El Dorado Insider's Guide
Head: The Great Outdoors
Subhead: The SouthArk Outdoor Expo is a full day of hands-on activities for outdoors enthusiasts of all ages
You know autumn is in the air when the South Arkansas Community College Foundation presents the annual Outdoor Expo, a celebration of South Arkansas' rich heritage of outdoor recreation. Slated for September 14, this full day event is about much more than just hunting and fishing, with activities for all ages, plenty of entertainment and competitions for cash and prizes. "The SouthArk Outdoor Expo is a great community and college event," says event chair Greg Withrow. "We are proud and honored that the Tom Loftin Construction Company, for the second year, is sponsoring the Outdoor Expo. They are dedicated to education and providing support to our community."
The day starts with the Hero 5K Run/Walk, while cookers in the Phil Herring Rib Cook-off begin executing their secret recipes and competitors vie for cash and prizes at the Outdoor Photo Contest and the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission Duck Calling Contestants. The El Dorado Conference Center will be filled with outdoor-related vendors, and (outdoor) activities will include the Arkansas Army National Guard Climbing Wall, a demonstration by chainsaw wood carver Scott Winford, the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission aquarium, hunter education, inflatables for the kids, (hands-on archery with the Oak Ridge Bowhunters), the Model Aviators of South Arkansas, and (much more). Live musicians will entertain the crowd throughout the day, with headliner Jason D. Williams, popular boogie-woogie and rockabilly piano entertainer, taking the stage at 2:00 p.m.
Proceeds from the Outdoor Expo benefit educational scholarships for students and general operations of the SouthArk Foundation. "We started this event fifteen years ago on the back parking lot of the college with a few exhibits and cooking teams," says Cynthia Reyna, Director of the SouthArk Foundation and External Funding. "Last year, we hosted over 65 vendors and exhibitors, 40 cooking teams, over 350 volunteers from the college and community."
Admission is one canned good or packaged food item, which will be donated to a local food pantry.
Visit www.southark.edu/expo for information on becoming a vendor or entering the Phil Herring Rib Cook-off, the Outdoor Photo Contest, the Arkansas Game & Fish Commission Duck Calling Contest and the Hero 5K Run/Walk.