Category Archives: Uncategorized

Spring has finally arrived…

Sorry for being late with the monthly events, but – fear not! – there are still plenty of things going on the rest of this month that you won’t want to miss.

Jazz in the Park

Jazz in the Park kicks off its third year this month and is better than ever through a new partnership with Art Porter Music Education!  Art Porter Music Education, Inc. (APME) continues its mission of keeping alive the musical legacies of local jazz statesman Art Porter, Sr. and his son, renowned saxophonist Art Porter, Jr.

Performances are Wednesday nights in April from 6pm to 8pm in the History Pavilion in Riverfront Park (in case of rain, the West Pavilion will be the alternate site). The event is completely free, but no coolers are allowed. Beer, wine, soft drinks and water will be available for sale, with a portion of the proceeds going to benefit Art Porter Music Education, Inc.’s scholarship fund.  Lawn chairs and blankets are welcome, and there is some seating in the natural stone amphitheater at the History Pavilion.

The scheduled artists are – April 8, Jazz R Us; April 15, New Era Jazz Project; April 22, Stellar Way; and April 29, John Burnette Band.

Central Arkansas Astronomical Society

Interested in celestial bodies? Want to see them up close and personal? Drop in on the next meeting of the Central Arkansas Astronomical Society!

The April meeting of CAAS will be 7:00pm April 11 at River Ridge Observatory.  Stephen Caldwell will explain the RRO RRT (River Ridge Observatory Robotic Research Telescope).   Then Jeff Robertson will present “Observing Variable Stars with Automated Telescope”. Jeff and Bruce have done some outstanding work in this area bringing notoriety to our club and Observatory.   This is an exciting time for our Club with the Mid States Region Astronomical League (MSRAL) convention coming up in late May and a lot of activities between now and then.  Lots of opportunity to get involved if you like.  As always the meeting is free and open to all with an interest in astronomy, member or not.
Carl Freyaldenhoven is bringing his delicious Taco Soup for the supper bowl at 6:00 PM. Please use the RSVP button above to let us know you will be eating with us.
If you need directions, contact us at info@caasastro.org.
CAAS also holds Star Parties at Woolly Hollow State Park during spring through fall, so “like” them on Facebook for dates and times. This is a great activity for kids and adults alike!
For my friends in NWA, Sugar Creek Astronomical Society has a Group Page on Facebook for information on their activities.

Farmers Markets Around the State

It’s time to enjoy farm fresh produce again – yay! Some of them have already started, and others are just warming up. Click on the links below to their Facebook page for more information, dates/times, new vendors, food trucks (!)… It’s difficult to get a complete list of all of the Farmers Markets around Arkansas, so I’ll just hit the major ones here and add to my list as I come across them… starting with…
Little Rock Farmers Market – This year marks the 41st year of the farmers market in Little Rock. It kicks off May 2 and will continue through October 31.  Vendors will be selling their wares every Saturday from 7am to 3pm in the River Market Pavilion (400 President Clinton Avenue). For the strawberry lovers among us (and who isn’t??), strawberries will be available on Tuesdays in May (2 – 26) from 7am to 3pm, and the FULL farmers markets on Tuesdays begins June 2 through August 21, also from 7am to 3pm.
Argenta Farmers Market (North Little Rock)

Hot Springs Gumbo & Crawfish Fest

You heard it right! There’s a Gumbo and Crawfish Fest in Hot Springs! It’s on Saturday, April 18, downtown from 2 to 6… you can register your team… or, be like me and just be a taster 🙂  More details here!

Paranormal Support Group of Central Arkansas

Interested in the paranormal? Do you have stories to share or questions to ask? Do you want to learn more about local spirits who are still seen and/or heard? Then this meeting is one you’ll want to attend!  Arkansas Ghost Catchers is hosting the Paranormal Support Group meeting at the MacArthur Military Museum, on Sunday April 12 from 2 – 4pm.

Ever wonder what that creak was in the middle of the night, or heard your name whispered when you walked by an empty room? This is the place to come to have those questions answered!

EtsyFest#15 is here!

In the last weeks of April 2011, a small group of Little Rock Etsy shop owners created a new Etsy Team called Etsy Little Rock. Since that time, this small and diligent group of artists have been working together to lay a foundation for a thriving, local Etsy community. This group has since met regularly to put their ideas/talents together to create event/sales opportunities for current Etsy sellers and artists alike.

April 25, 2015 is the BIG DAY!  EtsyFest#15 will be held from 11am to 6pm on Kavanaugh in Hillcrest between Spruce and Walnut Streets. Check out their Facebook page for info on some of the vendors who will be there – I think there are 100? Plus food trucks and live music – what more could you ask for??  It’s The Place To Be on April 25. Period.

Other Events in April

April 15 Tax Deadline… but we all know this already, right?

April 22 is Earth Day… and Administrative Professionals Day…

April 23 is National Take Your Sons and Daughters to Work Day. That’s always fun. LOL!

And April 24 is Arbor Day – certainly a day we Arkansans should appreciate. We have such beautiful forests and state parks. Why not visit an Arkansas State Park that weekend?  Awesome idea!

Survey results are in!

A big shout out to all the folks who took a few minutes to fill out the Arkansas Native survey in January. To get a feel for what “works” on my page, what better way than to just ask?

While I didn’t get an overwhelming response, I feel like I did get enough comments to give me some direction.

Here are some of the results!
  • 91% of respondents currently live in Arkansas
Favorite posts to “like” and “share” are:
  • 87% photography and nature
  • 61% history and old photos
  • 48% festivals and events
  • 43% interesting trivia about Arkansas
  • 39% famous Arkansans
  • 35% local vendors and small business
  • 22% food and restaurants
  • 13% sports
  • 13% current events
Suggestions for other content included:
  • Guest writers, interviews, personal experience, historical stories about landmarks, and – haunted Arkansas!
Social media awareness:
  • 74% of respondents knew that “liking” and “sharing” posts on Facebook will keep Arkansas Native active in your timeline – yay!
  • 30% of respondents are not on any other social media platform, such as Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest and therefore didn’t know we are also on those channels.
  • However, 26% did know about our other sites and are following there, too, and another 26% didn’t know but are now followers!
  • 74% of respondents were not aware of this blog before taking the survey.
Some parting thoughts:
  • Love the photos, keep ’em coming!
  • More regional coverage and info on interesting but obscure places.
  • Farmers markets and small local businesses.
Small business option:

I did garner some interest from a few local business who might want to partner with Arkansas Native, and I’m so excited about that! I’m an entrepreneur at heart, and helping promote small biz (especially in Arkansas!) is a passion of mine. Looking forward to working with these folks – stay tuned!

(P.S. If you know a business who would be interested, please have them contact me at native@thearkansasnative.com.)

SUMMARY:

Whew, that has given me a lot to think about, plan for and work on for a while! Ask, and ye shall receive, right?  Good to know that original content is important to my fans, instead of just sharing others’ posts. Let the writing begin!  My goal now is to devote more time this year to keeping this page updated with new and interesting content, and promote it more on social media.

Again I appreciate the feedback. Good to know I’m doing something right.

Oh, and the most important thing – the winner of the drawing! I had to use a program to help me pick a winner (www.miniwebtool.com/random-name-picker/), and I wish I could have given everyone who responded a little something.  I only know the winner’s email address and will be contacting them and arrange to send them the prize. I’m hopeful he/she will be willing to take a photo with the prize and post it on my page!!

 

P.S. This survey and the improvements I’m making are on the advice of an awesome social media consultant I’m working with. She’s an Arkansas gal and feels the same way about promoting our state and our people and business! Let me know if you, or someone you know, would like to have her work with you on promoting your business on social media… native@thearkansasnative.com… and I’ll put you in contact with her!

Happy New Year!

Hello, readers!

It’s barely into the new year, and I’m already knee deep into my plans for Arkansas Native for 2015.  For being a little over a year old, we now have 540+ fans on Facebook and growing – wow! For no more than I’ve been doing, I think that’s fantastic 🙂

First, I want to thank each of you for your loyalty and patience. In order to bring you more of what you want to see and hear about, please help me out with this short survey. There’s even a comment box at the end so you can add something I may have left off. It’ll only be up until I get a goodly number of responses, so don’t dawdle!

All things Arkansas is my passion.

Whether you live here in the Natural State and want to keep up with what’s going on and what’s new, or you live out of state and just want to stay informed, visit my FB page, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest accounts and I’ll bring the highlights to you. (YouTube is coming!)  And.. if you have information or photos to share, you can either post on one of the aforementioned platforms, or feel free to email me at thearkansasnative@gmail.com.

One of my goals in 2015 is to travel our state more, visiting some of the places I’ve posted about – events, historical places, restaurants, stores and shops, you name it!  Best laid plans, you know. We’ll see how successful that will be 🙂

Great news!

Very soon I will have Arkansas Native mugs available for purchase. They will be awesome!  Red, of course, with a brand spankin’ new logo on it.  They can be purchased online, or at select retailers around the state.  I can hardly wait!  And as October gets closer, I’m planning to have Arkansas Native beer mugs (steins) available, too – you know, in honor of Oktoberfest!  And, wow, do we have microbreweries all over the state!

More new things are coming, so stay tuned. I hope 2015 will be fantastic for you… Happy new year!

— Arkansas Native

Hello, friends!

So glad you’re here!  Welcome to my world called Arkansas.

If you enjoy my posts, please sign up for my mailing list so you will be notified when I post something new!  Quick and easy, and I promise not to send you spam or sell your info!!

Also, I’d love to hear from you on what you’d like to see more of about Arkansas on this website… more photos? trivia? history? events? contests? All of the above?  LOL

Or just drop me a line to say howdy – I’d love that, too!

#TheArkansasNative

The Legend of Petit Jean

Petit Jean State Park in Arkansas is probably one of my favorites in the entire state, not just because of its breathtakingly beautiful views, but also because of the lovely ‘love’ story that is the Legend of Petit Jean.

In the early days of explorers in Arkansas, somewhere back in the 1700’s, a French nobleman named Chavet was bitten by the adventure bug and received permission from the King of France to explore the Louisiana Territory, and was given a grant for a portion of the land for his efforts.  At the time, Chavet was engaged to a young woman, and (I picture a petulant young thing!) she wanted them to get married so that she could go with him to the New World.  But he said it was far too dangerous, and that she would have to wait to be married when he returned. (You know what happens next.)

Chavet’s group made their way up the Mississippi River and then down the Arkansas River, stopping at a high bluff overlooking the river.  They stayed for several months, interacting with and learning from the local people. During this entire journey, Chavet never realized that one of his crew was his fiance, who disguised herself as a young cabin boy.  (I’m just going to interject right here that it must’ve been a heck of a disguise for nobody to have figured out ‘she’ was a ‘he’ until much later.  Wow.)  It wasn’t until fall, when they were packing to return to France, that the truth was revealed.  Petit Jean came down with a high fever, and that’s when Chavet and the others realized who Petit Jean really was.  She would not survive the fever, and before she died she told Chavet that she wished to be buried on the mountain overlooking the river.  Chavet honored her request.  Even though the real name of this young woman was Adrienne Dumont, she will forever be known as Petit Jean (“Little John”).

Petit Jean

View from Petit Jean Mountain

This legend shows the French influence in the early settlement of this part of Arkansas.  Mount Magazine, the highest point in the state, is derived from the French word ‘magasin’ which means ‘barn, warehouse, depot or store’.  Not really sure about the connection since Mount Magazine is not that close to Belle Point, which would later be Fort Smith.  Fort Smith was certainly a depot of sorts in that the five or six American forts in Indian Territory (Oklahoma) relied on supplies to come from Fort Smith.  Anyway…

For those interested in the paranormal, there have been sightings of strange lights around the mountain, and some people who have taken photographs have noted seeing orbs in the pictures.  I think it’s so beautiful up there that she still wants to hang around and enjoy it!

If you make a cool day trip to visit Petit Jean State Park, you’ll definitely want to have lunch at Mather Lodge.  Great food at reasonable prices!  And pick up a souvenir while you’re there 🙂