Recognizing the City’s Tourism Development and Creative Culture Effort
Harrison, AR, February 24, 2023. Harrison was named the winner of Arkansas Business Magazine's 2022 Trendsetter Award in the Tourism Development/Creative Culture category. This award recognizes cities and towns that are building unique venues, attractions, museums and more to not only attract tourism, but also improve the quality of life for its citizens. Harrison Mayor Jerry Jackson, along with Parks and Recreation Director Chuck Eddington and Explore Harrison Executive Director Matt Bell, traveled to Little Rock on January 12th to receive the award during the Arkansas Municipal League's winter conference.
The City’s nomination included a number of programs, initiatives, and projects that highlight the impact of tourism on the community and the resultant cultural experiences received when visiting or living in Harrison, making Harrison a true destination city.
Explore Harrison’s mural project, Natural State, Natural Art -- 19 large building wall murals adorn the community showcasing the region’s Native American Heritage, it’s early history and events, and pure artistic imagination – along with a multitude of parks and recreation projects and events – sports tournaments, after school programs, youth sports leagues, and multiple first-class venues – led to a major impact in this year’s competition.
"This is a big deal for the city and we're so proud! The honor recognizes the multifaceted work that has been ongoing for over five years in a collaborative effort of Explore Harrison, the Parks and Recreation Department, and the City," said Mayor Jackson upon receiving the award.
Matt Bell noted, “The entire community can be proud of this award because it represents who we are as a community. We owe special thanks to Mary Beth Hatch who was instrumental in starting the Natural State, Natural Art mural project, bringing awareness to the environment, animals, and people of Arkansas. From her concept, the Harrison community now enjoys 19 murals, with more planned, drawing hundreds of tourists to the community each year.”
“Our city sports complex is the site of multiple high school district, regional, and state baseball and softball tournaments, as well as USSSA and FASA travel tournaments. In 2022, over 350 teams from 25 different states used the upgraded facilities,” said Chuck Eddington. He added, “This is a win-win for youth sports and our community.”
Mayor Jackson also noted that, “Partnering with our local Rotary Club, the high school’s EAST program, downtown business owners, and Explore Harrison, the city was able to install an all-inclusive playground for children of all abilities, complete with a splash pad, resurfaced tennis and basketball courts, a remodel of the city’s swimming pool, and turfed baseball and softball infields.”
About Explore Harrison
Harrison is home to a variety of events throughout the year including the Arkansas Hot Air Balloon Championship, Arkansas Fiddlers Convention, Annual Bluegrass Festival, Fire in the Sky- 4th of July Celebration, and our own local tradition, Crawdad Days Festival. Harrison’s close proximity to the Buffalo National River (America’s first national river) provides easy access to exciting outdoor activities including hiking, canoeing, biking, elk watching and camping. Discover all there is to see and do in the area by requesting your copy of the Harrison Attractions Guide. Also, check out the online deals and packages for the latest special offers to make your trip even more fun and affordable. Visit Harrison... headquarters for your next trip to the Arkansas Ozarks. For more information, please visit https://www.exploreharrison.com/.
About the City of Harrison
Located in the heart of the Ozark Mountains, Harrison is the County Seat of Boone County, Arkansas. It is nationally recognized as one of the "Best Small Towns in America" with a downtown lake and a beautifully renovated town square complete with hanging flower baskets. Harrison was previously featured in Where to Retire Magazine as one of the best retirement towns. For more information, please visit www.cityofharrison.com.
About the Harrison Regional Chamber of Commerce
The Harrison Regional Chamber of Commerce promotes the economic and business well-being of the greater Harrison and Boone County, Arkansas area. The investor-driven Chamber also recognizes, values and promotes the outstanding quality of life locally that encourages people to live, work, invest and retire in the area. For more information, please visit www.harrison-chamber.com.
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