Archives for 2013

WestFest 2013 – A Cowboy Celebration – September 28

The 3nd Annual Westfest Celebration, 2013 Edition, is scheduled for September 28, 2013 at Pine Grove Trails near Leslie, Arkansas.   It will be a day long happening of fun and exciting activities celebrating western heritage and providing an opportunity to help our neighbors.  Built around The Great Ozark Trail Dog & Horse Race, which has been held for the past 7 years, WestFest will feature all new events for all ages. It will be for real cowboys and cowgirls, those that like to play like they are real, and those folks that just want to watch. A simple way to describe the day would be to call it a “Western Circus”.  There will be a “main attraction event” scheduled for each hour from 10 AM until 6 PM, while at the same time there will be large variety of “sideshow events” happening all around the grounds.  A detail schedule and list of events, and a map to the site is below. Check back to this site often as updates and new information will be posted on a weekly basis.



The Cause

WestFest is not just about having fun it is about folks working together to help each other.  In addition to the “main attraction event” local area  charitable, civic, and community organizations will be conducting  fund-raising events. Some will be raising funds through activities like a horse shoe throwing contest, the “sideshow events”, others may be just selling items in a more traditional charitable bazaar type activity.    The idea is to bring groups together with their specific followers for the purpose of raising money for their individual needs. This large group combined with others that will be present because of the entertainment provided will create a real opportunity for increased fund-raising success. Not only will more people mean more chances for giving, it will also increase the chances for getting more business and corporate participation.

The Location and Date

WestFest will be held on Saturday, September 28, 2013 starting at 8:00 AM,  at Pine Grove Trails just south of Leslie, Arkansas on Trace Ridge Road. They are a full service camp ground, and one of the top horseback trail riding destinations in Mid-America. You can learn more about Pine Grove Trail Rides at their web site.


Check out the Westfest Website for more information !



Sponsored by the Western Horse Heritage Foundation

Welcome to Searcy County Arkansas!!!

Come and visit us in Searcy County Arkansas……


Social Media Strategies for Small Business Seminar


See our official announcement for the Free Social Media Strategies for Small Business Seminar below.    You must register for this event to be held on Tuesday June 25th at the Searcy County Library, from 4-7 PM.   This will give you some great information about how to promote your business to help make it successful on social media such as Facebook, Twitter, etc.   This event is co-sponsored by the Greater Searcy County Chamber of Commerce.

See the registration information below, and please email the chamber also at  if you plan to attend so we’ll have an idea on the numbers.   This Seminar will be limited to approximately 25-30 participants, and we’ve already had a lot of interest, so don’t delay.



5 Social Media Strategies for the Small Business
June 25
4:00 pm to 7:00 pm
Searcy County Library, Marshall AR
Cost: FREE

The Arkansas Small Business and Technology Development Center presents 5 Social Media Strategies for the Small Business. Not sure where to begin with social media or are you using social media to promote your small business but not sure how to integrate all the outlets you use? Do you know how to properly use your Facebook page analytics and insights to gauge success? Businesses of all sizes are using online tools like Facebook, Twitter, Pintrest, and blogs to connect with customers. We’ll show you five low-cost ways social media can bolster your current marketing efforts, current trends and recent changes in Facebook and Pintrest, and you’ll leave with your own social media marketing or update plan to better locate your target customers online, and what it could mean for your business if you aren’t involved in social networking. The ASBTDC is able to present this seminar at no cost to Arkansas small business owners due to a joint partnership with Connect Arkansas, a private, nonprofit corporation dedicated to increasing high-speed internet and adoption throughout Arkansas. Connect Arkansas is a project of The Arkansas Capital Corporation Group (ACCG). Within the partnership, participant information may be shared with ACCG. Drinks and snacks will be provided. PRE-REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED at or call 1 (479) 575-5148 to register by phone; event is free for small business owners and entrepreneurs. Event co-sponsor: Searcy County Arkansas Chamber of Commerce.



Buffalo River Trail – South Maumee to Highway 14


Great Photos – Buffalo River Trail in Searcy County

—  The Buffalo River Trail segment between The South Maumee
Road and the Highway 14 Bridge is just over 11 miles in length and has some
stunning overlooks of the Buffalo River!  Kudos to the National Park
Service, Volunteer Coordinator Ken Smith, and dozens of volunteers who
helped to complete this beautiful trail!  At places the trail runs through
lush, dense, bottomland forests, and by contrast also winds along upland
ridges.  It also traverses beautiful glades with native wildflowers and
sometimes clings to the edge of near vertical hillsides.  Near the South
Maumee Road there are beautiful waterfalls after healthy amounts of rain.
There is a water crossing between the South Maumee Road and the Spring Creek
Road when the trail crosses beautiful Spring Creek.  Between the creek and
the Highway 14 bridge there are some majestic views of the Ozarks and the
Buffalo River far below.  Canoeists and sometimes soaring birds are seen
below the trail.  This trail can be strenuous at times and is not for small
children as there are dangerous drops nearby.  However, it is a spectacular
attraction for Searcy County!  Well worth the hike.


Recommend bringing a camera or camera phone, strong hiking stick, sturdy
shoes, and having a pack with an ample supply of water and snacks.”
Remember to carry out all of your trash.  The trail is fairly well marked,
but sometimes switches back, look for white Park Service metal markers on
trees.  The trail sometimes runs along old roads as well.  Enjoy!

Click on the smaller photos for a slide show.

Veterans Program on Memorial Day

Please make time for Remembrance on Memorial Day.

The Veterans of Searcy County have a special Memorial Day speaker this year in Marshall on the courthouse square on Monday, May 27th at 11 a.m.  Major General (Retired) Ron Chastain, a former Adjutant General of the Arkansas National Guard, will be the guest speaker.  General Chastain is a veteran of two wars and received his military commission through ROTC at Arkansas Tech.  He worked for over 30 years for the USDA’s Farm Service Agency.  He currently serves as Senator John Boozman’s agricultural liaison in Arkansas.

After the ceremony on the square, you are invited to have a free lunch provided at the Veteran’s Memorial Hall in Marshall.


Searcy County Chamber Collecting Donations for Moore, OK – UPDATE

The Greater Searcy County Chamber of Commerce will be collecting monetary donations to help the people in Moore, OK who were hit by a devastating tornado yesterday.   The chamber will be collecting donations thru next Thursday, May 30.   The drop off point for collections will the the First National Bank of North Arkansas, on the Square in Marshall.   Please make your check out to the Searcy County Chamber  and note “Moore Tornado” in the memo line.

100% of all donations go directly to Moore, OK to assist victims.    The chamber has set up a “Special Fund” account just for relief purposes.


All donations will combined and sent to the Moore, OK  Chamber of Commerce where it can best be utilized in the area.

Please help as much as you can because these people are our neighbors, and they are truly in need at this time.


Kenda Drive In Free Screening – Frank Buckles – America’s last WWI Veteran

In conjunction with the Memorial Day weekend coming up, Kenda Drive-in will be showing a Free Screening Honoring our Heroes, about Frank Buckles, Pershing’s Last Patriot. Frank Buckles was America’s last WWI Veteran who died in 2011 at the age of 110. This is a very limited screening and only a handful of theaters in the entire State of Arkansas are participating. Come out on this Thursday night, May 23rd, at 8:30 P.M.,  and show your children what a real American hero was.


Frank Buckles

Historical Society Meeting – Essie Ward

Painter Essie Ward, “Grandma Moses of the Ozarks”, and former Searcy County Resident, will be the topic at the Searcy County Historical Society meeting on Friday, May 24th.

The meeting will be held at the Petit Jean building on Airport Road in Marshall at 7:00 P.M.

Every popular Susan young of Shiloh Museum in Springdale will be the presenter.   She has been involved in Essie Ward research for several years and has helped produce the award-winning video of Essie Ward’s life and painting.

People are encouraged to bring unique and one-of-a-kind Ward paintings to show at the meeting.

Refreshments will be served.

Essie Ward

Pine Grove Trails

Welcome To Pine Grove Trails!

Located five miles southwest of Leslie, Arkansas on Searcy County road 41, the community of Pine Grove is located just across the Van Buren county line. This is the home of Pine Grove Trails. Born the year of 2004 on 4,500 acres of pine covered hills and valleys and all privately owned, Pine Grove Trails is the brain child of Freddy Sutterfield and Dennis Wood, who have been friends and riding and camping companions for many years.

During their many outings on this beautiful mountain, it seemed one or the other would always bring up the idea of being able to share this breathtaking scenery and secluded wilderness with others. In the winter of 2003, while the two sat cooking on an open campfire with a light snow falling, they made a pledge to each other that by the spring of 2004 they would begin offering trail rides to the public.



Pine Grove Trails is equipped with:

  • Miles of horse riding trails
  • Lots of clean horse stalls
  • Clean RV sites, complete with water and electrical hookups
  • Western style bath house, complete with hot showers and clean restrooms
  • Plenty of clean, scenic rest areas along the trail

You see, Freddy and Dennis are just good ol’ country boys who go to great lengths to make their guests feel right at home, with their old fashioned natural Southern hospitality. Once you meet them, you’ll feel that you’ve known them all your life!

Freddy and Dennis have got a lot more up their sleeves here at Pine Grove Trail Rides in the future, but for now,come enjoy all the wonderful things they’ve already done. Miles of cleared, marked trails, some with steep inclines, traveling under high bluffs (called Indian bluffs) where artifacts have been discovered throughout the years. Experience a breathtaking view from Lookout Point located in Van Buren county with a view of Searcy and Stone counties. Listen to the mountain stream inside a rock wall and feel the mystery at Running Rock. Relax to the serene sounds of water running in the clear blue streams at the various scenic rest areas along the trails.

Some of our trails are quite rugged, even for experienced riders, so be prepared to “COWBOY UP!”

Sorry, we do not provide horses, so bring your own, or come enjoy a vigorous hike through nature.

Directions to Pine Grove Trails

From Leslie, AR take Hwy. 65 South. Go approximately 1 mile to Searcy County Road 41, just past the Little Red River bridge and turn right. Go approximately 3.6 miles to Pine Grove Trail sign and turn left. Just follow the driveway from there. If you head in on Hwy. 65 from the south, watch for Little Red River bridge, Searcy County Road 41 on your left just before you cross the bridge.


To learn more, visit Pine Grove Trails’ Website at , check them out on Facebook, or call   870-447-2367




See More Pictures Below

Searcy County Chamber adds 31 new members!



What a membership drive we have had in the past 3 months.    The Greater Searcy County Chamber of Commerce added 31 new members, which is by far the best membership drive since the chamber was re-established in 2008.

Chamber President Darryl Treat said, “As chamber president, I set a goal to achieve a floor of at least 100 members in The Greater Searcy County Chamber of Commerce.  We did not achieve that lofty goal, but we still added an impressive 31 new members.  Wow!  I extend my thanks to everyone who worked to bring in new members and also to the new members themselves.  Thanks for joining together with your fellow concerned citizens and business leaders with the goal of advancing economic prosperity throughout Searcy County.  Together, we in The Greater Searcy County Chamber of Commerce can be a catalyst for new growth in the county.  By ourselves, we are limited in what we can achieve, but acting as a body of 80+ members, we wield a strength capable of achieving progress in our communities.  However, the battle is not over.  We must continue to volunteer our time to Chamber projects, continue to advance new ideas, and continue to grow the Chamber and make it more relative in the fight to advance our economic situation.  Thank you for making our future brighter!”

Chamber Vice President and webmaster Lee Walsh commented, “we have had a huge influx of new members.  It’s really been keeping us hopping in the last few weeks, especially with the production of our new 2013 Community and Relocation Guide.   Now that the guide is complete, and currently in the process of being distributed,  we can try to get caught up with the website and other promotion work.   We just hope that everyone will remain as patient as possible and remember that we’re an “all volunteer organization”, and we all have businesses to run as well.  We’ll try to get your information up on the website as soon as possible. Please keep the good comments, support and suggestions coming.  We need good members and more volunteers at all chamber sponsored events.  Let’s keep our momentum rolling!!”

One thing that would help us promote your business on our site, especially if you don’t have a website that we can draw information from, would be to send us a story about your business and photos, as many as you can.   All of this information can be e-mailed to the chamber at

Our promotion work is really getting noticed.   Our Chamber website has been seeing a huge influx of traffic the past few months.  We’ve had 30,000 visits and over 80,000 page views in the last three months.   Our Facebook page has more than doubled it’s “likes” since January 1.   We have  2.5 times the “likes” and traffic of the Harrison Regional Chamber Facebook page, almost the same as Greenbrier, and half as many as the Conway Chamber, with a town of over 50,000 people.   Searcy County is really getting noticed!!