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THV 11 in My Town visit: Russellville | Community Spirit

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THV 11 in My Town visit: Russellville
THV 11 in My Town visit: Russellville

RUSSELLVILLE, Ark. (KTHV) – My most recent THV11 in My Town visit brought me to the lovely city of Russellville.

CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

My first stop on this visit was at the Chamber of Commerce with executive vice president Stephanie Beerman and Amanda Johnson, A&P marketing assistant for the Arkansas River Valley Tri-Peak Regions.

While a COC is always centered on business and providing its members with multiple networking opportunities, Stephanie also had an extended list of new events coming up in the Russellville area that the city’s residents can enjoy.

The biggest upcoming event is the October Downtown Fall Festival and Chili Cook-off on Oct. 25 in the Dowtown Historic Ditrict. The Army Jazz Ambassadors will play on the same day in a seperate event at 7 p.m. at the Center for the Arts.

Other quickly approaching events include the following:

Check out more event coming up at the Russellville A&P Events Calendar: http://on.kthv.com/VR1cYy

PARKS SYSTEM

At the suggestion of some of our Facebook fans, I visited Washburn Park to hit up the Bona Dea Trail. I’ll be the first to admit that the warning at the trail head, saying that alligators ARE in the area really made me not want to go down it, but I decided against my better judgment and went anyway. The trail is beautiful. I would highly recommend going out there for a stroll… just don’t bump into any alligators.

Check out the city parks:  http://on.kthv.com/1q9lV5U

MAIN STREET RUSSELLVILLE

I had the pleasure of eating lunch at Fat Daddy’s Bar-B-Que with Betsy McGuire, executive director of Main Street Russellville. The meal was fantastic. I had a Fat Boy barbecue sandwich with cole slaw, steamed veggies, and some smoked cheesy potatoes (I’m always a fan of cheese-covered potatoes, but I don’t think I’ll ever look at them the same way again after having that side dish. I may very well be addicted.)

Betsy, a spirited woman, had a lot to say about the city she loves and why she wants to help make it even better through the Main Street and Downtown programs.

“[Main Street Russellville] is totally dedicated to restoring, renewing, and revitalizing Russellville Downtown,” she exclaimed at the table.

Several projects have taken off to breathe new life into the area, including a newly constructed streetscape designed to provide a safer environment, encourage social engagement, and beautify the street. In 2013, six new downtown businesses opened, six other properties were purchased for rehab projects, three new events have taken root (Music Downtown @Sundown, Collectible on Commerce, and Takin’ It to the Streets), and three biennial Main Street Arkansas awards have been given (Best Downtown Retail Business – Lavish, Best Upper floor Development - J.L. Shinn Building, and Best Downtown Public Improvement Project - Main Street Russellville & City of Russellville). Coming up, a new Depot Park Pavilion is planned.

After lunch, she took me on a tour of some of the shops in the downtown area. All of the stores she brought me to offered handcrafted items from both the store owners and fellow Arkansas artists and designers:

  • Serendipity Downtown – A specialty boutique offering shoes, jewelry, clothing, and home decorations.
  • Funky Junky – A vintage store selling refurbished, repurposed, or collected items
  • Sudy’s – A store offering refurbish, antique furniture
  • A Conversation Piece – This is a store that will open soon. It a consignment shop of sorts for local artists to display their craft.
  • Lavish – A clothing boutique offering trending clothing, jewelry, and accessories.

You can check out more businesses in Russellville by going to the COC Business Directory: http://www.russellvillechamber.org/search

ARKANSAS TECH UNIVERSITY

Arkansas Tech University sits off of I-40 near Lake Dardanelle State Park between the Ozark and Ouachita Mountains. The college was founded in 1909 and is led by Dr. Robin E. Bowen, the first female president of a public, four-year university in Arkansas (She’s kind of a big deal).  Learn more about her at the ATU website: http://on.kthv.com/1lzS9Hw

While the campus might be small in comparison to other state colleges, ATU boasts the opportunity for individual student attention and the ability to give a quality education.  Its athletics department is home to the Wonder Boys (#FightOn) and offers the following sports:

Wonder Boys Sports

 - Baseball

 - Basketball

 - Football

 - Golf

Golden Suns Sports

 - Basketball

 - Cross Country

 - Golf

 - Softball

 - Tennis

 - Volleyball

If you some extra time, you should absolutely check out Jerry the Bulldog, the returning and completely adorable mascot. Learn more here: http://on.kthv.com/1qLt10i

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