Highway 17 from Cotton Plant tosister rosetta sign Brinkley was officially named the Sister Rosetta Tharpe Memorial Highway. And now, finally, she takes a well-deserved spot alongside musical legends in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

To learn more on Sister Rosetta Tharpe, check out the entry from the Encyclopedia of Arkansas History and Culture and an essay from earlier this year from National Public Radio.

Start a new tradition this January

Start a new tradition this January
Kim Williams

January is a great time to enjoy the beauty of The Natural State. Why not start a new tradition of spending time in an Arkansas State Park cabin?

In the Arkansas Delta, you have great choices of park cabins, ranging from Village Creek to Moro Bay State Park to Crowley’s Ridge to Lake Chicot. Each offers a unique experience of natural surroundings and exciting outdoor activities, as well as a cozy winter getaway.

crowley’s ridge state park cabinsCrowley’s Ridge State Park near Paragould is located on the former homestead of Benjamin Crowley, an early settler of northeast Arkansas. The park is one of crowley’s ridge state park snowArkansas’s first state parks, constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s. Spend some time hiking, birding or exploring Crowley’s Ridge. The park offers four fully equipped cabins, as well as a group lodging area.

Village Creek State Park in Wynne is nestled alongside Crowley’s Ridge, a geologic anomaly and villagecreek2the most unusual of The Natural State’s six natural divisions. The park offers great hiking opportunities, as well as bird watching, horseback riding and even golf at The Ridges at Village Creek. Village Creek State Park is the second-largest Arkansas State Park in land area at nearly 7,000 acres. The park offers 10 cabins, all located atop Crowley’s Ridge.

Moro Bay State Park near Jersey one of the state’s most popular fishing and water sports area because it’s where Moro Bay and Raymond Lake join the Ouachita River. In winter, it’s also a great moro bay eaglespot to spy wintering bald eagles, as well as a wide variety of mammals native to the area (you can check out the park’s Mammals of Moro Bay checklist here). The park offers five cabins, opened in 2009, each featuring a great room, kitchen, two bedrooms, and two bathrooms.

Lake Chicot State Park is located in Lake Village and offers stunning views of its namesake, Lake Chicot, Arkansas’s largest natural lake and the largest oxbow lake in North America. Located in the Mississippi Flyway, this park offers some of the best year-round birding opportunities in Arkansas. The park offers lake tours, levee tours, and other opportunities for bird and wildlife watching. The park offers 14 cabins, many with fireplaces and stunning views of Lake Chicot.

Bundle up for some outdoor fun

Bundle up for some outdoor fun
Kim Williams

Just because it’s January doesn’t mean we can’t grab the kids and head outdoors for some fun! The average temperature in January in Arkansas is 29.3 degrees…while that it a bit nippy, it’s not too cold to enjoy the beauty of winter in The Natural State! So grab some gloves, a scarf and your coat and head outside!

Although officially open for less than 15 months, the Big River Crossing in West Memphis is quickly becoming a favorite walking/running/biking spot in the Arkansas Delta. Kids and adults alike enjoy the beautiful views of the Mighty Mississippi River from harahan-big-river-crossing-dedication-riders-smallerthe walkway. Nearly 300,000 people have crossed the nearly mile-long pedestrian bridge, which has the distinction of being the longest public pedestrian/bike bridge across the Mississippi River. So if your preference is biking, jogging, running or just strolling with Fido (yes, furry family members are permitted!), you’ll have a great time at the Big River Crossing.

Winter is a great time to do some wildlife watching. Kids of all ages moro bay eaglelike seeing animals in their natural habitat and we’re lucky in Arkansas to have some of our native birds and wildlife remain during the season, but also a variety of “visiting” critters! A great example is the majestic Bald Eagle. One of the best places to see a variety of native and visiting wildlife is at Moro Bay State Park near Jersey. Located where Moro Bay and Raymond Lake meet the Ouachita River, moro bay cypressthe park is considered one of the state’s most popular fishing and water sports areas. The park is also abundant in native mammals, and winter is a great time to get out and see them. In fact, you can check out the park’s Mammals of Moro Bay and the Ouachita River here.

Cool places to stay warm this winter

Cool places to stay warm this winter
Jill Rohrbach

When the cold wind blows and old man winter takes control of the outdoor thermostat there’s only one thing to do — curl up in the warmth of a cozy cabin. And it’s only natural that The Natural State offers a wide variety of cabins, each a memorable spot for a winter getaway.

While all Arkansas cabins offer beautiful surroundings and outdoor recreation, each is also unique in its own way, whether located on a mountaintop, by a river or on a lake.

Hilltop Havens

Mountain retreats provide the perfect place to refresh and renew the spirit, and the Ozark Mountains in northern Arkansas are a number one destination for cabin rentals. Hilly terrain and clear streams provide beautiful backdrops for hikes, wildlife watching, or just for sitting back and taking in the view.

StoneWind Retreat in Chester is situated on 160 mountain-top acres midway between Fort Smith and Fayetteville. Its luxurious yurt cabins have hot tubs on the deck and are ideal for relaxation, rest, and romance. In addition to overnight cabin rentals, Deer Mountain Ranch in Ozark offers wildlife tours, corporate events, reunions, customizable day trips full of fishing, skeet and trap shooting, and more. This 3,300-acre mountaintop paradise has entertained guests such as Oprah Winfrey and Jerry Jones.

Petit Jean State Park, whose 2,658 mountainous acres in Morrilton encompass miles of trails with scenic overlooks, bluffs, canyons and the 95-foot Cedar Falls, is a legendary park in the state. Along with hosting the legend of Petit Jean, Petit Jean Mountain inspired the creation of Arkansas’s first state park, and with it our state park system. Cabins include 1930s Civilian Conservation Corps rustic-style and others are modern duplex designs. Choices include one-bedroom, three-bedroom, and studio cabins. The cabins are fully-equipped, and some options include kitchens. Most of the cabins are spaced along the bluff of Cedar Creek Canyon. A restaurant can also be found at the park at Mather Lodge.

Riverside Respites

Watching the fog roll in and hearing the flow of rippling water can make a riverfront cabin the perfect escape. A river location can stimulate all the senses while still providing a tranquil atmosphere. It also lends itself to fishing, which is great year-round in Arkansas.

On the Little Red River in Heber Springs is Lindsey’s Resort, home to rustic cedar cabins (many with fireplaces and hot tubs), boat rentals, guided fishing services, and a restaurant. Gaston’s White River Resort near Mountain Home, is located on another premier trout stream. The resort offers numerous cabins, a restaurant overlooking the river, boat rentals, guide services, a game room, walking trails and more to ensure a trip with as little or as much to do as desired.

Near Pocahontas, you’ll find Shady River. Located along the beautiful, spring-fed Eleven Point River, the cottages, including the beautiful “treehouse cabin,” offer guests the opportunity to get away from the hectic pace of life and decompress, surrounded by the beauty of the Ozarks.

Lakeshore Lodging

The lure of the lake is a view spreading out from the calm water lapping at the shore and the numerous outdoor activities available. It’s nature at its best, and the perfect playground for a retreat. Winter months on Arkansas lakes are also popular for eagle watching when hundreds of bald eagles migrate to the lake areas.

An abundance of deer and wild turkeys frequently join visitors at the Ventris Trail’s End Resort in Garfield. The cedar log cabins with large wrap-around decks are located on 20 wooded acres on the shore of Beaver Lake. On Norfork Lake, 101’s Place coddles guests with modern stone cottages nestled in large hardwoods.

Lake Chicot State Park is located in Lake Village and offers stunning views of its namesake, Lake Chicot, Arkansas’s largest natural lake and the largest oxbow lake in North America. Located in the Mississippi Flyway, this park offers some of the best year-round birding opportunities in Arkansas. The park offers lake tours, levee tours, and other opportunities for bird and wildlife watching. The park offers 14 cabins, many with fireplaces and stunning views of Lake Chicot.

Mountain Harbor Resort is located around 12 miles from downtown Mount Ida. This waterfront resort is located on a wooded point on Lake Ouachita, the largest man made lake in the state. There are lakeview log cabins to stay at here with features such as a fireplace, deck with a hot tub, and equipped kitchens. The cabins are pet-friendly and also at the resort you will find a waterfront restaurant, a full-service marina, and boat storage and boat rentals to explore the lake from. You can also access miles of hiking and biking via the Lake Ouachita Vista Trail, which has a trailhead there. Turtle Cove Spa on site offers an array of spa treatments. If you want to keep exploring from here, around a 35 minute drive to the west is Hot Springs, home of Hot Springs National Park.

Ozark Mountain Music Festival lineup

Ozark Mountain Music Festival lineup
Jill Rohrbach

The 2018 Ozark Mountain Music Festival, also known as OzMoMu, is set for Jan. 18-21 in Eureka Springs. Twelve bands will entertain in the genres of bluegrass, folk and Americana roots music. Headlining this year is Tall Tall Trees from Asheville, NC; and Carrie Nation & The Speakeasy from Lawrence, KS.

According to a press release from event organizers, “Mike Savino, the Tall Tall Trees banjo-wielding bard, has reshaped the landscape of what is possible with his instrument featuring its basic iteration and the banjo’s drum roots. Audiences become wildly mesmerized with his mastery of electronic effects, loops, toy ray guns, and heaps of spontaneous creativity.

“Carrie Nation & The Speakeasy is a high-energy ‘Brass ‘n’ Grass’ sextet whose sound has been described as ‘a stagecoach in overdrive’. Their eclectic blend of bluegrass, ska, punk, and Dixieland has energized audiences all across America and in five other countries.”

Eureka_Springs_OzMoMu2_2017Other bands taking the stage during this four-day music festival include:

“DimeTrip – Five guys out of Eureka Springs, AR that have decided to work towards a common goal of creating and playing original music with diverse sounds for as many people as this life allows.

Alaina Blake & Dylan Hawf – A pair of expert musicians from Fayetteville, AR who have teamed up to prove that when it comes to music, style and performance skill one plus one does equal three much to the wild enjoyment of their fans, and audience members who quickly become fans.

Urban Pioneers – Mix one part Texas fiddle and one part Tennessee banjo, add doghouse bass and a splash of guitar and you have a delicious cocktail for your ears known as the Urban Pioneers. This string band hammers out a variety of original songs that encompass old time hillbilly music, western swing, rockabilly, and even a few gypsy type songs for good measure.

High-Fi Hillbillies – A trio of “knuckle-heads” from Tulsa, OK, who have way too much fun playing music! They came together through a comedy of errors and are riding this musical train to see where it goes. They play great songs by artists like Johnny Cash, Buddy Holly, Carl Perkins, and Creedence Clearwater Revival!

The Creek Rocks – This duo, part of the former group Big Smith, from Springfield, MO delves into the ups and downs of the deep Ozarks sound with a special focus on old-time music that soars above the hills and hollers.

American Lions – From Conway, AR comes this band formed in early 2012 and today features a new style of music from Blues-driven ballads to rowdy Indie rock, all connected with the influences of Southern roots.

Grassfed – A quick pickin’ string band out of KC/MO that pivots on the foundation of traditional bluegrass entwined with an eclectic array of influences. Forged by songwriters and driven by instrumental conversation, this band brings a punching sound all its own.

Miles Over Mountains – a progressive bluegrass band based in McHenry, IL. Their live shows are high energy, centered around an arsenal of original material and refreshing variety of cover songs served up in their own unique style.

Camptown Ladies – Two ladies, Gina Gallina and Melissa Carper, from Eureka Springs, AR who serve up hillbilly swing like it was a banquet of sound. This duo, plus some surprise guests, is dynamic, to say the least.

All performances all four days will be on stages in the 1905 Basin Park Hotel, located in the middle of Eureka Springs Downtown Entertainment District. The popular Late Night Jam on both Friday and Saturday nights will be held in nearby Chelsea’s Corner Cafe & Bar.”

For tickets and more information, visit OzarkMountainMusicFestival.com.

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