Spring Break Excursion Starts In Oklahoma City

Spring Break Excursion Starts In Oklahoma City

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(EUREKA SPRINGS, AR) — Every Spring Break, hundreds of families from the Oklahoma City area travel to the Arkansas Ozarks and the nationally recognized destination of Eureka Springs.  As much fun as there is to experience once the family arrives, the journey to this Victorian village can provide a whole host of lifetime memories with exceptional points of interest (POI) along the way.

So with the kids and the family dog (yes, many Eureka Springs’ properties are pet friendly) securely and safely buckled in, here are a few POI to check out as the family heads east.  Let the excursion begin.

POI #1: Rock Café, Stroud OK (approx. 67 miles from Oklahoma City)… The Rock Café, named for its local sandstone construction, opened in 1939 and has remained a Route 66 landmark ever since.  Despite a devastating fire in 2008, the structure’s four rock walls and Betsy, the original stainless steel grill that has turned out more than 5 million burgers, survived and is back serving customers.  It is also worth noting that the café’s owner Dawn Welch provided the inspiration for ‘Sally Carrera’ in the Pixar film, “Cars”.  rockcafert66.com/

POI #2: Rock Creek Bridge, Sapulpa OK (approx. 37 miles from POI #1)… Built in 1921 to serve the Ozark Trail, ‘Bridge No. 18 at Rock Creek’ became part of Route 66 in 1926 and remained busy until 1952 when the highway was realigned to the south. The bridge, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is a 120 feet-long steel truss design and is particularly notable for the brick decking.  Although it closed as an auto traversable bridge in 2013, the bridge remains open to pedestrians.  nps.gov/nr/travel/route66/bridge18_Rock_Creek_Sapulpa.html

POI #3: Blue Whale, Catoosa OK (approx. 28 miles from POI #2)… The Blue Whale in Catoosa may be one of the most famous landmarks along this well-preserved section of Route 66 that runs through Oklahoma.  Built in 1972 by one Hugh S. Davis thousands of families stop by to explore the whale and pose for this one-of-a-kind family photo opportunity, perfect for sharing on social media.  Even though the pond has closed, adjacent picnic tables are still available.  travelok.com/listings/view.profile/id.653

POI #4: Totem Pole Park, Foyil OK (approx. 22 miles from POI #3)… Located just 3.5 miles off Route 66, the extraordinary, eccentric collection of totem poles is the work of Oklahoma folk artist Ed Galloway. The centerpiece is a spectacular 90-ft tall construction – making it the World’s Largest Concrete Totem Pole – and features brightly colored animals as well as portraits of Native Americans. travelok.com/listings/view.profile/id.13179

POI #5: Wal-Mart Visitor Center, Bentonville AR (approx. 116 miles from POI #4)… Although officially called the Wal-Mart Visitor Center, this quaint facility is a tribute to the main street entrepreneurship and rags-to-riches struggle that launched it all.  Facing the town square, this site of Sam Walton’s original “5 & 10” store still maintains its down-home facade on the outside and even its down-home feel on the inside.  Most of the facility houses a museum chronicling Walton’s extraordinary life and career, plus features his beloved 1979 red Ford pickup. corporate.walmart.com/our-story/history/the-walmart-museum

POI #6: Pea Ridge National Military Park, Garfield AR (approx. 17 miles from POI #5)… The Battle of Pea Ridge was the largest Civil War battle west of the Mississippi.  The National Park Service describes the park as “the most intact Civil War battlefield in the United States”, which includes the legendary Elkhorn Tavern.  nps.gov/peri/learn/index.htm

POI #7: Beaver Bridge, Beaver AR (approx. 16 miles from POI #6)… This historic wooden suspension bridge, built in 1949 and known as the “Little Golden Gate of Arkansas”, is a hidden delight.  A single-lane, wooden construction bridge that is 554 feet long and only 11 feet wide that spans the White River and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  exploresouthernhistory.com/beaverbridge

POI #8: City of Eureka Springs AR (approx. 7 miles from POI #7)…  This quaint village grew to prominence in the late 19th century because of the healing powers of the water -back then- from the 65 springs near the downtown area.  Now this resort community, which is entirely listed on the National Register of Historic Places, offers days and nights worth of family fun, activities and attractions including Beaver Lake; Kings and White Rivers; state’s longest and highest zip line; Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge; plus America’s Most Haunted Hotel, The 1886 Crescent Hotel & Spa. eurekaspringsonline.com.

The only question that rings out is “When do we leave?”  (Remember, the kids and dog are waiting.)

END

Submitted by

Bill Ott

billott.eurekasprings@gmail.com

479-981-9313

 

Spring Break Excursion Starts In Metroplex

Spring Break Excursion Starts In Metroplex

DFW Spring Break Excursion 2017 _ 150

 

 (EUREKA SPRINGS, AR) — Every Spring Break, hundreds of families from the Dallas/Fort Worth area travel to the Arkansas Ozarks and the nationally recognized destination of Eureka Springs.  As much fun as there is to experience once the family arrives, the journey to this Victorian village can provide a whole host of lifetime memories with exceptional points of interest (POI) along the way.

So with the kids and the family dog (yes, many Eureka Springs’ properties are pet friendly) securely and safely buckled in, here are a few POI to check out as the family heads north.  Let the excursion begin.

POI #1: Endangered Ark Foundation, Hugo OK (approx. 130 miles from the Dallas/Fort Worth area)…   This refuge is home to the second largest herd of Asian elephants in America. The foundation was started in 1993 to help preserve this endangered species and tours are available with advance reservation only. < endangeredarkfoundation.org >

POI #2: Pete’s Place, Krebs OK (approx. 74 miles from POI #1)…   Located in Oklahoma’s “Little Italy”, this fourth generation, landmark restaurant opened in 1925 and continues to serve fresh, family-style Italian cuisine as well as being “the home of Choc Beer”.  They are most famous for their generous portions of lasagna, ravioli, Italian sausage, chicken Parmesan, garlic bread and more with guests being seated in various rooms throughout “the house”. < petes.org >

POI #3: USS Batfish, Muskogee OK (approx. 65 miles from POI #2)…   The USS Batfish is one of Oklahoma’s most unique attractions.  An actual World War II submarine, the Batfish sank three enemy submarines and eleven other enemy vessels during her tenure in battle.  Visitors can tour the inside of the submarine, including the torpedo room and crew cabins. In the adjacent park are an army tank, cannons, missiles, and other military memorabilia for view.  < ussbatfish.com >

POI #4: Fort Gibson, Fort Gibson OK (approx. 9 miles from POI #3)…   Oklahoma’s oldest frontier fort was established in 1824 and is steeped in colorful history along with blue lakes, sparkling rivers and green hillsides stretching over 80 acres of grounds with 29 historic buildings and numerous archeological ruins.  Nearby this National Historic Landmark and American Treasure, sits Fort Gibson National Cemetery, one of two national cemeteries in Oklahoma, honoring fallen U.S. military personnel. < okhistory.org/sites/fortgibson >

POI #5: Scenic Highway 10, Talequah to U.S. 412 (approx. 49 miles from POI #4)…   This picturesque byway runs from north of Tahlequah and follows the serene banks of the Illinois River on a relaxing jaunt through breathtaking stone bluffs and lush forests.  Remember: keep your speedometer low, as Highway 10 is known for its winding lanes and curvy turns. < okhighways.wkinsler.com/route10.htm >

POI #6: Arkansas Welcome Center, Siloam Springs AR (approx. 13 miles from POI #5)…   The center, operated by the Arkansas Department of Parks & Tourism, offers visitors up-to-the minute information on attractions, regional events, and weather conditions throughout “The Natural State”.  Travelers have access to computer kiosks, Wi-Fi, and fresh coffee. < arkansas.com/travel-tools/welcome-centers/siloam-springs/ >

POI #7: Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge, Eureka Springs AR (approx. 58 miles from POI #6)…   [EDITOR’S NOTE: Since this is an attraction at which you might want to spend some serious time, you might consider visiting it tomorrow after a good night’s rest; it’s been a long day!]  With more than 450 acres and 130 big, exotic cats plus a couple bears, Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge is the largest big cat sanctuary in North America.  This non-profit organization provides lifetime homes for abandoned, abused and neglected ‘big cats’ and is one of the Top 10 Attractions in Arkansas. < turpentinecreek.org >

POI #8: City of Eureka Springs AR (approx. 9 miles from POI #7)…  This quaint village grew to prominence in the late 19th century because of the healing powers of the water -back then- from the 65 springs near the downtown area.  Now this resort community, which is entirely listed on the National Register of Historic Places, offers days and nights worth of family fun, activities and attractions including Beaver Lake; Kings and White Rivers; state’s longest and highest zip line; plus America’s Most Haunted Hotel, The 1886 Crescent Hotel & Spa. < eurekaspringsonline.com >

The only question that rings out is “When do we leave?”  (Remember, the kids and dog are waiting.)

END

Submitted by

Bill Ott

billott.eurekasprings@gmail.com

479-981-9313

Spring Break Excursion: Starts In Kansas City

 

 Spring Break Excursion: Starts In Kansas City

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(EUREKA SPRINGS, AR) — Every Spring Break, hundreds of families from the Kansas City area travel to the Arkansas Ozarks and the nationally recognized destination of Eureka Springs.  As much fun as there is to experience once the family arrives, the journey to this Victorian village can provide a whole host of lifetime memories with exceptional points of interest (POI) along the way.

So with the kids and the family dog (yes, many Eureka Springs’ properties are pet friendly) securely and safely buckled in, here are a few POI to check out as the family heads south.  Let the excursion begin.

POI #1: Precious Moments Park and Chapel, Carthage MO (approx. 140 miles from Kansas City)… A theme park and retail attraction based on Samuel Butcher’s “Precious Moments” figurines introduced in the 1970s.  A chapel is the attraction’s centerpiece.  www.preciousmoments.com/park-chapel

POI #2: Joplin Museum Complex, Joplin MO (approx. 16 miles from POI #1)… Five intriguing museums under one roof featuring everything from mineral mining to a sports hall of fame, from a historical museum to an electric company museum, and sweetened by a cookie cutter museum. www.joplinmuseum.org/collections.htm

POI #3: Kan-O-Tex Service Station, Galena KS (approx. 8 miles from POI #2)… This restored gas station recalls the heyday of Route 66 when it was a major thoroughfare.  It’s the home of the 1951 International tow truck that was the inspiration for ‘Tow Mater’ in the Disney-Pixar movie “Cars” plus a collection of memorabilia relating to Route 66 and the “Cars” film.  www.kansastravel.org/4womenontheroute.htm

POI #4: Bluff Dwellers Cavern, Noel MO (approx. 58 miles from POI #3)… This bluff has significant archaeological significance having served as shelter for the native Bluff Dwellers some 12,000 years ago.  The non-strenuous tour features a musical rock formation. http://bluffdwellerscavern.com

POI #5: Pea Ridge National Military Park, Garfield AR (approx. 40 miles from POI #4)… The Battle of Pea Ridge was the largest Civil War battle west of the Mississippi.  The National Park Service describes the park as “the most intact Civil War battlefield in the United States”, which includes the legendary Elkhorn Tavern.  www.nps.gov/peri/learn/index.htm

POI #6: Beaver Bridge, Beaver AR (approx. 16 miles from POI #5)… This historic wooden suspension bridge, built in 1949 and known as the “Little Golden Gate of Arkansas”, is a hidden delight.  A single-lane, wooden construction bridge that is 554 feet long and only 11 feet wide that spans the White River and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  www.exploresouthernhistory.com/beaverbridge

POI #7: City of Eureka Springs AR (approx. 7 miles from POI #6)…  This quaint village grew to prominence in the late 19th century because of the healing powers of the water -back then- from the 65 springs near the downtown area.  Now this resort community, which is entirely listed on the National Register of Historic Places, offers days and nights worth of family fun, activities and attractions including Beaver Lake; Kings and White Rivers; state’s longest and highest zip line; Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge; plus America’s Most Haunted Hotel, The 1886 Crescent Hotel & Spa. www.eurekaspringsonline.com .

The only question that rings out is “When do we leave?”  (Remember, the kids and dog are waiting.)

END

Submitted by

Bill Ott

billott.eurekasprings@gmail.com

479-981-9313

 

EUREKA SPRINGS CELEBRATES 20 YEARS OF THE ROENIGKS’ PROPRIETORSHIP OF THE CRESCENT AND BASIN PARK HOTELS

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February 28, 2017 – AS PART OF THE CELEBRATION… the 1905 Basin Park Hotel’s centennial time capsule (circa January 1, 2000) was opened to add memorabilia from today’s 20th anniversary.  A divider was placed inside to separate the two levels of “treasures” then resealed for opening in 2100.  Pictured is the time capsule -artistically constructed from parts taken from a Tyson’s chicken processing plant- and all the friends who attended the celebratory luncheon.

EUREKA CELEBRATES 20 YEARS OF THE ROENIGKS: THE FULL STORY

 

(EUREKA SPRINGS, AR) — On February 28, 1997, a couple from East Hampton, Connecticut, came to the Arkansas Ozarks looking for a place to retire.  They were seeking a place with interesting people and enjoyable activities; a place where they could make a meaningful, community-wide contribution; and a place where they could call home.  Their choice was the top floor of the 1905 Basin Park Hotel located in the heart of Eureka Springs’ downtown historic district.

So they purchased that property and in less than three months later, they purchased the 1886 Crescent Hotel.  Not because they loved hotels, but because they were preservationists and did not want to see these two structures deteriorate beyond repair.  This was the start of a great marriage between Elise and Marty Roenigk and the village of Eureka Springs.

On Tuesday, February 28, 2017, past employees of the two hotels and friends of Elise gathered here in the Barefoot Ballroom of the Basin Park Hotel for an anniversary luncheon and a program of remembrances.  The more than 200 attendees enjoyed a video presentation that highlighted the changes in various categories that occurred during the years of the Roenigk ownership.  Those categories and the changes therein included:

- The Buildings – With both hotels contributing to the National Trust for Historic Preservation registry, care has been taken to protect the original facades.  However, the Basin Park Hotel has added a Mountainside Spa Sun Deck; The Atrium with its crown of a glass ceiling was enhanced with a surround sound system, LCD projector with an electric screen, and numerous history “window” cases; and the addition of a Skyline Deck used for weddings and as part of the Spirits of The Basin tour.  The Crescent has perhaps seen the most construction.  What was the burned out plateau of the fourth floor as a result of a 1967 fire was converted into fifth floor living quarters for the Roenigks in a design that replicated the hotel’s original, iconic roofline.  Added just below that home on the fourth floor are The Faculty Lounge, a repository for historic hotel memorabilia; and SkyBar Gourmet Pizza and panoramic overlook.  The original conservatory, destroyed by a falling chimney weakened by the 1967 fire, was replicated into the new Conservatory, the most popular indoor venue for weddings and receptions, as well as corporate meetings.  Perhaps the greatest conversion happened on the Garden Level (basement) of the hotel.  A dimly lit “beer joint” was converted into the New Moon Spa that has been growing ever since its inception.  It has grown from one room to now occupying nearly the complete bottom level footprint.  On that level, enhanced but kept fairly “as it was”, sits “the morgue”, a leftover from the Norman Baker hospital days of the late 1930s.  This epicenter of “America’s Most Haunted Hotel” has become the highlight of the nightly hotel ghost tours.  Additionally, to assist Crescent guests and visitors to rise and descend, a new elevator has been installed allowing guests now to ride to all five levels.

- Sleeping Rooms – When the hotels were first purchased by the Roenigks all rooms in each hotel received renovations.  Now, in an effort to always make the hotels’ product a little bit better each and every year, annual profits are reinvested to update, refurbish and enhance from five to ten sleeping rooms with due diligence devoted to ensure the historic integrity is maintained.  However, such things as Jacuzzi tubs, state of the art televisions, and Wi-Fi give these century-old hotels twenty-first century accoutrements.

- Restaurants – While the Crystal Dining Room Restaurant of the Crescent, generally speaking, looks much the same as it did in 1997; the bills of fare have been ever-changing to meet the trending tastes of hotel guests, visitors and local customers.  Up on the fourth floor, that restaurant has also morphed from basically a cocktail lounge to a “Dr. Baker” themed eatery to today’s highly popular SkyBar Gourmet Pizza with its canopy-covered alfresco seating affording one of the best panoramic views of the surrounding hills-n-hollers which includes the Christ of the Ozarks statue.  Downtown Eureka had the Balcony Bar & Restaurant in ’97 but such enhancements as the canvas canopies, cold-weather curtains, overhead heaters for winter and mist sprayers for summer, and most recently the construction of the Copper Bar overlooking Basin Spring Park have converted it into a “must visit” for a nibble and a sip.  In the last two decades, the Basin Park Hotel has also been home to other food and beverage experiments such as a coffee and bakery cave bistro with its War Eagle Mill gift shop, as well as a downtown deli.

- Spas – As mentioned, the Roenigks gave birth to the Crescent’s New Moon Spa.  However, this one-room experiment has grown to include a full salon.  It is worth noting that during the construction of the salon, Marty made sure the original duck bowling lanes used by the Crescent College and Conservatory for Young Women were restored to become the focal point of the salon’s new floor.  The New Moon has also added an exquisite Bridal Studio where brides and her bridesmaids can get dressed, have makeup applied, and up-dos created in a private setting.  A spa has also been added to the Basin Park Hotel.  What started as the Serenity Spa with its one massage room has grown into Spa1905 that now occupies nearly the hotel’s entire second floor and includes overnight spa rooms for girlfriend getaways.  Connected by one step outside, sits the spa’s sundeck with its popular hot tub.

- Miscellaneous – The Roenigks preservation efforts since moving to Eureka have included:  the purchase and restoration of War Eagle Mill, and -what is now- the 1901 Gavioli Chapel; restoration assistance to the Writers Colony at Dairy Hollow House and its 505 Spring Street House; purchase of 1,200 prime, pristine acres of land adjacent to the Buffalo River National Park then donated to the Nature Conservancy; the construction of four E. Fay Jones-style cottages carefully placed amid the standing trees on the Crescent’s mountaintop acreage; efforts to redevelop Eureka’s 63 historic springs; and championed the total refurbishing of The Aud, the city’s municipal auditorium, by going to Washington, D.C. to lobby for and then secure for the city a “Save America’s Treasures” matching grant.  Their philanthropy has been overwhelming with such organizations as the Writers Colony, Main Stage, Eureka Springs School of the Arts, Carroll County Carnegie Library, Opera In The Ozarks, Eureka Gras, Eureka Springs Trails, University of Arkansas School of Hospitality and Innovation, and a number of other arts, tourism, and preservation entities.

- Numbers – Twenty years ago, the hotels had approximately 30 employees.  That number has grown to more than 240 during peak season making the properties the largest employer in Eureka Springs.  Revenues have grown from less than $1 million during the first year of operation to an excess of $11 million in 2016.  The economic impact both hotels have had on the local and state economies are, conservatively stated, astronomical.  For example, local and state taxes alone collected in 2016 were in excess of $1.3 million.  Total investment in the two hotels during the past twenty years is nearing the $10 million mark.

“I have had the honor of working with the Roenigks since day one of their hotel purchases,” said Jack Moyer, vice president of operations and general manager for both hotels.  “We started our relationship by creating a creed which includes a tenet that perfectly embraces the philosophy of the Roenigks as owners and proprietors of these two lodging properties: Protecting the Irreplaceable.  Thanks to dedicated employees during the past two decades combined with Marty and Elise’s guidance to pursue economic sustainability versus a more typical profitability model ensures that our two hotels will be enjoyed by visitors and locals alike for years to come.  This is and will continue to be the Roenigks legacy.”

For a video glimpse of those comments and memories presented by the luncheon’s head table and various friends in the audience, one should go to https://youtu.be/SOGbvFERZQE.

END

Eureka Springs Mardi Gras Festival

The time is here…BOOM BOOM MARDI GRAS!

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Winter doesn’t mean you have to stay indoors.  Take a road trip to Eureka Springs, Arkansas where they know how to party! Eureka Springs Mardi Festival kicks off February 16trh-28th with 2 full weekends of festivities.  5 Balls, 2 Parades, & lots of Fun!!!

Special Room Rates have been put together to offer you the Best Savings and loads of fun. Bring your beads, your friends, and join Eureka Springs best winter festival. View the Mardi Gras Hot Deals.

View Full Schedule of Events

 

Parades & Public Balls Not To Miss:

Night Parade-2/18 starting at 6pm in Downtown Eureka Springs.  Line up along Spring Street and watch krewes hit the streets with lights and music.

Black Light Ball-2/18 after the parade don’t miss this public ball! 8pm-Midnight. Dance to DJ Testube in Eureka Springs hottest club, Event Eureka under black light ballblack lights. Let a body artist paint you with glow in the dark paint,  a glow necklace and celebrate Mardi Gras! Music will be spinning, lights will be flashing all for a great cause – Main Street Eureka Springs. Tickets $30 per person.  BUY HERE.

Day Parade-2/25 starting at 2pm see the best mardi gras floats cruise downtown Spring St.

Mayor’s Ball-2/25 after the parade that evening, get your costumes, feathers and beads out for this fun public ball! 7pm-Midngiht at the Basin Park Hotel.  Tickets $35 per person. The theme is Great Gatsby featuring Mayor Butch Berry & the Mardi Gras Royalty.  Music from the Downtown Livewires.  BUY HERE.

 

Jazz Brunch-2/26 end the weekend right with a Mardi Gras Jazz Brunch at the Crescent Hotel.   11am-2pm.  Tickets $27.95 per person.  Live music, second line and an amazing brunch display.  Call for reservations: 877-342-9766.

4th Annual Ozark Mountain Music Festival January 19-22, 2017

OzMoMu4 COMING HERE SOON!

Horseshoes & Hand Grenades _ bw _ 150

The extraordinarily popular Ozark Mountain Music Festival, more commonly referred to as OzMoMu, returns to the stages of Eureka Springs’ downtown 1905 Basin Park Hotel January 19 to 22, 2017. This event stretches out over four days and nights and features 11 bands performing the sound described as the Ozark Mountain collection of bluegrass, folk, and American roots music; each band with it’s own particular, special spin and presentation of this energetic sound. This year’s musical extravaganza, OzMoMu4, will once again present its festival lineup throughout this historic hotel exclusively on multiple stages for its full run of four exciting days and nights.

Headlining this year’s festival is Horseshoes & Hand Grenades, an acoustic quintet that has swept the Midwest with their unique present12604845_996686733751682_6546612585379855004_oation of a sound “that draws on the vaults of music” that has been both “collectively and individually enjoyed throughout their lives”. The musical lives of these five Wisconsinites came together at a party “in a living room in the college town of Stevens Point, WI” back in 2010 and they say, “the party is still going strong.”

Other bands performing during OzMoMu4 include the following:

>Schwag (St. Louis, MO) – a band of musicians dedicated to carrying on the vibe and music of the legendary Grateful Dead and Jerry Garcia thru their high-energy, organic interpretations of “The Dead”. They use a working song-list of 200 songs that guarantees “a different show every night”.

>AJ Gaither (Kansas City, MO) – this “one-man junk band” not only makes his own instruments, but also writes his own songs. His sound is described as “cold, lonely bars and old, empty barns”; some are “high-octane, foot-stompin” while others are “soulful… about struggle and being homesick… drenched in whiskey and hard living.”

AJ Gaither OMB _ 2017 OzMoMu

>ClusterPluck (St. Louis, MO) – offers a sound that is “firmly within the “newgrass” sub-genre of bluegrass music” which is said to be “the fusion of old-time bluegrass with 12513969_937473843000530_5338718750023851697_oother genres such as pop, jazz and world music.”

>Squarshers (Fayetteville, AR) – this quartet explains that their sound is best described as “jam grass music” that is “way more rock and roll”. Part of their “new unique style comes from drawing on each other’s talents and energies, and playing off their fellow band mates.”

>High Plains Jamboree (Austin, TX) – a string-band that takes their sound to “a different plane” where they are considered “a bluegrass band west of the Mississippi and a country band east of the Mississippi.” To best explain it, they say, “HPJ’s vibe is modern country-western style.”

>Sad Daddy (Eureka Springs, AR) – is the union of four Arkansas-based musicians who bring “their own unique styles together to creative beautiful music. The foursome perform utilizing a guitar, stand-up bass, banjo and a fiddle.

>Ponder the Albatross (“Front Range of Colorado”) – is “a very original, high-energy band with original songs from reggae to trippy instrumental” from “folk/rock to bluegrass”. It has been said that they are “one of the best up-and-coming bands around.”

>The Fried Pies (Little Rock, AR) – One fan’s account best sums up this band following a recent festival event, “(We) saw there was a banjo heading to the stage… we both 12525511_996686710418351_300530538598233158_ogot excited but weren’t prepared for what we were about to see. The only show of the weekend in which we were captivated beginning to end.”

>Fast Food Junkies (McPherson, KS) – This duo has been playing together for 10 years and has written more than 80 songs. They are self-described as “a couple of regular guys from Kansas, born and raised country who take pride in our craft as mechanics, tradesmen, songwriters and musicians.”

>Rozenbridge (Fayetteville, AR) – their genre is referred to as “Rock-folk Grooves” created by vocals, guitar and a cello that “join forces to create a ripping and dynamic duo” sound. Theirs is a “refreshing mix of music genres: folk, reggae, bluegrass, rock, and metal.” They perform original music while also putting their own “spin on covers”.

          Jack Moyer, general manager and vice-president of operations for the 1905 Basin Park Hotel commented, “The key to establishing this annual event has been in both providing great relevant music performed by regional talent on multiple stages, and inventing a path where the festival-style atmosphere makes the Basin Park Hotel abuzz with activity like attendees enjoying all-access passes, overnighting at the hotel, and being immersed in an atmosphere that encourages eating, drinking and dancing in one indoor, central location that has an outdoor festival grounds feel, per se.”

OzMoMu4 room packages for two attendees during the festival include two-nights lodging and two (2) “All-Access” passes. Festival “All-Access” passes and simple daily passes are also available. For further information, online room packages, and/or passes one is encouraged to visit OzarkMountianMusicFestival.com.

Submitted by
Bill Ott
billott.eurekasprings@gmail.com

Chris Duarte Returns to Eureka Springs Blues Weekend

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CHRIS DUARTE RETURNS TO EUREKA

SPRINGS TO OPEN 2016 BLUES WEEKEND

 When Chris Duarte left the Barefoot Ballroom stage of the 1905 Basin Park Hotel on March 7, 2008 he wondered if his 10-year successful run of “Chris Duarte Weekends” ???????????????????????????here in the Eureka Springs’ downtown hotel had come to an end. The wondering is over and the answer is no.  The self-proclaimed “Rockin’ Blues Man” returns “home” to Eureka Springs’ most popular historic blues venue to open the 2016 Blues Weekend on Thursday, June 16.

This homecoming to the stage of the Barefoot Ballroom will mark eight years and seven albums since Chris Duarte’ last Eureka Springs’ appearance.  Both his Thursday evening kickoff performance and his Friday night exclusive concert at his favorite downtown Basin Park Hotel location begin at nine o’clock.

“This is an exciting time for us,” stated Jack Moyer, hotel general manager.  “Having Chris back on stage in our hotel brings back many great memories from those performances booked by the unforgettable promoter Roger ‘Mr. Music’ Jones to the unforgettable ‘snow show’ when the hotel fell victim to a power outage but Chris played on… acoustically.   With that said, Chris’ music was always so well received that his audiences became loyal hotel guests and have become part of the fabric that makes up our long-term lodging and entertainment success.”

Duarte is a savant, a sorcerer of tone, a master at channeling the spirits and sounds of great musicians of our past, while remaining completely recognizable in his own sound.  He has shared his stage with many of the greatest musicians of our time as well as the multitude of “young lions” and local musicians he meets on the road.  From his many years as a sideman in Austin, he easily changes roles from front to side, graciously allowing all to share in the convergence of the jam.

Chris Duarte’s music is also ever changing.  In many interviews, he has said, “Music must evolve to stay fresh and relevant.”  His own early offerings often become magical journeys into changing tempo and jazzy interludes before returning to their core.  With such a vast catalog of recordings, there are no two shows alike.  Every set list is different, and each song may be offered distinctly, based on the feel of a show and the audience.  For those reasons, loyal fans often return to a Chris Duarte show again and again, night after night and always walk away awed and satisfied to have witnessed such a legendary, but humble, guitarist.

The Chris Duarte Group emerged on the music scene out of Austin, Texas in the early ‘90s and gained notoriety after wowing a packed room of industry insiders at the South By Southwest (SXSW) Conference.  In the wake of Stevie Ray Vaughan’s passing, Duarte quickly gained a National reputation as a young man imbued with a playing style comparable at times to the late guitarist.  One music critic wrote, “Chris’ style is that of Stevie Ray Vaughan and Jimi Hendrix.  It is best experienced live and in your face!  The Chris Duarte Group shows are unique each night; never the same show twice.”

Opening for the Chris Duarte Group on Friday will be The Kory Montgomery Band.  Based out of Fayetteville, AR, this three-man ensemble of talented musicians –an electric bass, drums, and vocals- has been spreading their name and reputation across the country for six years.  They continue to gain new popularity with their solid grooves, intense solos, and demanding lyrics.  The KMB will take the Barefoot Ballroom stage of the 1905 Basin Park Hotel on Friday, June 17 at 7:00 p.m.

Tickets for the Duarte shows are available on ReserveEureka.com and range from in price from $15 to $25.

The 2016 Eureka Springs’ Blues Weekend runs through the expanded dates of Thursday through Sunday, June 16-19 and is a fundraiser for Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge (TCWR).  With this year’s new non-profit partner, the 2016 “big stage” relocates from The Aud in Eureka Springs’ downtown, to the Turpentine Festival Stage, located on the grounds of TCWR just south of Eureka Springs on State Highway 23.  A full list of performers and performance times can be found at EurekaSpringsBlues.com.

For more information regarding lodging and ticket packages, one should call 800-643-4972.  A glimpse of a historic Chris Duarte Eureka Springs Jam from 2006 can be found here.

Eureka Springs Tells People To “Get OUT (side)!”

Within a twenty mile radius of Downtown, the greater Eureka Springs’ area offers convenient accessibility to a wealth of outdoor activities such as Beaver Lake, Table Rock Lake, Kings River, White River, Thorncrown Chapel, Blue Springs Heritage Center, Black Bass Lake, Lake Leatherwood, the Hogscald and Big Clifty areas, plus Holiday Island. For even more activities within this area, there are numerous providers: Ozark Mountain Ziplines, scenic horseback riding stables, Starkey Park Marina, Beaver Dam Site Park, the 12,000-acre Hobbs State Park-Conservation Area, Madison County Game Refuge, War Eagle Mill, War Eagle Cavern, Onyx Cave, Cosmic Caverns, Roaring River State Park and Trout Hatchery, the Mark Twain National Forest with miles of ATV trails, Buffalo National River, Dogwood Canyon, Beaver Town, and the Pea Ridge National Military Park.  All are examples of the excellent outdoor adventures waiting to be experienced, and all of these places are just a short drive away when anyone chooses “America’s Victorian Village” as their extraordinary escape vacation hub.

Although many of these outdoor wonders are accessible and enjoyable the year-round, many are at their peak during the months of spring, especially late April and early May. This is when The Ozarks’ hillsides are all abloom and fully green with temperatures comfortably mild.  Here is a little bit more about some of these attractive spring attractions:

  • Eureka Springs is known for its rugged landscape making it a mountain biking haven. The truth is, experienced mountain bikers and those who are just getting into it will find that Eureka Springs has something to offer for all levels and interests. Adventure Mountain Outfitters is the local cycling authority and offers rentals, repairs and comprehensive information on the sport. The reason is clear why Eureka Springs is the home of major events like the Fat Tire Festival.
  • Whether you have 30 minutes or all day, hiking in and around Eureka Springs is spectacular. Easily accessible trails are located near most Eureka Springs lodging. For some light hiking, try following some of the city historic trails marked by historic plaques; discover the dozens of historic natural springs flowing full from springtime rain; or explore Eureka Springs prettiest street, Spring Street “boulevard”. For day hiking, consider hiking along Lake Leatherwood trails or visit Blue Spring Heritage Center.
  • Record crowds will again fly high over The Ozarks as they experience the exhilarating thrill of a zip line canopy tour right in the heart of the beautiful, pristine Ozark Mountains of Eureka Springs. Screams of delight and thunder of excited laughter from patrons of Ozark Mountain Ziplines will pierce the woodland silence as they soar through the air from up to 300 feet high with cable lengths up to 2,000 feet long over vast gorgeous, beautiful Ozark hardwood trees and limestone cliffs.
  • Black Bass Lake is a natural area located on 200 hidden acres and only a quarter of a mile from the heart of downtown Eureka Springs.  Black Bass Lake presently has two-and-a-half miles of hiking trails although construction has begun to connect the trails between Black Bass Lake and Lake Leatherwood.  In addition to hiking, Black Bass Lake offers a historic and picturesque dam, beautiful scenery, and great fishing on the lake itself.  This is a perfect spot to spend a warm afternoon taking in the wonders of nature.
  • A little south of Eureka Springs, there is the Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge, a safe haven for big cats such as tigers, lions, leopards, and cougars.  Additionally, they have bears and other animals that visitors can watch for an extraordinary wildlife adventure.  Turpentine Creek also hosts Eureka’s Annual Kite Festival.
  • Not far from Turpentine Creek, sits Quigley Castle, a unique dwelling built for a woman -by that woman- who wanted to bring nature indoors.  The one-of-a-kind structure was hand-constructed with rocks and stones she collected from all over the world.
  • Just off Arkansas Highway 12, War Eagle Mill is a scenic place and home to not only the Bean Palace Restaurant but also one of America’s most successful craft shows.  The mill sits alongside War Eagle Creek, which drives their burrstone wheel, and home for fishing and for feeding the ducks.
  • Nearby War Eagle Cavern offers a bat’s eye view of stunning underground scenery, nature paths, gem and fossil panning, and lodging.
  • Beaver Lake, west of Eureka, has 500 miles of shoreline alone.  It boasts some of the best fishing in the area, with many fishing tournaments held annually.  Visitors can kayak, catch a trophy bass, striper, or walleye, and then relax in one of the many parks offering camping, picnicking, and swimming.  This crystal-clear lake is the fifth most visited lake in the country that is operated the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
  • Starkey Park offers camping, a marina and boat launch, fishing, water sports, eagle watch, pavilion and is home to The Belle of the Ozarks, a “ship” offering wonderful sightseeing excursions including those that “set sail” to do some seasonal eagle watching.
  • The Dam Site Park is one of the most popular parks in the area and is located near Beaver Dam. From this are guests may enjoy sailing, power house tours, fishing, scuba diving, and driving tours.
  • At C&J Sports, located near Beaver Dam, guests can make their way through an excellent archery course, or play a game of paintball.  Scuba diving is offered and quite popular in the clear waters of Beaver Lake.
  • The White River, also west of Eureka Springs, is known for some of the best trout fishing anywhere.  There are stores in the area that are well equipped to outfit anyone wishing to have an adventure on the White River, whether it is fishing, canoeing, kayaking, camping, or anything else a visitor can dream up.
  • A little farther out U.S. Highway 62 West, Blue Spring Heritage Center is on the National Register of Historic Places, and has been drawing visitors since 1948.  Thirty-eight million gallons of clear water pour out daily into the trout filled sparkling blue lagoon below.  Blue Spring with its unique bluff shelter was part of the Trail of Tears upon which Cherokee and other Native American tribes traveled to their new, designated home in Oklahoma.
  • Near Blue Spring, Inspiration Point rises high above the White River valley, and has a spectacular view that beckons guests to pull off the road and take in the tranquil scenery.
  • E. Fay Jones globally award-winning Thorncrown Chapel, also known as the “glass chapel”, is home to thousands of weddings each year and can be seen peeking out through the treetops west of Eureka.  Its distinctive architecture proudly displays 425 windows and 6,000 square feet of glass with interior acoustics that must be heard to be believed.
  •  Traveling east of Eureka Springs, the choices in outdoor activities are abundant.  The Kings River is waiting to show guests some beautiful scenery.  This river is about 90 miles long, and has many attractive features, such as colorful bluffs, unique flora and fauna, and is a fine place to watch for wildlife.  Many eagles have been spotted along the banks of the Kings.  The small-mouth bass fishing is excellent, as are the float trips in a canoe or kayak.
  • Caving offers abundant venues in the greater Eureka area.  For example, Onyx Cave, which was discovered in 1891, is one of the oldest show caves in Arkansas.  They offer tours that include beautiful underground formations.  Cosmic Caverns, close to Berryville, has many one-of-a-kind natural wonders.  It has been named one of the top 10 show caves in the U.S. with its two underground bottomless lakes (lakes in which divers have never found the bottom), one of which features cave trout.  Rare, blind cave salamanders sometimes show themselves during tours at nearby Cosmic Caverns.
  • Still on the east side of town, visitors can experience one of the best ways to enjoy the scenery of The Ozarks via horseback.  Red Bud Riding Stables, a family-owned business, has been showing folks around the “hills-n-hollers” on horseback for more than 20 years.  The hospitable guides at Red Bud are knowledgeable about plant and animal life, and the trails cover a variety of terrain on the privately owned wildlife preserve.
  • Also for enthusiastic equestrians, the Dinner Bell Ranch & Resort is a place where the horseback rides are suitable for all ages and skill levels.  The trails offer spectacular panoramic views, as well as possible wildlife sightings.  Riders can choose from many different types and lengths of rides, anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours.   Guests can have a real outdoor experience with breakfast, lunch, or dinner rides where a tasty meal is cooked up over a campfire.
  • Back to the west, the town of Beaver is one of those charming little spots where visitors love to explore.  The history there is rich with old trails and the much-photographed Beaver Town Bridge.  This “Little Golden Gate” bridge is a 554-foot single-lane expansion over the White River.  The Beaver Recreation Park is located here, with camping, floating, RV Park, boat launch and a quaint little store.  Rock Climbing is a popular sport in this area.

Jack Moyer, general manager of the 1886 Crescent Hotel & Spa with its surrounding 15 acres of forested hillsides and manicured gardens and the 1905 Basin Park Hotel that sits in the midst of a web of urban trails, stated, “We are adamant supporters of Eureka Springs’ great outdoors. In fact, we tell our guests and visitors to ‘Just get out!’. We of course mean it as our invitation for them to ‘Get outdoors!’ while they are visiting us, encouraging them to enjoy all of the wonderful outdoor sights and activities our glorious region offers, especially in late April and early May.”

For more information, one should go to EurekaSpringsOnline.com.

Eureka Springs Blues Weekend

June 13th-21st

Headliners: Chris Thomas King and Jimmy D. Lane

Eureka Springs Blues Weekend

Eureka Springs is proud to announce that Blues Weekend has extended the event to a full week of great Blues, bringing in more mid-week visitors after adding feature shows to the event on Sunday three years ago to encourage even longer stays. Our headliners are Chris Thomas King and Jimmy D. Lane.

 

View Daily Blues Schedule
Grammy Award winner Chris Thomas King helped expose millions of movie-goers to the Blues as Tommy Johnson in Oh Brother, Where Art Thou, the blockbuster hit starring George Clooney. The movie featured several songs performed by King, including a rendition of “Hard Time Killing Floor” that was recorded live during filming. King also starred as Ray Charles’s bandleader Lowell Chris Thomas KingFulson in the movie Ray, as Blind Willie Johnson in Soul of a Man and has appeared in the HBO series Treme.Born in Baton Rouge, King is the son of the late Swamp Blues musician and club owner Tabby Thomas. Chris played with his father, and helped run Tabby’s Blues Box and Heritage Hall, where he was exposed to and played with literally hundreds of blues acts over the years. King’s latest recording is “D2D” or “Direct to Disc”. As the title suggests, it was recorded direct to a master vinyl disc at the legendary Blue Heaven Studios in Salina, Kansas. It is as close as possible today to recreate the “sing into the can” recording experience depicted in “Oh Brother”, where the music is taken directly from the microphone to the master record which is then used to create the pressing plates.  As King wrote about the experience “Only my J-45 Gibson guitar, vocal, and the ethereal reverb from hallowed church walls, is etched into the 200-gram vinyl disc. “

 

Jimmy D. Lane is a Chicago bluesman, son of the legendary Jimmy Rogers. Like his father, Lane has traveled the world playing the Blues. His father was a singer, guitarist Jimmy D. Laneand harmonica player best known for his work with Muddy Waters, and then as a solo artist who recorded the hits “That’s All Right” and “Walking By Myself”. Lane has recorded and performed with a list of musicians too long to list here, but it includes his father Jimmy Rogers, B.B. King, Eric Clapton, Taj Mahal, Jeff Healy, Robert Plant, Jimmy Page, Lowell Fulson, Keith Richards, Mick Jagger, Stephen Stills, Van Morrison and David “Honeyboy” Edwards.
Jimmy performed on The Conan O’Brien Show and in dozens of countries around the world. He also performed for President Clinton and the First Lady in 1998. Jimmy was also the Music Director at Blue Heaven Studios from 1999 through 2005, where he helped establish the studio as one of the premiere analog studios in world. It has been featured on CBS Sunday Morning, FOX News, CNN News and NPR Radio’s “All Things Considered”.

 

Other headliner and featured acts include The Bel-Airs, Earl & Them, Shawn Holt and the Teardrops, Kelley Hunt, Jimmy D. Lane, The Nace Brothers and The Noah Wotherspoon Band. Noah was this year’s Albert King Award winner at the International Blues Challenge, and will host fellow Albert King award winners Nick Schnebelen of Trampled Under Foot and Jonn Del Toro Richardson of Blue Mercy in a Tribute to Albert King.

 

We’ll also feature Free Music in Basin Spring Park with performances by Brick Fields, Doghouse Daddies, Isayah Warford & Friends, The Jones Brothers and Lucious Spiller. It begins on Saturday, June 13th at 5pm and Saturday, June 20th starting at Noon.  Eureka Springs Blues Weekend
We’ll also feature the winners of this year’s Ozark Blues Society of Northwest Arkansas Blues Challenge Buddy Shute and Amanda Rey & West Street Blues. And at noon on Saturday, June 20, we’ll give away 100 Hohner harmonicas to kids of all ages during our Blues For Kids Harmonica Workshop with George Hunt. Plus there will be blues music in all of our partner clubs featuring great local, regional and national acts. They include the Shari Bales Band, Brody Buster, Shannon Hope, Jeff HortonNorman Jackson, Akeem Kemp, RJ Mischo, Patrick Sweany, Pete & Dave, Tightrope and many more great acts.In addition to the music, workshops will include “Basics of Blues Guitar”, “How To Build And Play A Diddly-Bow”, “Performance Photography”,  and “Writing The Perfect Blues Song”.

The weekend ends with a Father’s Day Blues Picnic at Turpentine Creek, on Sunday afternoon at 12 p.m. The afternoon starts with Brick Fields’s Gospel Blues Brunch. Turpentine Creek Following will be Luscious Spiller & the Noah Wotherspoon Band.   To top off the day, musicians who performed during Blues Weekend will take the stage for a legendary Blues jam.  There will be food and drinks, arts and crafts, and fun activities for the kids.   Admission is only $5 per person at the gate.  Kids under six get in free.

Blues Weekend Lodging Deal:

Enjoy Blues Weekend Festival in Eureka Springs 2

1 night stay in a Premium Room at the Downtown Basin Park Hotel
2 Tickets to Shawn Holt & The Teardrops concert at the Basin Hotel, 6th floor Ballroom on 6/18.
$25 Food Voucher for the Balcony Restaurant

$139 plus tax. Valid on 6/18.  Check Availability.

 

For a complete schedule, tickets, lodging info and more, please visit www.EurekaSpringsBlues.com.

Eureka Springs Outdoor Adventure Week

Celebrate the Outdoors with a week full of outdoor fun in Eureka Springs, Arkansas during April!

eureka springs outdoor adventure week

Stay at the Crescent or Basin Park Hotels all week or just 1 night and SAVE 25% on any room of your choice. Then participate in the following outdoor activities at discount provided by the Crescent & Basin Park Hotels:

Friday, April 24th: Hike to Kings River Overlook (free) View Map.
Saturday, April 25th: Lake Leatherwood Hiking and Photography trip. (free) View Map
Sunday, April 26th: Mountain Biking with Adventure Mountain Outfitters from the Crescent Hotel to Lake Leatherwood Park. For intermediate to advance riders. 1-2 hours. (Cost: $50 per person includes bike rental and guide)                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Monday, April 27th: Horseback Riding with Dinner Bell Ranch (Discount of $30, reduced from $35)
Tuesday, April 28th: Float Trip on the Kings River. 8 1/2 mile float trip with Kings River Outfitters. Includes shuttle, canoe for two, and necessities. (Cost:$60 for two, reduced from $75.)

Valid 4/24-4/28.

Check Availability at the 1886 Crescent Hotel & Spa, click here.

Check Availability at the 1905 Basin Park Hotel, click here.