March 14, 2007 Edition

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Mary Freeman holds the framed certificate honoring the Portia Picnic Fourth of July celebration as a finalist for the 2007 Henry Awards for tourism.

Portia is finalist
for tourism award

The Portia Picnic Fourth of July Celebration in Portia was ranked in the top three contenders for an award during the 2007 Henry Award ceremonies at the Governor's Banquet held during the 33rd annual Arkansas Governor's Conference on Tourism. The conference was held March 4-6 in Hot Springs.

The Henry Awards honor individuals and organizations that have made important contributions to the state's tourism industry in the preceding year.

Eight Henry Awards were given. The Antique Auto Show and Swap Meet in Morrilton won the Grand Old Classic Special Event Award. The Portia Picnic and Ding Dong Days in Dumas were the other top contenders for the award.

The Henry Awards program stated: "The Portia Picnic Fourth of July Celebration is the oldest, continuous Fourth of July celebration in the state. For over 100 years, politicians and elected officials have made stops at this event to celebrate our nation's independence.

"For Portia residents, it is more than an Independence Day celebration; it is a reunion for their small Northeast Arkansas community. People from all over come to enjoy the week-long activities and entertainment with family and friends."

Portia Mayor Dale and Mary Freeman represented Portia at the tourism conference. State Rep. JR Rogers and his wife, Walnut Ridge Mayor Michelle Rogers, also attended the event.

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