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Nevada County Picayune-Times - Prescott, AR
  • 'Train Day' to chug into Hope

  • The first Train Day in Hope last year was to celebrate Amtrak service coming to Hope. The second annual celebration seeks to make the event an annual tribute to the roots of Hope.
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  • The first Train Day in Hope last year was to celebrate Amtrak service coming to Hope. The second annual celebration seeks to make the event an annual tribute to the roots of Hope.
    The second annual 'Train Day' will be held Saturday, in downtown Hope, beginning at 10 a.m., and is sponsored by the Arkansas Great Southwest Regional Tourism Association. The event celebrates Hope's long association with trains, from its founding in 1875 as a stop on the Cairo-Fulton Railroad Line to its modern association as an official Amtrak stop.
    There are also two historic depots that have been restored in the downtown area,” Mark Keith, Hope/Hempstad County Chamber of Commerce executive director, noted. “These include the oldest building in town, the historic 1873 Cairo-Fulton Depot, which is the home of the Southwest Arkansas Arts Council and its successor, the 1911 Missouri Pacific Depot, which now houses the Hope Visitor's Information Center and Museum.”
    The highlight of the Train Day celebration is a tailgating competition which is sponsored by the Hope Civitan Club.
    There will be $1,500 in cash prizes awarded to the top three winners, including a $1,000 first prize,” Keith said. “The second place team wins $300 and the third place team wins $200. There's no fee for a team to enter, but each team must prepare 30 hot dogs to be distributed to the public along with buns and condiments.”
    The tailgating teams will be judged on a food entry of their choice to be presented to the judges on one plate that day at noon. There's no limit on team members. There will be no water or electricity available to the teams.
    Setup can begin at 8 a. m. and tear down can begin at 2 p. m.,” Keith said. “Applications are available from any Civitan member or can be printed off at hopemelonfest.com.,” he said.
    There will be a variety of activities in downtown Hope for Train Day. There will be an antique car show and the downtown merchants will have special events and sidewalk sales. The Hope and Washington Farmers Markets will have a special Farmers Market that day in the parking lot at Division and Walnut streets.
    Page 2 of 2 - There will be free kiddie train rides, a caricature artist, various kids' activities, special train displays for the kids to decorate, and the Hope Junior Auxiliary will offer face painting. There will also be a limited amount of vendors in the downtown area.
    Train Day will also feature a variety of musical talent. At 10 a. m., the Hope High School Jazz Cats will take the stage, followed by the Hartley Family, of Arkadelphia, performing bluegrass at 11 a. m. Local favorite Dave Almond will perform at noon and the Red Dirt Renegades will play at 1 p. m.
    We want everyone to come out and enjoy themselves, free of charge,” Keith said. 

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