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

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      www.pinegrovetrails.com , check them out on Facebook, or call   870-447-2367




See More Pictures Below

“Shades of Blue” at the Killebrew for the Veterans

An Air Force jazz ensemble will be performing in Leslie on Friday, 9 November at the Ozark Heritage Arts Center. Opening for the Air Force band will be the Marshall High School Band and Choir.
Sponsored by American Legion Post 131 of Leslie, the Veterans Day Salute will feature “Shades of Blue” whose repertoire ranges from traditional big band jazz, to bebop and swing, to modern jazz. The band is a component of the United States Air Force Band of Mid-America, which is the musical ambassador of the Air Mobility Command. Veterans will be recognized at the event which is two nights before Veterans Day. Make sure and bring your favorite veteran!! Show time is 7:30 p.m. Admission is free.

Oak Street Station — The Drop Zone

The Greater Searcy County Chamber of Commerce would like to introduce and thank our newest member,  Oak Street Station and “The Drop Zone” from Leslie, Arkansas.

Oak Street Station contains something for everyone. We are an arts/crafts/collectibles mini-mall, a consignment shop, an antique shop, and an herbal store.

We are an arts/crafts mini-mall, offering spaces for rent to local craftspeople. We also have spaces containing fine collectibles.

We are a consignment shop, offering to consign any arts/crafts item, antique, or collectible.

We also sell and refinish antiques. 

We also have a medicinal herbalist on-hand, Marcy Watts, RN, BSN, who sells her own label, Ozark Natural Herbals, containing her own medicinal herbal formulas, bulk herbs, and also, cooking spices.

Call Us Today!

If you, or anyone you know, does arts or crafts or have fine collectibles to sell, call us at 870-447-6184.


Check out Oak Street Station on their website or Facebook page.







Another part of Oak Street Station is “The Drop Zone”.

The Drop Zone is located inside of Oak Street Station, toward the back.   The Drop zone features a stage, 2 700-watt speakers, mikes, sound mixer, and a concession stand. The concession has cold drinks and snacks but we do not serve alcohol. We are a non-alcoholic, non-smoking family place. Home of the new Buffalo River Blues Society!  They also have  Karaoke & Live Music.  Open on Friday and Saturday nights at 7:30 till 11:30 PM

Check out the Drop Zone’s Facebook page for music times and dates!!!

And be sure and tell them you found them on the Chamber’s Website!!





New Music Events at OHAC – Killebrew Theater

It’s going to be a busy Spring at the Ozark Heritage Arts Center in Leslie.  Several music events are planned.  Check out the listing and times below and come out and help the Ozark Heritage Arts Center.

February 10, 2012  —  Sweet Heart Dance and Pie Auction    — Sponsored by the Searcy County Humane Society, Inc Shelter Fund      See more information here

February 11, 2012   — 2nd Saturday  — John Taylor Band

February 18, 2012  —  Red Hat Diva’s   — Gospel Group from Hot Springs

February 24, 2012 —  Marshall Rotary  — Music to be announced

February 25, 2012 —  Killebrew Theater Presents……  The Barren Hollow Boys    You don’t want to miss this performance!!!!!

March 3, 2012  — Clarence Treat  who played with the “New Christy Minstrels”

March 10, 2012 —  2nd Saturday  — “In Cahoots”

March 25, 2012  —   U.S. Army Military Band in Concert




Leslie Homecoming Run For Fun

The Greater Searcy County Chamber of Commerce will be again sponsoring the Leslie Homecoming 5K – 10K Run and Walk.  This is the 2nd year of this event.   This year’s theme is “Run For Fun”.

The run will be held on Saturday morning, June 18, 2011.

Registration for the Run will be at the Leslie Cemetery on Baker Road at 7:00 AM.  The race starts at 8:00 AM

We will have a map posted very soon of the running course.

For more information contact Clint Freeman at 870-448-2383

Please Click to download the  Registration Form

Overcoming Affliction-Killebrew Theater

The Group Overcoming Affliction will be playing at the Ozark Heritage Arts Center – Killebrew Theater on Friday June 24th at 7:30 PM.   According to their website at www.overcomingaffliction.com ,  Overcoming Affliction is a band that uses music to further God’s kingdom.  We believe that a relationship with Jesus Christ is essential to life.  Our music is geared toward spreading God’s word, as well as healing and mending the hearts and lives of people who are hurting.  All of our music on the site is original, and all are homemade recordings.  We hope that you enjoy our music.  Everything we do as a band is for God, and unto Him be all the glory.

Overcoming Affliction will have CD’s for sale at the event.   Tickets will be available at the door and will be $5.00 Each.  Mark your calendars for this event on the 24th of June and help support the Ozark Heritage Arts Center and these great local young men.

Member of the Week – Old Mercantile Antiques/Arkansas Handmade

The Greater Searcy County Chamber of Commerce announces Old Mercantile Antiques, and owner Laurie Gross in Leslie, Arkansas  has been chosen as the Member of the Week.

At Laurie’s shop, Old Mercantile Antiques and funky old stuff, you can find just about anything old, as long as it’s very cool. She has classic primitives, lovely glassware and pottery, and things you’ve probably never seen before!   Laurie really has an eye for unique items, and believes that almost anything old is worth enjoying.   Of course it’s an antique store, so everything isn’t perfect, but has character and patina that comes with age.

Laurie has just opened a new shop, named Arkansas Handmade, just down the street from Old Mercantile,  which is a shop that is filling fast with unique handmade items from craftspeople from all over Arkansas.  She has a great selection of  vintage oil paintings, quilts, glassware, baskets, jewelry and more.  She seems to be adding daily to the new shop and soon it will probably be as full with items as Old Mercantile.

Old Mercantile has some really unique items.  Touring the shop this afternoon was a great experience.   There is no way I can name all the items that I saw, but some things that caught my eye were the old phonograph’s, old kitchen cabinets, old lanterns, an old compass from a ship, many antique tools, spice cabinets, spool cabinets, great selection of old antique books, glassware including carnival glass, and even an old juke box.   She has quite an interesting collection.

She has an online store as well.   You can visit her site at www.old-merc.com to browse and even buy right there online.    Check  out the pictures of her shops below in our slide show.

To Contact Laurie at Old Mercantile, call 870-447-2731 or email.



New Member – Elk and Eagle Trading Post, LLC

The Greater Searcy County Chamber of Commerce welcomes Elk & Eagle Trading Post, LLC and its owners Darryl and Dana Treat.

Darryl is a Searcy County native who retired after more than 26 years in the US Air Force. He has now set down some business roots on Main Street in Leslie with Elk & Eagle Trading Post, LLC. The trading post is predominately, but not entirely a gift shop. Inside the store you can find locally-made, Arkansas-made and American-made products. For you hikers, they have hiking sticks, hiking medallions and hiking sew-on patches.

When you’re looking for birthday and Christmas gifts give the trading post a look. They carry books from Tim Ernst, as well as house flags, Post Familie muscadine juice and products from Ratchford Exotic Meats. There are also Ozark T-shirts and socks from For Bare Feet, Inc. If you’re tired of giving your kids or grandkids electronic gifts, then take a look at some of the old-fashioned games available in the store from Channel Craft. No batteries or electric outlets required!

They also have pottery with local and regional imprinting. Handmade, wheel-thrown, brush-decorated pottery that is kiln fired at 2,300 degrees Fahrenheit.

When relatives and friends come to visit take a jaunt on down to Leslie and shop around town. When you’re leaving the trading post, if you didn’t notice them on the way in, don’t forget to look high up on the front of the store for a nice set of elk antlers.

Check out Elk & Eagle Trading Post on Facebook.


Operation Kindness Spay/Neuter Clinic Success

The Operation Kindness 3 Day Spay and Neuter clinic held last week (March 14-16) at Leslie was a rousing success as a total of 81 cats and dogs were altered.

The great volunteers of Operation Kindness worked very hard during, before and after the event to make sure all the animals received tender loving care while they were at the clinic.  None of the volunteers get paid for this service.  They do this all for the animals, and as a service to the area communities.

The mobile clinic which comes here and does the services, goes all over Arkansas providing this much needed and low cost service.  The charge for cat spays and neuters is $25.00 per animal.  For dogs up to 75 pounds, the charge is $50.00, with the price increasing to $60.00 for dogs over 75 pounds.

State law requires that all dogs and cats must have a rabies vaccination each year.  If an animal comes to the clinic to be altered, and does not have the RV, the DVM administers the vaccination for a charge of $5.00.   Vaccinations are not available at the clinic for animals that aren’t altered at the clinic.

JoAnna McManus, DVM, has been working for Arkansans for Animals for 14 years in the mobile unit.  Their new 2 year old Mobile trailer is 40 feet long, and contains a hospital unit in the rear, and sleeping quarters in the front.  This custom unit cost approximately $150,000.  Dr. McManus, and her Vet Tech assistant are both licensed in the State of Arkansas and have excellent reputations.  The Vet Tech, Dian Ladner is also the driver of the truck that tows the MASH unit.  Arkansans for Animals website is www.arkansansforanimals.org for more information about their service

What do the operation kindness volunteers do besides make appointments?  A couple days before the clinic begins, they all meet at the American Legion building in Leslie where the event is held, to set up tables, dividers, organize paperwork, (which must stay with the pet at all times during it’s appointment).  They bring in supplies, blankets, wipes, newspapers, so each animal can be kept clean and dry.  Once the clinic is in full swing, Operation Kindness provides at least 2 meals per day for all volunteers, plus they feed Dr. McManus and her staff, normally 3-4 additional people.  Operation Kindness volunteers carry out and retrieve all the animals from the surgery unit.  It is a very satisfying, but unpaid job that they do, and each member is very happy knowing that for each animal that has been altered,   hundreds of dogs and cats may be prevented from dying of hunger, abandonment and abuse.

Operation Kindness will be holding another clinic in May and yet another in September 2011.  They are now making appointments for both clinics.  They are already booked up for female dogs at the May clinic, but other appointments are available.  For more information or to book an appointment at the clinic, call 870-221-1630.  You may also e-mail them here.

Operation kindness is a great member of the Searcy County Chamber of Commerce, and we should be proud to have such a good group of volunteers supporting this noble cause.  Operation Kindness is also sponsoring several events in the upcoming Spring Fling.   Help support their cause.