September 6, 2017 Edition

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'Go, Dogs, Go!'

John Bland

If you like dogs, Stewart Park is the place to be this Saturday. Dogs take center stage at Thumperthon, the 5K race/walk, set to commence at 9 a.m.

Being at Thumperthon brings to mind the Dr. Seuss classic children's book, "Go, Dogs, Go!" There are big dogs and little dogs, dogs of all colors, with long hair and short hair. Some of the dogs push their owners to go a faster pace, while others are content to walk or run alongside their two-legged running partners.

In addition to the dogs in the race, the Northeast Arkansas Humane Society will bring several of their dogs that are available for adoption. All the dogs enjoy a morning at the park, getting exercise, extra attention from the crowd, as well as a drink or cool-down in the wading pools set up just for them. The dogs enjoy socializing as much as the people. See the related details regarding this worthy cause in this week's edition.


If you want to see old friends and former residents, Beatles at the Ridge is the place to be on Sept. 15 and 16.

For a number of years, we have admired the Corning Fourth of July festival and Rector's Labor Day festival. Both towns have lots of pride in their festivals and hometowns, and former residents look forward to coming back each year to reunite with their hometown friends. I think Beatles at the Ridge is becoming that type of event, as it has become popular for classes to hold reunions or mini-reunions in conjunction with the festival.

As others have said, Beatles at the Ridge is not really so much about the Beatles' brief stop in Walnut Ridge. The Beatles are a hook or theme to bring people to Walnut Ridge, either for a first-time visit or as a reason to come home.

This summer at the Arkansas Press Association Superconvention, it was gratifying to hear people comment about Walnut Ridge, the Beatles and tourism. One person said, "You all made something out of nothing, but that's what a small town has to do in order to survive. You can't expect someone else to do it for you."

One gentleman from the Eureka Springs area said he puts out a motorcycle magazine, had been to Walnut Ridge and wanted to bring a motorcycle group back to visit our Beatles attractions.

Representatives from Parks and Tourism at the convention also said how much they enjoyed their time in Walnut Ridge. They were referring to a visit here by the Parks and Tourism Commission and staff in April.

Beatles at the Ridge is our opportunity to show hospitality and hometown pride to both new and returning visitors alike.

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