To recognize those who went above and beyond to promote tourism during the pandemic, Arkansas Delta Byways is presenting its first-ever Innovation Awards for 2020-21. Winners received their awards during a traveling awards ceremony during Arkansas Tourism Week.
Arkansas Delta Byways is the official tourism promotion association for 15 counties in Eastern Arkansas: Arkansas, Chicot, Clay, Craighead, Crittenden, Cross, Desha, Drew, Greene, Lee, Mississippi, Monroe, Phillips, Poinsett, and St. Francis.
“These past two years have been very challenging for the tourism industry, especially in our area. However true to our heritage, culture and people, Delta perseverance prevailed,” said Dr. Adam Long, director of Arkansas State University’s Heritage Sites and executive director for Arkansas Delta Byways. “Businesses, organizations, events and individuals needed to develop innovative practices to survive. The region did not disappoint in their creativity.”
The awards winners, and the presentation locations follow:
Four recipients were recognized Monday, May 2 were National Cold War Center, at Blytheville Air Base; Senator Keith Ingram and the Historical Preservation Society, at West Memphis Welcome Center; Tyronza Christmas Parade Committee at Southern Tenant Farmers Museum; and Breezy Barnyards, Dianne Dewailly, at Lepanto City Hall.
The four recipients recognized Tuesday, May 3, were EAST Program Cross County High School, Cherry Valley High School; East Arkansas Community College Fine Arts, EACC at Forrest City; Painted Ladies Society, Marianna Square; and Louisiana Purchase State Park, King Biscuit Blues Mini Biscuit Bashes and Thrive, Inc., Helena Welcome Center.
On Wednesday, May 4, those recognized were Great River Road, Dr. Terri McCullough, 9 a.m., Lake Village Welcome Center; Food Truck Fridays, Ryan Copico, 11:30 a.m., 909 N. Street, Monticello; Boys and Girls Club of McGehee, 1:00 p.m., 205 N. Washington Ave, McGehee; and Prairie Sunset Mural, 3:30 p.m., Stuttgart Chamber of Commerce.
Recognitions on Thursday, May 5, were Christmas in the Hollow – Darrell and Ellen Dalton, 10 a.m., Piggott Square; Rector Community Museum Mini Concerts, 11:30 a.m., 310 S. Main Street, Rector; Main Street Paragould Scarecrow Shuffle and Enchanting Nights, 1 p.m., 108 Emerson Street, Paragould; and Native Brew Works, Jonesboro and the Johnny Cash Virtual Heritage Festival, 3 p.m. - 515 S. Gee Street, Jonesboro.
Dr. Terri McCullough was nominated for her work with the Great River Road and its new All American Road designation. From 2018 to 2022, Dr. McCullough served as the Pilot and National President of the 10 state Mississippi River Parkway Commission.
For more information, contact Arkansas Delta Byways at 870-897-4750.