What’s New in 2012

What’s new in the Ouachitas and Timberlands of Arkansas this year? Read on to find out!
Buckstaff Bathhouse Celebrates 100 Years in 2012



Bathhouse Row in Hot Springs National Park, described as “the grandest collection of
bathhouses of their kind in the nation,” is a National Historic Landmark District with structures dating to the late 1800s. Eight bathhouses make up the Row including the Buckstaff Bathhouse, which has operated continuously since 1912. It is the only bathhouse on the Row that has never closed and it still offers the traditional spa treatment.

Designed by Frank W. Gibb and Company, Architects the Buckstaff Bathhouse
includes 27,000 square feet on three main floors. Classical in design, it highlights the Edwardian style of classically designed buildings popular during the first decade of the 20th century. Because it has been in continuous operation since it opened, it is the only traditional bathing facility preserved of all the bathhouses, but it has undergone many changes over the years. Colorado marble is used throughout the interior, particularly in the
bath halls. All levels can be accessed by stairs or the building’s original elevator, and the ornate interior is reminiscent of the Golden Age of Bathing. Buckstaff Baths operates under a contract with the National Park Service, Department of the Interior. For more details visit buckstaffbaths.com or call 501-623-2308. The photo of the  Buckstaff Bathhouse taken by Tom Hill.

 First EverHats in Hot Springs Festival

The first ever Hats in Hot Springs festival is June 1-2 in Hot Springs. Everyone in the city is encouraged to wear a hat during this weekend. Famous hats and hats of famous people are also on display at various points around the city during the celebration. Live entertainment and zany competitions are also part of the event. Organizers have stated: “We want a hat for every head and a head for every hat.”  

Hot Springs Historic Baseball Trail

Hot Springs unveils a new trail:  Hot Springs: The Birthplace of Spring Baseball. The trail encompasses a free self-guided tour of more than two dozen locations throughout the city where major league legends played ball, relaxed and enjoyed the city’s attractions. The trail documents sites where Babe Ruth and other legends of the game came in the early years of the 20th Century to get in shape
for the coming season. All the sites and players featured have been meticulously documented by a committee of Major League Baseball historians. More names and historic sites will be added to the trail in the future.


New Location for Gangster Museum of America

The Gangster Museum of America is in a new location at 501 Central Avenue. The new expanded museum (10,000 square feet) offers more galleries, new additions, and a new gift shop. The museum features classic relics including old roulette tables, vintage slot machines, Owen Madden and Al Capone exhibits, gangster weapons and a documentary in the museum’s theater. 501 Central Avenue. 501-318-1717

New Track Announcer at Oaklawn Park
When Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs opens for live racing in 2012, fans will be greeted by the sound of a new track announcer for the first time in more than 37 years. Frank Mirahmadi replaces Terry Wallace, who was known as the ‘Voice of Oaklawn’ during his time at the park.  Mirahmadi was selected from a large pool of applicants hailing from across the nation and as far away as Australia. He becomes just the fourth announcer in Oaklawn’s 107-year history. 2705 Central Avenue. 1-800-OAKLAWN. Oaklawn.com.


Convention Center Breaks Ground in Texarkana

Work has started on the Texarkana, Arkansas Convention Center and Holiday Inn Hotel. The new 100,000 square foot complex will be built over 12 acres in the Crossroads Business Park. The hotel will feature up to 150 rooms and a full-service restaurant. Construction  is expected to be completed by the end of the year. The privately-funded center will be located off Interstate 30 and along the future Interstate 49 corridor.

Railroad Museum in Texarkana

Owned and to be operated by nationally-recognized historian Dr. Beverly Rowe, the museum will officially open May 12, 2012, at the start of RailFest, celebrating Texarkana’s founding in 1873-1874.  Memorabilia, murals, and artifacts will be curated by the Texarkana Museum System for a look into Texarkana’s past and present. 

Shakespeare in the Park

This new annual event at Historic Washington State Park in Washington hosts performances by the American Shakespeare Center of Staunton, Virginia. Workshops are also provided that cover topics of how to perform Shakespeare on the modern stage. Held in
February at the 1940 WPA Gym. 870-983-2684. 

Smackover Ghost Tours

Tour five active haunted buildings, go inside and investigate three of the buildings for yourself using provided equipment or take a tour of three cemeteries or both. 870-944-0221. Smackoverarkansasghosttours.com.  


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