The Ozark Folklife Festival!!

FolkLife Festival Poster

The Ozark Folklife Festival is Saturday, October 1st from 10 AM till 8 PM at the Tyler Bend Campground, Buffalo National River, near St. Joe.  It’s a heritage event reflecting life 100 or more years ago in the Ozark Mountains of Searcy County in celebration of the National Park Service’s 100th birthday!  Food, crafts, and music!  Demonstrators include: Storytelling, History of Searcy County, Spinner, Felter, Hymn Sings/Shaped Note Class, Trapper, Flint Knapper, Native American Flute Player, Corn Husk Dolls, Old Time Children’s Games, Lye Soap, Quilt Tying, Burial Customs, Dutch Oven Cooking, Firearm display, Folk Dancers/Storytelling, Blacksmith, Tomahawk Throwing, Pre-Civil War Encampment (1840s or prior time period) Early Arkansas Reenactors Association, Quilt Display, Dairy Goat Milking and possibly more.

Still on Hill

Still on the Hill

We have a great lineup of music!  The Michael and Jennifer McLain Band from Tennessee, Still on the Hill from Fayetteville, The Rackensack Folklore Society of Pulaski County, Mark Jones of Mountain View, Buddy Case of Enola, Possum Juice of Leslie & Mountain View, Jeff Stansbery & Breez of Leslie, The Burlesons of Lead Hill, Nathan Eaton of Marshall, and Skymeadow Fine Arts of Yellville.

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Possum Juice

Rackensack

The Rakensack Folklore Society

Buddy Case

Buddy Case

 

We also have a great lineup of food!

Pinto beans, ham, cornbread:

BBQ, cole slaw, Biscuit : Ruby’s Diner James Elliott ( Food Truck)

Fried Catfish, hush puppies: Larry Davenport

Strawberry Shortcake, Chocolate Rolls, Skylark-Joy

Hand Dipped Ice Cream- LobLolly Creamery (truck)

 

Special donations of money to help pay food vouchers for the musicians by: Sweepin’ Home Cleaning Service and Palms & Oil Massage Therapy of Tilly, the Marshall Mountain Wave, Witt Springs Community Voices, Gayla Feist, Director of North Central Adult Education of Leslie & Clinton, Starlight Cabin, LLC of Cozahome, Friends of the Searcy County Library, Ozark Byways, The Committee of Marshall, Ozark Opportunities, and Simmons Bank of Marshall.

 

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.

Cover Photo

 

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.

Chocolate Roll 2

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.

 

 

 

 

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

2014 Leslie Homecoming

The 60th Edition of the Leslie Homecoming is coming next week!!

This year’s events are from June 16-21.

Check out all the Events below.

Homecoming T-Shirts are available at the Leslie Homecoming Online Store  <==== Click

 

 

 Leslie Homecoming 2014 Leslie Homecoming

2014 Rock, Rhythm and Blues Fest in Leslie on Saturday May 10

 

Event Poster

On Saturday, May 10th, some of the best musicians around will be converging on the small town of Leslie in North Central Arkansas. Leslie, a town of about 480 people, is located halfway between Harrison and Conway on Hwy 65 and home to the Buffalo River Blues Society. 

This is our 2nd year of bringing awesome acts to the area! Last year, there were over 400 in attendance with 14 bands in 5 venues!

This year, the event is raising money to support both our Blues In The Schools programs in Area Schools and North Central Career Center Adult Education.  

There will be music in only 2 venues this year, on the Outdoor Stage in the City Park and in “the VIP Room” (The Drop Zone), with 12 Bands,  playing 12 hours of music!!! So bring your lawn chairs and your family! Come early as there is also a city-wide yard sale on Saturday morning from 8 am – Noon in the town of Leslie! 

Part of Leslie will be blocked off as there will be Arts & Crafts vendors  as well! Everything from 3-legged stools, massage therapy, handmade jewelry, and so much more! Also, some of the best BBQ this side of the Mason-Dixon Line! 

TICKETS: Get Tickets here for the Music Festival on Saturday! Regular AdmissionTickets are $20 in Advance, $25 at the Gate. VIP Passes are $30!

COME ON! IT’S GOING TO BE FUN!!!!

Click here for more information on Blues In the Schools from the Blues Foundation.

Click here for more information on North Central Career Center Adult Education program, supporting Van Buren & Searcy Counties!

BANDS SCHEDULED TO APPEAR ON SATURDAY, MAY 10, 2014:

Groove Injectors

The Groove Injectors – This great local band has been around a long time. You name it, they can play it! If you want to groove, they can do it. This band will rock your socks off! 

JD and Mudhounds

JD & The Mudhounds– Take a trip with JD & The Mudhounds…. A musical road trip through Memphis and Clarksdale, with a side trip to New Orleans, ending up in Chicago and you have a idea of the Blues, Soul, and Boogie of JD & The Mudhounds. The band’s music has been described as authentic, fresh and new, yet with a cool retro vibe. It’s The Real Deal. JD & The Mudhounds is not just a blues band, it’s an experience.

Gill Franklin

The Gil Franklin Band – Gil Franklin has been a fixture in the Arkansas music scene for over three decades. He has played in too many bands to mention,( Notably The Blues Patrol)and has done too many things to talk about. Oddly enough,this band is the first to perform almost all original material. Fan response have been great. While his songs are uniquely his, they remain the blues.

Zakk and Big Papa

Zakk & Big Papa Binns – Zakk & Big Papa Binns is a father/son duo with dueling slide guitar, one-man-band style drums and a raw hypnotic delta blues sound. They are also members of the band Brethren, who have toured extensively with legendary bluesman Cedell Davis over the last 5 years, so… some dues have been paid.  

This kicka** duo won the Solo/Duo Competition for the Buffalo River Blues Society and went on to represent them at the IBC 2014.

Low Society

Low Society – You’d be forgiven if, in stumbling upon the first notes of a Low Society song, you thought you’d found a forgotten classic. But a few bars in and you know this is not your grandpa’s blues. 

This awesome band won the Band Competition for the Buffalo River Blues Society and went on to represent them at the IBC 2014. This band is one to be reckoned with..

Ben Rice

Lucy Hammond & Ben Rice – Coming to you from the Portland, Oregon area, they’re coming to Arkansas on their Double Strength Tour, making a special stop in Leslie, Arkansas. 

Northwest Blues artist, Lucy Hammond, has been “livin’ the blues” for over 30 years. As a songwriter, Lucy delivers a writing style that ranges from New Orleans Jazz ,to Memphis Soul,to sultry Blues Rock. When Lucy sings, you best be sitting down,or better yet dancing ! Lucy never disappoints, never holds back,& she leaves it all onstage,every performance! Her ability to connect with the audience can’t be missed ! She gives voice to the emotion we all feel,& expresses it with soul! 

Ben Rice, at 25 is a growing force in the NW Blues scene. Ben Rice brings vintage blues into the modern era. Twisting soul, roots blues, and west coast blues with rockabilly, funk, and rock. Ben Rice, as Lloyd Jones put, “gets it.” His inventive twists on blues are creating a buzz up and down the West coast. Winning the 2013 Male Vocalist and Traditional Act of the Year from the Cascade Blues Association as well as Performance and Acoustic Guitar of the Year from the West Side Blues Society. 

Brick Fields

Brick Fields & The Chosen Ones – Larry Brick and Rachel Fields-Brick, both Arkansas natives, come together with their natural approach to their own genre of music which has recently been called Ozark Gospel Blues.  Larry, on guitar and background vocals along with Rachel using her ambrosial voice while playing guitar and flute, bring together a stormy performance each and every time.  Brick Fields, the multi-award winning musical team are definitive blues artists and they are no strangers to being surrounded by great music. Rachel has toured with, opened for and recorded with acts and players from  such groups as JGB,Government Mule, the Temptations, Widespread Panic, Starship, Big Brother and The Holding Company and many others. The Nashville Blues Society has called Brick Fields Music an “Unleashed cleansing of the soul!” and New Music Of Tomorrow says, “Brick Fields is by far the most soulful artist I have heard in years!”

Jason Vivone

.Jason Vivone & The Billy Bats – Jason Vivone has been called the Orson Welles of Roots and Blues music. “It’s a helluva compliment. And it makes me drop and do 100 crunches immediately,” says Vivone. Maybe it’s because of his girth. Or maybe it’s because there lies a cinematic approach to the tunes of the Billy Bats. If you close your eyes, it is easy to make little mind movies of the family reunion of EDDIE ATE DYNAMITE or the domestic drama of MEAN.They came high-stepping out of Kansas City in 2013, blind siding the public with Lather. Rinse. Repeat of joyously twisted, stomping blues. In 2011 singer, songwriter and string master Jason Vivone released his solo album, My Roaring Twenties. Now, Vivone and his band of merry musical pranksters return with the equally mind-bending Eddie Ate Dynamite

Tas Cru

Tas Cru & the Tortured Souls – It is not for nothing Tas Cru has been called “the master of the triple entendre.”  His songs are blues poetry – telltale life lessons crafted with rare verbal flair and delivered with a power and passion the heights of which only the seasoned concert entertainer can reach. Rawcuss, rowdy, gentle, sweet, eccentric, quirky, and outright irreverent are all words that fittingly describe Tas Cru’s songs and testify to his reputation as a one of the most unique of bluesmen plying his trade today!

Honors and recognition include Cru Awarded the 2014 Blues Foundation’s Keeping the Blues Alive Award (KBA) for Blues Education, named to the New York State Blues Hall of Fame – 2013 as a Master Blues Artist,  and in 2009 he was named by Blues Festival Guide Magazine as its 2009 Blues Artist on the Rise.

TWO HEADLINERS!!! THE JEFF JENSEN BAND AND THE ORI NAFTALY BAND!!!

Jeff Jensen

The Jeff Jensen Band – was formed May of 2004. Since then, the band has performed hundreds of gigs. Some of the most impressive have been with Deborah Coleman, Paul Oscher, and blues legend BB KING as part of his 80th birthday tour. The band has competed in the International Blues Challenge in 2005 representing the Santa Clarita Blues Society, 2006 representing the Pinetop Perkins Blues Society, once again in the 2007 IBC representing Santa Clarita Blues Society. Now the band is touring 200+ shows a year around the West-Coast and surrounding states.

Ori Naftaly

The Ori Naftaly Band – In a very short time this extremely talented band has gained international recognition and support by the international blues community and by an extended fan base, located in the USA, Holland, India, Germany and other countries all over the world.

Within the course of two years The Ori Naftaly Band has twice toured the United States and the Netherlands, won the Israeli Blues Challenge Competition, and was the first Israeli band ever to have reached the Semi-Finals of the International Blues Competition (IBC) in Memphis, Tennessee. They have released two live studio albums and are currently working on their third new album

SCHEDULE

(All Times Approximate and subject to change so check back often for updates)

Festival Grounds Entrance

10:00 am – 11:00 am The Groove Injectors

Ticket booth opens at 10:30 am

Main Stage

11:00-12:00 The Gil Franklin Band

12:15-1:15 Lucy Hammond & Ben Rice

1:30-3:00 Brick Fields & The Chosen Ones

3:30-5:00 Jason Vivone & The Billy Bats

5:30-7:00 Tas Cru & The Tortured Souls

7:30-9:00 Jeff Jensen Band

9:30-11:00 The Ori Naftaly Band

towards the end of Ori’s set all the ladies will be invited back on stage to do a couple of “diva” songs

VIP Stage (The Drop Zone)

1:00-2:30 JD & The Mudhounds

2:45-3:45 Zakk & Big Papa Binns

4:45-5:45 The Gil Franklin Band

6:45-7:45 Lucy Hammond & Ben Rice

8:45-9:45 Low Society

2014 Searcy County Events Calendar (Updated 4/14/2014)

Here is the brand new 2014 Events Calendar for Searcy County!!

Updated April 14, 2014.

Bookmark this page or print and cut out where you won’t miss out on any event happening in Searcy County.

 

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All Things Chocolate Roll Contest Winners Named

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The Greater Searcy County Chamber of Commerce recently held the “All Things Chocolate Roll” contest.    The submissions of stories and photos for the contest are going to be used to in the Chocolate Roll book that the Chamber is in the process of assembling.   Several written and photographic entries were received by the deadline date of January 8th, and the winners were judged by the Chocolate Roll Committee on January 10th.

The winning Photography entry “Serving Chocolate Rolls” was submitted by Shirley Patterson of Marshall, and is shown above.   We’ll post several more of the Photography Entries in the gallery below.

There are 3 winners in the written story category.  Placing for the 3 prizes will be announced at the 2nd Annual Chocolate Roll Festival on March 16.   The 3 winners, in no particular order are,  Edna Mae Wells, with her story titled “Chocolate Rolls For Christmas”.  Georgia Mae Brown Long for her story titled, “The Chocolate Roll Goes to College”.  Dana Treat for her story titled, “Love at First Bite”.    Prizes of $100 for first place, $50 for 2nd place and $25 for first place will be awarded at the Chocolate Roll Festival.

Everyone needs to practice and get their best Chocolate Roll Recipe ready for the contest on March 16!!!