Smackover Festival Celebrates Oil Boom Heritage


 
Zoie Clift
travelarkansas@gmail.com

 



Smackover’s

annual Oil Town Festival (one of the oldest festivals in the state) starts this
week (June 15) and goes through Saturday (June 18).  The festival (which
is celebrating it’s 40th year) takes place at City Park ( Broadway
and 10th street) and is a celebration of the city’s oil boom
heritage.  There will be a 5K Oil Run, free concerts every night, and many
activities you associate with festivals.
 
Smackover’s existence is a result of one of the largest and
most dramatic oil discoveries in the nation. Its sixty-eight-square-mile oil
field led the nation’s oil output in the mid 1920s. Prior to the discovery of
oil, economy in the area initially relied upon cotton and a successful timber
industry due to the vast forests of southern Arkansas.

 Smackover, which proudly claims the only center of the road
traffic light in the state,  is
also home to the Arkansas Museum of Natural Resources. The museum depicts the
history and culture of the town and the surrounding area with an indoor
reconstruction of downtown, an Oil Field Park, and numerous exhibits
illustrating South Arkansas’s oil industry.

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