As I was walking around the Chamber of Commerce Expo held last week at the community center, I thought about our lack of a town square, central area, downtown or even a “main drag.”
There were a lot of businesses that I wasn’t even aware existed represented at the Expo. I had a chance to visit a bit with Mayor Watson and folks from the Chamber of Commerce. They were giving you a chance to win $1000 just for showing up and you could get a big bag and pick up a lot of “stuff, ”particularly candy and propaganda, from different businesses.
So, once a year, we get a chance to see a lot of our local businesses under one roof in one place. It’s not exactly like Mayberry but in some ways it is.
Bradley’s Health Mart was giving flu shots; folks were selling seamless gutters and energy efficient windows; you could visit with the charter school folks, several real estate companies, the Fire and Police Departments, two or three banks, a roofing company, a hospital a funeral home, and the Maumelle Monitor was selling subscriptions.
Seems most folks were skirting by the funeral home table without making eye contact, me included.
I found out there were a few new places coming to town including a new walk-in medical clinic coming this “winter.” Not sure what that means. They are putting a new Subway in the same shopping center with Beef O’ Brady. That will give us one Subway on each end and one in the middle.
I asked the folks at National Bank of Arkansas if they would close the branch in Country Club since Arvest has purchased them. Arvest just opened a nice new branch near Wal-Mart. I can’t imagine them keeping the NBA branch open.
We may never have a town square but we should create events like the Expo that bring us all together for a visit.
Don’t forget that the Maumelle Players’ production of “The Hallelujah Girls” opens this weekend and continues Nov. 1 through 3, at Little Scholars Academy, behind the Shell station on Maumelle Boulevard. According to their website, maumelleplayers.org, tickets are $15 for adults and $12 for everyone else. Performances are set for 7 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and 3 p.m. on Sunday.
I’ve never attended a community theater production in Maumelle and I don’t really know why. I was a speech and theater major in college and can attest to the amount of work that goes into putting on a show at any level. I plan to be there and hope to see you there as well.
Maumelle Arts Festival could be a reality
I had an idea the other day and I’m sure I’m not the first to think it, but aren’t we ready for Maumelle to sponsor something along the lines of an arts festival? Seems we have the talent and the offerings to stage such an event at Lake Willastein. We have a drama group, a talented group of fine artists, several good musicians and most likely a group of potters, weavers, craftsmen and other folks who would be interested in an arts-oriented event.
We have had several events at the Lake that are more or less mini-carnivals on a fairly small-time level. Maybe some of the groups could get together and find a way to combine their talents and attract enough visitors to make a weekend of it. I think such an event could and should offer adult beverages for those who partake. Beer and wine are served at most major festivals and can be an enhancement to attracting better quality food offerings beyond hot dogs and funnel cakes. It’s also how most events make a profit.
I would love to hear your comments on this. I have said previously that I really enjoy our Fourth of July celebration and this could be an event held in the fall to coincide with the changing of the leaves. Maumelle Harvest Arts Festival?
See you on the Boulevard.
Neal Moore is COE (chief of everything) at Neal Moore Creative, a PR, advertising and marketing consultancy. He lives in Maumelle and is native of Fordyce and has met Bear Bryant. Contact him at email@example.com. Follow him on Facebook, Linkedin or Twitter, @kneelmore.