Arkansas May 06, 2015
8 Things You May Not Have Known About Arkansas
It’s relatively easy to look up basic trivia online about the Natural State – a quick search can teach you about the state’s official bird, official gem, and even the official state beverage (milk!). There’s still a lot you may not have realized about Arkansas, though. Many people who were born and raised in the state don’t even know about some of the more recent or obscure Arkie facts!
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life as we all practice social and physical distancing. While we’re continuing to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, we don’t expect or encourage you to go check them out immediately. We believe that supporting local attractions is important now more than ever and we hope our articles inspire your future adventures! And on that note, please nominate your favorite local business that could use some love right now:
1. There's a lot to do in a small town: Eureka Springs, Arkansas is a secluded, peaceful Victorian-style town nestled in the Ozark Mountains. With a city population just shy of 2,100, tourists are surprised to find how much shopping, dining, and relaxation this fanciful location offers.
Even if you're not out for a romantic getaway at a Eureka Springs bed and breakfast, there's still always something going on in town to see or do. Arts and music festivals are frequently held here as well as The Great Passion Play, a popular outdoor attraction.
2. A good food truck is just around the corner: More metropolitan areas in the Natural State are finding food trucks popping up on familiar street corners. Crepes Paulette, a popular food truck in downtown Bentonville, even offers a pin-up wall where diners can locate where they're from, where they're going, and where they've been.
Other popular Arkansas food trucks include the Banana Leaf in Little Rock, Big Rub BBQ in Bentonville, The Southern Gourmasian in Little Rock, Baller Foodtruck in Fayetteville, and David's Butcher Boy Burgers in Little Rock.
3. The citizens are culturally diverse: Arkansas has seen an unfair share of stereotypes over time, but the fact that the state's population has diversified greatly over the last two decades is indisputable. As a result, many of Arkansas's young people are experiencing more exposure to different cultures than prior generations of Arkansans likely could have imagined possible.
Many students currently taught in Arkansas schools are bilingual natives of the state. Students enrolled in higher education programs are encouraged to travel abroad in order to hone foreign language skills that have become crucial in business and personal communication.
4. You've seen it in TV cameos: Fans of '90s television may not recognize the official name of the Sugarbaker house shown on "Designing Women" - the Ville Marre in Little Rock's Quapaw Quarter is still an important place for high society names. The historic house is now a reception hall for weddings and other social gatherings.
Little Rock's charm extends all the way from the Ville Marre to the Old Mill in North Little Rock, seen as a part of the Old South montage in the opening credits of "Gone With the Wind". CBS Television also featured Arkansas again in the early '90s sitcom "Evening Shade" with Burt Reynolds, based on a fictionalized version of the northeast town of Evening Shade, Arkansas.
5. The biggest Dam Bridge you've ever seen: The Big Dam Bridge spans across the Arkansas River and the Murray Lock and Dam between both Little Rock and North Little Rock. The bridge is open only to walkers, runners, and bikers. Annual events and races are held at the Bridge.
The Big Dam Bridge is known for its astonishing 4,226 foot span, built atop Murray Lock and Dam and opened to the public in late 2006. The bridge is elevated up to 90 feet above the Arkansas River.
6. Mountain Music: Wakarusa is a music and camping festival held annually in Ozark, Arkansas on Mulberry Mountain. Lineups of popular musicians are featured at the festival and devotees of the yearly experience are referred to as "Wakafarians".
A four-day event, Wakarusa's festival boasts six stages, over 150 acts, and nearly 200 sets of music.
7. Green to the extreme: The Buffalo River is one of the few remaining unpolluted, free-flowing rivers in the lower 48 states.
Located in north-central Arkansas, the Buffalo was the first National River to be designated in the United States. The total length of the river is a little over 150 miles long.
8. The origin of audio legend: Paul W. Klipsch of Hope, Arkansas created the very first "Klipschorn" speaker in the hopes of playing and hearing live music in his parlor. The work of this audio pioneer gave birth to Klipsch technology, a new and vastly improved avenue to enjoying recorded music.
The Klipschorn is still manufactured today and proved that it was possible to reproduce the sound of a live orchestra inside a home. Mr. Klipsch's lengthy technological career spanned from 1946 to 2000, and Klipsch speakers are considered a high-ranking standard in modern audio quality.
The little details about a state often seem more interesting than the things everyone already knows. Arkansas is full of little quirks and trivia – far too much to be listed in one post! Ask any native Arkie and he or she will be happy to fill you in on tidbits you never even knew existed about the Natural State.