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Announcing the first annual Arkansas Heritage Festival

Updated: Jul 2, 2021

The Lifelong Learning Institute of Hot Springs has earned a major accolade for the Village by being awarded a grant from the Arkansas Department of Heritage to host the first annual Arkansas Heritage Festival at the Ponce De Leon Center, Friday and Saturday, August 27-28, 2021.

The event is co-sponsored by the Hot Springs Village POA. It will include arts and crafts as well as Arkansas history, culture, and entertainment. Sites around Ponce Center will include Woodlands auditorium, Grove Park, the port cochere, and tents in the parking lots.

According to LLI director Larry Wilson, "The event is all the things that are Arkansas, including things like hunting and fishing. We might even have a duck-calling contest."

Wilson, a retired Arkansas history teacher, says he understands the importance of recognizing the state's heritage in all its forms, especially in challenging times. The event will be held in whatever format is safe in August, with a combination of indoor, outdoor, and virtual being planned. Wilson feels having the Festival in the Village is a good fit for the general public from around Arkansas as well as students and teachers.

Terry Wiley, HSV Parks and Recreation manager, said, "We are really excited to add this ev4ent to our yearly calendar. It will be great for Villagers and people from around the state to learn more about Arkansas heritage right here in Hot Springs Village."

Along with Wilson and Wiley, members of the Festival committee include Amy Thomason, Susan McCarty, Melanie Pederson, and Nancy Hendricks. Portions of the event will be captured on video. According to Wilson, "The video can be disseminated all across the state to show we are proud of Arkansas heritage and have a lot to be proud of." He added that more information on presenters, special events, and vendor booths will be available as the even approaches.

The Lifelong Learning Institute of Hot Springs Village provides informative, entertaining programs for Villagers. For more information about LLI, see the website at

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