June 27, 2012 Edition

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Rockabilly Run promotes tourism in county

ROCKABILLY RUN PROMOTES COUNTY - Thomas Smith of Hoxie reads a historical marker at Powhatan Historic State Park during the Rockabilly Run held Saturday to promote Lawrence County tourism. In the background is Jim Matha of Jonesboro, who also participated in the ride, which organizers hope will become an annual event. The poker run ended at Beatles Park in Walnut Ridge with live music throughout the afternoon and evening.
Submitted Photo ~ Jody Dotson

Gretchen Hunt

Cox Powersports and Rumblin' Around the Ridge teamed up with the Lawrence County Tourism Committee to host the first ever Rockabilly Run on Saturday.

The poker run and mini-festival drew quite a bit of attention to the county, as 70 bikes and 100 riders registered for the event, which Nicole McLaughlin with Rumblin' Around the Ridge said was a great turnout for a first-time event.

"We want to thank all of our riders and sponsors for their support and for making this an amazing event," she said.

Charles Snapp, a member of the Lawrence County Tourism Committee, said everything about the event, including the stops along the poker run, was designed to promote Lawrence County.

Bikers started their run at Cox Powersports in Hoxie, made their first stop at the Powhatan Historic State Park, continued a scenic ride through the county with a stop at Ravenden and then traveled to Pocahontas and down Rock 'N' Roll Highway 67 to the Wings of Honor Museum at the Walnut Ridge Airport.

The final stop was at Beatles Park where participants in the ride, as well as the general public, could enjoy food, vendors and live entertainment.

"The idea was to expose them to what we have to offer in the county as far as the great outdoors and tourism," Snapp said.

McLaughlin said she was very pleased with the event.

"The ride went great, the bands were awesome and I got to meet lots of new people and get reacquainted with some old friends," she said. "Thank you to everyone who came out!"

Paul Carr of Pocahontas won the grand prize, a trip to Myrtle Beach, which was selected by a random drawing. Each bike that registered for the run received a ticket for the drawing.

Prizes were also awarded for the poker run, with Adam Hufstedler of Walnut Ridge having the high hand and Jeff King of Hoxie having the low hand.

The winner of the longest distance traveled prize was Jarrett Smith and his son, Conner, of Moss Buff, La., (482 miles one way).

Several door prizes were also given away.

"We want to send a big thank you to all the businesses that donated and to Cox Powersports, Charles and Jackie Snapp, the Lawrence County Tourism Committee and Downtown Walnut Ridge," McLaughlin said.

With the first event behind them, talk has already begun about what next year might hold.

"We're so pleased and excited about how the whole event turned out," McLauglin said. "We're proud to help put on an event like this to help our town and county. We look forward to next year and an even bigger event."

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