Brand New 2016 Community Guide is Complete

The brand new 2016 Greater Searcy County Chamber of Commerce Community and Relocation Guide is now complete and available on the Chamber website.

This year’s guide is even  bigger and better than last year’s, with 4 additional new pages (68 Total)  of things to do and see, and places to go while you’re visiting Searcy County.

If you are planning on moving to Searcy County, or just visiting,  this is the guide you need to have.

There are some great additions and changes in this years guide, some of them are:

  • All member listings are by category, and we have a new category index where you can quickly find what you’re looking for.
  • Members selling chocolate rolls are noted in the member listings
  • The Calendar of Events has been expanded, all big Searcy County Events are listed.
  • We have new pages about the 100th Anniversary of the National Park System, an update to the Hunting page and how Searcy County is the Big Game Hunting Capital of Arkansas, an update on Searcy County Agri-tourism,  11 Reasons to live in Searcy County, an update on the improvements at the Searcy County Civic Center, a feature on the Annual Pedestal Rock Bicycle Ride, a story about World Class Hiking in Searcy County, Kenda Drive-in’s 50th Anniversary,  and much, much more.
  • 2015 Chamber Award Winners are listed.
  • An brand new spread on 15 Searcy County Attractions!!

The printed version of the guide will be available soon, and approximately 8000 copies will be distributed to all 13 visitor centers across the state of Arkansas by the Arkansas Parks and Tourism office, the Little Rock Air Force Base and many other places around the state.

The guide is available online in PDF format, so if you have the PDF reader on your computer you should be able to view.  just click the front page of the guide below.

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2016 Chocolate Roll Festival – Bigger and Better!!

 

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The 5th Annual Chocolate Roll Festival and World’s Best Chocolate Roll Contest is coming soon…..get those recipes ready!!

Come out on Saturday March 19th, 2016 at 10 am at Marshall High School for all the fun.

Be sure to purchase your ballot where you can sample all the chocolate rolls and cast your vote for the World Champion Chocolate Roll.

The 4th Annual Marshall High School Art Club Chocolate Was a Huge Success and the 5th annual 2016 Edition should be even better!!

This year’s event will be held on Saturday March 19th.   Be sure and check here and the Chambers Facebook page for upcoming information and to enter your chocolate rolls in the World Championship Chocolate Roll Contest.

To Enter the Contest check out the Event Facebook page.

There are some new events this year as well…..Highlights include:

Mark your calendars for Saturday, March 19, 2016!  It’s a new year and the MHS Art Club is already planning the 2016 Chocolate Roll Contest and Festival. We will again be having  a 5K walk/run and a classic car show with a Parade of Cars at 10am.

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5k walk/run @ 8am. Classic car show begins at 9am with parade of cars at 10am. Chocolate Roll contest begins at 10:00 am. You pick the winner of the best chocolate roll. Art show, vendors, Make and Take chocolate roll workshop, and entertainment. Something for everyone!

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2014 Chocolate Roll Festival a great Success!!

For just the 3rd year of the festival, the event was a huge success, and a great fundraiser for the Marshall High School Art Club who sponsored the event.

The declaration of Searcy County as theChocolate Roll Capital of the World by the Greater Searcy County Chamber of Commerce in late 2012, and promotion of the event by the chamber of commerce brought in visitors from all over the state.  There were people from Hazen, Huntsville, Springdale, Russellville, and more.   The weather was beautiful, and the car show, with 27 entries was well attended also.

There were  14 entries  competing in the contest this year!!   Nearly 250 people voted for their “favorite chocolate roll”, by purchasing a punch card, and then visiting all the chocolate roll stations, where they got a sample of each contestant’s creation.  Chocolate rolls were also available for sale at the festival, but went very fast.

The voting was very competitive, and the chocolate rolls were delicious.  It was truly a festival atmosphere, with Music, arts and crafts, and two chocolate roll classes that were also well attended.

 

Event coordinator Brenda Smyth commented, “The MHS Art Club would like to thank the volunteers who helped with the cutting the samples, conducting baking classes, organizing the arts and crafts, getting the fantastic car show organized, and the musicians who did a great job entertaining.  They really helped make it a huge success.”  Smith said a great big thank you to the sponsors for their participation.  You helped make it great!   Thanks also goes out to the Greater Searcy County Chamber of Commerce for donating money for the prize money this year and for all their promotion of the festival.   Smith also thanked all who donated, including Kenda Drive In, Sonic, McDonalds, Daisy Queen, Boston Mtn. Market Pizza, First National Bank of North Arkansas, First Service Bank, Ozark Hardwood Flooring, Elk and Eagle Trading Post LLC, Girl Scouts, Simmons Bank and Homebank for door prizes at the car show.

Several people at the festival and several who took baking classes commented that they plan to enter the contest next year, so we expect the 3rd Annual Chocolate Roll Festival to be bigger and better than ever.  Everyone better hone up their recipes as the competition will be fierce.

Click on the pictures below for a slide show of festival photos.

 

 

 

 

Upcoming 2016 Searcy County Chamber Banquet and Awards Ceremony

The 2015 Chamber of Commerce Banquet and Awards Ceremony was a great success, and with the addition of nearly 70 new members since 2013, we expect this year’s event to be special as well.   This years Banquet will be held on Thursday, February 25th 2016, at 6:00 PM at the Searcy County Civic Center in Marshall.

This year’s theme of the event is, “Building a Healthy Searcy County”.

We plan to have 2 special guests and speakers this year.  Former Searcy County resident Dr. Jay Geoghagan from North Little Rock will be the first featured speaker.   Deputy Parks Superintendent Laura Miller will be our second featured speaker.

Again we will be presenting awards for Chamber Business of the year, Employee of the Year, Volunteer of the year (which can also be a group) and in the Student Category,  Agri Student of the year, Business Student of the year and Science / Technology Student of the Year, and an overall award for Community Service in the county called The “Spirit of Searcy County” Award.

Watch for more information about the Chamber Banquet on the Chamber’s Facebook Page.

 

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2015  Banquet and Awards Ceremony a huge Success!!

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The Annual Greater Searcy County Chamber of Commerce held it’s Banquet and Awards Ceremony last night, February 26th, 2015, at the Searcy County Civic Center.   Nearly 200 were in attendance for the event, and it was a great success.

Keynote Speaker Mr. James Johnston

 

 

“The Spirit of Searcy County Award”: Searcy County Sheriff’s Deputy Lang Holland and State Police Officer Buster “Buckey” Rinks
Lifetime Achievement Award: Kenneth Fariss
Business of the Year: Ratchford Farms –  L.C. Ratchford
Employee of the Year: Amanda McCoy – Marshall Medic Pharmacy
Volunteer of the Year: Keith Karnes
Business Student of the Year: Victoria Passmore 1st, Mersady Redding 2nd, Court Turney 3rd
Agriculture Student of the Year: Laykyn Rainbolt 1st, Logan Boyd 2nd, Grace Pepler 3rd
Science/Technology Student of the Year: Seth Stephenson 1st, Taylor Irwin 2nd, Domonique Baheza 3rd

3 of the Student winners (Seth Stephenson, Victoria Passmore and Mersady Redding) were not available for the photo because of a event conflict and are not shown.
(Photo by Bob King Photography)

Award Winners

 

Spirit of Searcy County Award Winners.

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2014  Banquet and Awards Ceremony a huge Success!!

On Thursday, February 27th, 2014 the Officers and many members of the Greater Searcy County Chamber of Commerce celebrated a banner year for the chamber with the 1st Annual Searcy County Chamber Banquet and Awards Ceremony.   The re-organization of the Searcy County Chamber is 5 years old, and we passed a landmark this past year with over 100 members.  We decided it was time to celebrate.  Around 140 were in attendance for the event and everyone had a great time.

The old Searcy County Chamber was disbanded in the mid 1990’s and previously held a couple banquets during that earlier period, but current chamber member and previous member Bob King said this was by far the best attended event, and the chamber is stronger than ever.

Big Springs Trading Company catered the event with great food, and the food was served by the Girl Scouts.

The keynote Speaker was Lavina Grandon from the Rural Community Alliance.  Lavina, is the past recipient of the Teacher of the Year award, and the Arkansas Rural Person of the Year in 2004.  Lavina gave everyone a rousing and entertaining speech complete with props from the older days of the county, invoices from her birth, and what people paid for various items in past years.  She told of the history of the area, where we are now, and where she things we’re going.

Awards were given in several categories including, Employee of the year, Business of the Year, and Volunteer of the year.  School awards were given for Agri Students of the year, and business student of the year.

See the award winners below.  (Photo by Ron Gillispie of the Marshall Mtn. Wave)

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Winners from Left to Right are:

  • Shelby Treat   —    Second Place  Agri Student of the Year
  • Clark Taylor   —      First Place  Agri Student of the Year
  • James Housley —  Honorable Mention Agri Student of the Year
  • Charmaine Seaton  – Director of the Searcy County Civic Center  – Volunteer of  the Year
  • Nancy Jones, Jeanie Horton, Teresa Jackson, Amanda McCoy, Kelsey Whitelaw  (Medic Pharmacy) — Business of the Year
  • Grace Pepler  — Third Place  Agri Student of the Year
  • Foy Whitelaw with his son Finn — (Ozark Hardwood Flooring)  — Employee of the Year
  • Susan Verhegge  — Business Student of the Year

 

Jack Treat was also presented  his award of Lifetime Achievement for his work with the community and the Searcy County Chamber of Commerce by Chamber Vice President Lee Walsh

Jack Award

 

Red Curtain Theater Comes to Leslie with 3 New Shows

The Red Curtain Theater of Conway is bringing three great shows this year to Leslie and the Ozark Heritage Arts Center! First off, the Leslie Area Merchants Association and the Red Curtain Theater present the children’s musical “Alice & Wonderland Jr.” on Saturday night, 27 February at 7 pm! Tickets will be $10 for Adults and $5 Children (12 & under). If you enjoyed their production of “Seussical Jr.” and “The Little Mermaid, Jr.”, you’ll love this! Don’t miss it! The Music Man musical is coming Saturday night, 23 July and as part of the 2016 8th Annual Sugarplum Festival in Leslie, the children’s musical “Elf Jr.” will be held on Saturday night, 3 December! For more information, please call 870-448-2557.

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2nd Annual Great American Smoke Out BBQ Cook-Off — October 24th

The 2nd Annual Great American Smoke Out BBQ Cook-off will be held October 24th, 2015 on the Marshall Court House Square in Marshall, Arkansas

See the event flyer for more details.   Rules link and Entry form is also provided below.

For more information, contact “The Committee” at their Facebook Page.

BBQ cook Off Flyer Photo

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BBB Cook Off Entry Form

BBQ Contest Rules are here:  Link to Rules

Pedestal Rock 20 & 40 Mile Bicycle Ride

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1st Annual Pedestal Rock 20- & 40-Mile Bicycle Ride! The ride is Saturday, November 7th starting at 9 AM at Witts Springs Community Center.  Check in / Registration 7:30-8:30.  Twenty mile ride and Forty mile ride.  Shirts to all registered riders.  Lunch included for first 200 pre-registered riders!

2,800 total feet of ascents and 2,800 feet of descents (40 mile portion), essentially a neutral ride at the start and turnaround.

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The ride starts at the Witts Springs Community Center at the intersection of Highway 377 and Highway 16 in Witts Springs, Arkansas. Two routes are offered, both winding through the beautiful Ozark National Forest. The 20-mile ride is from the Community Center to Raspberry Bend and back; the 40-mile ride is from the Community Center to the Pedestal Rock Scenic area and back.

(You cannot actually see Pedestal Rock from the turnaround point.) Go to www.pedestalrock40ride.com for all the details and online registration.

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They have a lofty goal of getting 200 RIDERS to attend this challenging, but fun & beautiful finish to the riding season. They will be posting three videos for riders as well; one highlighting Pedestal Rock, one highlighting the riders village where you can tent camp or RV camp the night before and enjoy a donation dinner along with free use of the showers, bathroom and gym! Danishes and coffee in the morning. Finally, a safety video sharing insights on the ride! PLEASE Consider the 20 mile ride if you’re not ready for a 40. They need as many riders as possible to make the inaugural ride a success.

ADVISORY: This ride is in a rural and isolated part of Arkansas. Residents depend on volunteer rescue squads during emergency medical situations. The closest hospitals from the starting point are approximately 50 miles away. Ride organizers and volunteers trust that participants will keep this information in mind and ride safely and responsibly. Some ascents and descents are intense; this is not a ride for beginners. This is not a race. Enjoy the view!  HELMETS ARE REQUIRED. The ride supports the efforts of work being done by Community Voices to strengthen their community and keep their facilities open for use by the public for conventions, business meetings, entertainment, ball games, and more. Community Voices is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, so your donations are tax deductible as allowable by law.

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4th Annual Leslie Mountain Man Rendezvous – Coming Soon!!

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The 4th Annual Leslie Mountain Man Rendezvous is Friday, October 9 through Saturday, October 10 in historic Leslie!  Open daily from 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. The mountain folk once again descend on beautiful Leslie for the annual Leslie Mountain Man Rendezvous. See pre-1840 history come alive. Admission is free. Public, private, and home schools invited on Friday. Vendors on site. Be sure to visit downtown Leslie while you’re here. The town offers historic homes and buildings, the Ozark Heritage Arts Center, antique stores, shops, art, local pottery, restaurants, lodging, and sourdough bread baked in a brick oven. The annual rendezvous is sponsored by the Leslie Area Merchants Association and the Early Arkansaw Reenactors Association.  For more information, please call 870-448-2557.rendzevous2

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Searcy County Fair — Sept. 8-12, 2015

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It is Searcy County Fair time again.

Check out the Schedule of Events below.

Saturday, August 22

9:30am Livestock Health Certificates & Poultry Vaccination

3:00 pm Horse Show, Flintrock Saddle Club Arena

Thursday,  August 27th

8pm Battle of the Bands & Arena Dance, Searcy County Fairground Arena, Armbands $8   Gate admission $10

call 870-448-2999 or 870-504-1641 to enter or purchase armbands

Friday, August 28

4:00-6:00pm       Fair Pageant Rehearsal, Marshall Elementary Cafeteria

6:00pm Fair Talent Show, Marshall Elementary Cafeteria

Saturday, August 29

6:00pm Beauty Pageant, Marshall Elementary Cafeteria

Wednesday, September 2—Saturday, Sept 5

6:00-10:00 pm    Carnival, Strawberry Shed Area, Marshall

Thursday, September 3

3:30 pm                Clean-Up Day – Buildings & Grounds

Tuesday, September 8

6:00 pm                Youth Tractor Driving Contest

Wednesday, September 9

8am–6pm  Family Consumer Science Exhibits, Flowers, Arts, Horticulture and Educational Booths entered.

Thursday, September 10

8am-10am   Livestock exhibits in place (Junior & Open)

Commercial Booths set-up

9:00 am Judging Family Consumer Science, Departments (buildings closed to the public)

10am     ALL livestock and poultry in place

10am     Exhibitor meeting-required attendance for herdsman award, Show Arena

12:00 pm              4-H Poultry judging (showmanship following show)

2:00pm Sheep judging (showmanship following show)

4:00pm Goat judging (showmanship following show)

6pm-8pm            Buildings open to the public

Friday, September 11  — School Day & Senior Citizen Day

8am-8pm             Fairgrounds & buildings open to the public

8:00 am Swine judging (showmanship following show)

1:00 pm                Cattle judging (showmanship following show)

8:00 pm                Rodeo, Flintock Saddle Club Arena

Saturday, September 12

8am-2pm             Fairgrounds & buildings open to the public

9:00 am 4-H Poultry Auction, poultry barn

10:00 am              Junior Livestock Premium Sale, show arena

12pm-2pm          Pick up entries in all departments

2:30 pm                Fair Parade

8:00 pm                Rodeo, Flintock Saddle Club Arena

Sunday, September 13

2pm       NBHA, National Barrel Horse Association, Sponsored by Flintrock Saddle Club at the arena

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Searcy County Farmer’s Markets!!

Searcy County has three Farmer’s Markets!

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The farmer’s market in Marshall is Fridays from 3 p.m. till 6 p.m. Held at the berry shed, come for produce, eggs, crafts, and entertainment.  For more information, please call Nikki at 870-448-5196.

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Cove Creek Emporium hosts a farmer’s market in downtown Leslie. Market is from 8:00 a.m. till 12:00 noon every Saturday throughout the growing season. Vendors-Farmers welcome. They have an awning and building, so weather will not be an issue. Call Dottie Mayes at 870-448-6287 for more information or message her on Facebook.

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Witts Springs Farmers Market is on Mondays from 6 p.m. till about 7 p.m. at the community park across the street from Cindy’s Country Store.

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Free Electronics Recycling – May 9th 2015

Free Electronics Recycling to be offered in Marshall May 9, 2015

Old Computer

The city of Marshall is hosting a free electronic waste (E-Waste) recycling round-up on Saturday, May 9 from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. at the Old Berry Shed on 200 West Fair Street, off Highway 65. Participants may drop off items such as computers, fax machines, printers, TVs, VCRs, DVD players, stereos, phones, electronic cables and more.

Businesses, schools, non-profit groups, and residents are invited to participate.

Why recycle electronics? Banned at most landfills, E-Waste is the fastest growing part of the solid waste stream. Presently only about 18% of electronics are being recycled in the United States and contain heavy metals, flame retardants, and other compounds known to cause health problems. The vast majority of dangerous toxins found in landfills – mercury, cadmium, flame retardants and lead – come from electronics. During the recycling (e-cycling) process, hazardous waste is safely and responsibly removed from electronic items, metals and plastics are reprocessed, and data is wiped from the items in compliance with the U.S. Department of Defense’s standards.

This electronic waste round-up is sponsored by Searcy County Recycling, the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ), Ozark Mountain Solid Waste, Searcy County, and the City of Marshall.

As a thank-you for recycling, randomly selected participants that drop off E-Waste will win a pair tickets to the Kenda Drive-In movie theater in Marshall.

If you are unable to drop off your unwanted electronic items at the Round-Up on May 9, Searcy County Recycling, located at 2137 Highway 27 South, accepts E-Waste, as well as glass, cardboard, textiles, paper products, and aluminum cans, which can be dropped off any time, free of charge.

For more information, contact Debbie McDaniel at Searcy County Recycling, 870-448-3001, 870-448-6583, searcycorecycling@yahoo.com