Elk Festival in Jasper includes Kid's Fishing Derby -- and more!

Thursday, June 15, 2006

JASPER -- Looking for a special treat? Make plans now to be in Jasper, Arkansas on June 23-24 for the Buffalo River Elk Festival!

This award-winning festival began in 1998 to celebrate the successful reintroduction of elk to Newton County, and has been an annual event every year since.

You'll find Jasper 19 miles south of Harrison, on Arkansas Scenic Byway 7 near the Buffalo National River in the heart of the beautiful Ozark Mountains.

The festival features a wide range of activities for every taste and age, including a special area for youngsters. There will be a 5K Run, Kid's Fishing Derby, The Arkansas State Championship Elk Calling Contest, Turkey Shoot, Miss Elk Festival Beauty Pageant, and the Dutch Oven Cook-off, a special low-tech treat featuring the original slow cooker method.

Contestants dressed in old western regalia set up their camps and cook some very tasty dishes over hot coals, just like they did in the 1800s. Once the judging is over and the winners' prizes awarded, we'll all enjoy sampling the "vittles" they've prepared.

It's a weekend filled with creative talent, including artisans from the Ozarks and several other states offering outstanding handcrafted wares, with some of them demonstrating their crafts on site.

Throughout the day, performers will be showcasing live music, with special performances by some great entertainers. There will be street dancing in the evenings till 11 p.m., reminiscent of small town Americana, and culminating with brilliant fireworks on Saturday night!

Come meet us on the town square and sample the fun as this unique little community transforms itself into lively festival grounds. You'll discover warmth in our welcome that epitomizes down home southern hospitality in one of the most picturesque settings you could enjoy.

The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, and Arkansas Game & Fish Commission present several educational and fun programs. And for hunting enthusiasts, drawings for elk permits will be held each hour starting at noon on Saturday!

The Buffalo River Elk Festival is sponsored by the Jasper/Newton County Chamber of Commerce with assistance from the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission and the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.

Corporate sponsors are 1st National Bank, Pepsi Cola Bottling Company of Harrison, Ritter Communications, Carroll Electric Cooperative Corp., & Buffalo Canoe Manufacturing of Jasper.

For additional information, call (870) 446-2455.

Fishing Derby

Every child that enters the Fishing Derby at the 9th annual Buffalo River Elk Festival will have his or her name put into a drawing for a chance to win a Buffalo Canoe donated by Harold and Gary Gordon, owners and operators of Buffalo Canoe Manufacturing of Jasper.

Saturday's activities of this two-day event will kick off with a kids fishing derby, courtesy of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, Fisheries Division, who will put 500 pounds of fish into the Little Buffalo River at Bradley Park.

All children, ages 12 and under, may enter the derby and great prizes will be given away in each age division for the following categories: smallest fish, biggest fish, best stringer of fish, and first fish caught.

Registration is between 7a.m. and 9 a.m. on Saturday, June 24, at Bradley Park and at 9 a.m. sharp a horn will sound to start the derby. Prizes will be awarded at 12:30 p.m. at the Festival Stage on the Square in Jasper, followed by the drawing for the Grand Prize!! Who will be this year's winner? Maybe you!!

If you need more information about the fishing derby please contact Jamie Mefford at 870-446-2825 or Kirby Carlton at 870-446-2180.

And for general information about The Elk Festival or acquiring a booth, call (870) 446-2455 or 446-2693 or visit our website at www.theozarkmountains.com

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