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September/October 2016 Issue


Explore northwest Arkansas on the Razorback Regional Greenway

That the Razorback Regional Greenway earned a Henry Award couldn't be more apropos. Named for Italian adventurer Henri de Tonti, who was among the first “Arkansas Travelers,” the award honored the trail for delighting so many travelers today.

The Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism presented the award earlier this year because of the greenway's appeal and its enhancements to the quality of life in northwest Arkansas. Opened in 2015, the 37-mile shared-use trail links Fayetteville and Bentonville, and in between features remarkable bridges, follows along several creeks, runs through farmland and wooded areas, and connects to lakes and parks.

While the greenway offers scenic beauty, it also accesses dozens of popular destinations, including arts and entertainment venues, restaurants, historic sites, playgrounds, and four other communities besides those at the two ends: Johnson, Springdale, Rogers, and Lowell.

Developed by the Northwest Arkansas Regional Planning Commission as a way to create a “spine” connecting the area's existing trail systems, the greenway has become an integral part of about 200 miles of hard- and soft-surface trails in northwest Arkansas enjoyed by bicyclists, walkers, and hikers.

Autumn's cooler temperatures and radiant foliage provide the ideal time to explore the trail. And for a cycling celebration, don't miss the Square 2 Square Bicycle Ride on Sept. 10 that will start in Bentonville between 8–10:30 a.m. and conclude in Fayetteville. Along the way, riders can enjoy festive pit stops featuring entertainment, refreshments, and more.

Visit for trail details. For information about the Square 2 Square ride, visit


The 37-mile trail passes through farmland, wooded areas, and several downtowns. Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism



Gardeners flock to Crystal Springs, Miss., in the fall

The Fall Flower and Gar-den Fest is among the largest home gardening shows in the Southeast, bringing an average of 5,000 people over the two-day show to Crystal Springs, Miss., and it's easy to understand its popularity.

The show, held at the Truck Crops Experiment Station about 25 miles south of Jackson, has become a must-see for flower and vegetable lovers because of the array of exhibits, experiences, and products available. Organized by the Mississippi State University Extension Service, the fest will be held Oct. 14 and 15 this year.

Throughout the site, Mississippi State University specialists will be putting on seminars, demonstrations, and informational walking tours of the three-acre gardens. These informational tours will cover topics on flowers, landscape plants, vegetables, insects, and problems like plant diseases. There will be more than 60 vendors who will be selling plants, yard art, gardening tools, and plenty of food, including barbecue, ribeye steak sandwiches, chicken, and even desserts like cakes and sweet potato treats. The Chatauqua Garden Club will serve homemade ice cream, while hot and cold drinks will be available from the Copiah County 4-H Club.

The Truck Crops Experiment Station is located at 2024 Experiment Station Road. The fest will be held from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. both days, and admission and parking are free.

Call (601) 892-3731 for more details or visit


The fest includes tours through the gardens at the Truck Crops Experiment Station. Mississippi State University Extension Service


Regatta revives Little Rock rowing legacy

In a tradition that dates to the late 1800s, rowers will converge from across the United States on Little Rock, Ark., this fall for thrilling races on the Arkansas River.

First held in 1882, Little Rock's annual regatta was a premier competition for rowing clubs across the South. Now called the Six Bridges Regatta, the event was revived three years ago to celebrate the sport and help reintroduce it to the region. This year's race will be held on Saturday, Oct. 15, in downtown Little Rock.

Spectators can find great spots for watching the races on both sides of the river while enjoying food trucks, refreshments, and music. Racers will begin near the Little Rock Airport and row under the pedestrian bridge at the Clinton Presidential Center and finish at the pedestrian Junction Bridge. Both bridges offer great views of the competition.

Hosted by the RowAmerica North Little Rock boat club, the races will begin at 8 a.m. and conclude around 4 p.m. There will be sprints and head races, in which boats are started in their respective divisions separately at 10-second intervals. The winner is the crew with the shortest elapsed time. Categories will include all ages and boats ranging from singles to eight-person crews.

For more information, click on


Rowers on the Arkansas River. RowAmerica North Little Rock


Sugar Cane Festival marks 75 sweet years

Get ready to pass a sweet time at the 75th Annual Louisiana Sugar Cane Festival during the last week of September in New Iberia, La.

Drawing nearly 50,000 visitors over five days, the Sugar Cane Festival celebrates the sugar industry as well as the unique culture of Southwest Louisiana. As the state's largest sugar cane producer, Iberia Parish is a fitting host for the festival, and attendees will surely be on the receiving end of the region's signature greeting: “Hi, Sugar.”

Held from Sept. 21–25, festival events will include parades, carnival rides, live Cajun and zydeco music, fais do-dos, a car show, sugar cookery, photography and artistry competitions, horticulture show, pageants, and a spectacular fireworks display.

Many of the festival activities – including the carnival rides, food vendors, and crafts exhibits – will be held at the Louisiana Pepperplex, a 65-acre outdoor sports complex located at 607 Sucrose Road off U.S. Highway 90. Other events will be featured at various venues around New Iberia, and the entertainment will take place in downtown off Main Street on Friday and Saturday nights. There is a $10 cover charge for the entertainment.

For details, call (337) 369-9323 or visit



Natchitoches' colonial fort celebrates its tricentennial

Celebrating its 300th anniversary this year, Fort St. Jean Baptiste near Natchitoches, La., brings Louisiana's colonial era to life through its reconstructed buildings and engaging programs.

After Natchitoches was founded by a French-Candian in 1714, Sieur Charles Claude Dutisné was stationed there to set up a fort in 1716 to keep the Spanish from invading the territory. Ironically, it was later ceded to the Spanish after the French and Indian War.

When the United States acquired the territory through the Louisiana Purchase, the fort was in ruins. To preserve its rich history, the fort was reconstructed about 35 years ago near Cane River Lake, a few hundred yards from the original fort site.

Today, visitors to Fort St. Jean Baptiste State Historic Site can see exhibits in the visitors center and tour the fort, which hosts occasional living history programs. On Oct. 8, the fort will celebrate the tricentennial with historical demonstrations, music, and more. Located at 155 Rue Jefferson, the fort is open 9 a.m.–5 p.m. from Tuesday through Saturday. Admission is $4 per person.

For details, call (318) 357-3101 or visit


Fort St. Jean Baptiste State Historic Site


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