Archives for March 2013

Attractions in Searcy County

Check out the new “Attractions” page at the Searcy County Chamber Website.

This is a one stop guide to all you can do and see on your visit to the area.

Visit Buffalo National River


Check out a Wild Cave Tour at Hurricane River Cave.


See a movie under the Stars at the Kenda Drive In, the only Drive-in open year round in the entire state of Arkansas.

Kenda Drive In

Check out Old Town Leslie and do some shopping.


See the “Coolest Spot in the Ozarks”, Old Town Gilbert.


Check out one of our Agri-Tourism destinations, Ratchford Farms, Dogwood Hills Farm, Pine Grove Trails, and Shelton’s Big Flat Getaway.


Learn about the Buffalo River at the Tyler Bend Visitor Center.


Check out some music in Leslie at the Drop Zone or the Ozark Heritage Arts Center.


Check out a museum, history, and some old architecture in Leslie, Marshall, St. Joe, and Gilbert.


Spend a day or two on a hiking trail.


Take a cruise down some of our scenic roads.

Recreation Slider 786x430

Or maybe catch a glimpse of a herd of Elk down on Bear Creek, along U.S. 65.

Elk on Bear Creek in Searcy County Arkansas

There’s a lot to do and see in beautiful Searcy County, Arkansas.

Check out all we have to offer here:

Attractions in Searcy County

New Member – Searcy County Rural Help Center


The Greater Searcy County Chamber of Commerce would like to welcome the Searcy County Rural Help Center as one of its newest members.

The Searcy County Rural Help Center’s mission is to improve the welfare of disadvantaged citizens, on a local scale, by acting as an outreach for Social and Human Services to rural areas of Searcy County.  Our services are designed to help eliminate extensive travel, and assist those who are in need of assistance in form completion, and access to information pertaining to Social and Human Services.

The Center houses a small Library, and Computer Lab that provides access to computer and internet  services, that lessens the physical barriers in communication, and provides access to Adult Education, and fundamental computer classes.  The Library provides an exchange book program, and offers the opportunity to check out books for adults and children.  Our future plans are to provide children’s programs that promote literacy and increase student achievement.

An element also included in the Center is the Thrift Store, where all funds are filtered back into the Center for enhanced programs.

You may contact the Searcy County Rural Help Center at their location, 260 North Church St. in St. Joe, Arkansas, 72675, by phone at 870-439-8300 or by Email.


World Championship of Chocolate Rolls – Draws Record Number of Entrants


Chocolate Roll Festival and Contest – March 16th

14 Contestants Competing for World’s Best Chocolate Roll

The Marshall High School Art Club is finalizing activities for the 2nd annual Chocolate Roll Contest and Festival on Saturday, March 16. Starting at 10:00 am in the high school cafeteria, the public will be able to buy tickets and be the judges for the “Best Chocolate Roll of 2013”. We have 14 contestants for this year’s competition. While not everyone will be able to win first prize, we are providing each contestant with a gift. The sale of tickets and judging will continue until 1:30 where we will stop the judging and count the votes. The winners will be announced at 2:00 pm. The Searcy County Chamber of Commerce will also announce the winners of the “All Things Chocolate Roll”  contest at this time.
You may need to clean your palate occasionally in between samples of chocolate rolls so there will be concessions available from the Loafer’s Glory Church where you can get drinks and other food items as well.
Since March has been declared “Student Art Month”, the MHS Art Club students will have an exhibit of some of their artwork. We are asking everyone who attends to place provided stickers on their favorite artwork and that student will receive a prize.

 Arts, Crafts and Music!!

Check out our vendors in the “Arts and Crafts ” section. There will be things you just can’t resist.
We are excited to have the following musicians to entertain throughout the day, “Two Sextons and a Mike“, “The Eaton Boys” and others will be on stage.

Check out the Car Show

Don’t forget to check out the Searcy County Classic Chocolate Roll In car show. There will be antique and modified cars to show off. No entry fee but door prizes will be available for the exhibitors.

Chocolate Roll Classes Held

Have you ever wanted to learn how to make a chocolate roll? We will have two sessions during the day where you can sign up, pay a $10 fee and learn how to make them. You get to take home a recipe and your chocolate rolls after the session. The first session begins at 10:00 am and the second session will begin at 12 noon. This fundraiser is sponsored by the Marshall GT students and parents. Contact Dorothy Taylor @ 501-425-8362 or Tammy Deckard @ 501-472-3173 to sign up. They can accommodate 20 people per session so sign up early.

Come out and help us select and honor the “Best Chocolate Roll for 2013”. While doing this you will be able to enjoy great music, baking lessons, car show, arts and crafts and concessions. All activities will be in and around the main high school building instead of the gym. Contact Brenda Smyth for any other information not covered. e-mail– or call evenings–870-448-3064 or daytime–870-448-6224

New Member – Sentimental Journey


The Greater Searcy County Chamber of Commerce is proud to announce that Sentimental Journey is one of our newest Chamber Members.

Local Artist Pam Kelley has realized a dream of opening a shop in Searcy County.

Sentimental Journey is a warm environment inviting you in to discover New, Old, and Handmade products. We offer a blend of Antique Vintage to Modern and Shabby Chic.


Sentimental Journey is located in the small town of Leslie, Arkansas at the corner of Main and Oak Street. Leslie has a down home southern spirit which fits perfectly with the atmosphere we bring.  Sentimental Journey has a wonderful eclectic blend of merchandise, and something for everyone.  We have a wonderful group of vendors with products to look forward to including; Hand-painted Artwork, Handmade Rustic Furniture, Pottery, Antiques, All Natural Bath & Body products, Handmade Crochet, Collectibles, Ladies Fashion Accessories, and a host of unique quality gifts sure to fit your budget.


Hello. My name is Pamela Kelley, many know me as a local artist. I am owner and operator of Sentimental Journey as well as Leatherwood Arts. I have been a self-taught artist for 19 years, however I have had my hands in many artistic and crafty things. I had the privilege of being Artist in Residence at Yellowstone National Park in 2007 and 2008. I have also done business with such companies as; Bass pro Shops, Cabela’s, NLC, Quail Unlimited, Peter Engler Designs, Silver Dollar City, Crow’s Nest Trading Co., Ruffed Grouse Society, and The Mule Deer Foundation. To find more of my artwork go to

For more information or to contact Pam and Sentimental Journey, call 870-221-1572, email Pam at or check out their page on Facebook.   Sentimental Journey is open Monday thru Saturday, 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM.

Check out more of the great items at Sentimental Journey by checking out the other photos below.


2013 Searcy County Events Updated


There are a ton of events planned for Searcy County for 2013.  Newly updated as of 3/1/2013.     As of now there are 32 one time events, and 6 Monthly Events scheduled for 2013.

Special events kick off with the 2nd Annual MHS Art Club Chocolate Roll Festival on March 16.  This festival is going to be much bigger than last years since Searcy County was named as the “Chocolate Roll Capital of the World”.  The centerpiece of this Festival is the World Championship Chocolate Roll Contest where YOU can be one of the judges.   You can vote for the best chocolate roll in the world.   2013 is also a special year for the town of Gilbert. “The Coolest Town in Arkansas” celebrates it’s 100th year as an incorporated town on May 4th.

Lots of Events are planned at the Killebrew Theater – Ozark Heritage Arts Center.  Monthly events continue on every 2nd Saturday with Music, and every 5th Saturday with Gospel Music.  There will also be special events at least monthly with some new items like the “Wizard of Oz” Children’s Theater on May 4th, “9-5 The Musical” on July 27th,  the play “Steel Magnolias” on October 26th,  and a special Salute to Veterans Concert on November 8th.

Some other new things to watch for this year is Donkey Basketball on March 18th at Leslie, Family Fun Day at the Marshall Fairgrounds on April 6th, The Ozark Byways Blossom Tour in St. Joe and Leslie on April 13th, and The Rock, Rhythm & Blues Festival in Leslie on May 11th.

Annual Events like the Ozark Mountain Market, Annual Fishing Derby, Hillbilly Daze, The Leslie Homecoming, Junkfest, Westfest, and the Flying Jam are planned to be bigger and better than ever.

Bookmark this page where you can come back and check out this list as the year goes by.   We will also add new events as they come in.   There is a lot to do in Searcy County.    We also have a printable events list here.