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A big day in a little town

Plainview prepares for Frontier Day

By Caroline Zilk

This article was published September 23, 2010 at 6:00 a.m.

— The city of Plainview is preparing for its fourth annual Frontier Day, to be held Saturday. Organizers expect about 2,000 Yell County residents and Plainview alumni to attend the event, sponsored by the Plainview Beautification Committee.

“We are getting calls from all over the place,” organizer Pat Bailey said.

Bailey said the event began four years ago because the city was looking for a reason to get together to celebrate its centennial.

“In a small town, people are looking for something like this,” she said. “They need something like this.”

The festival is a family event with all kinds of activities for children and adults. Bailey said Frontier Day really has something for everyone. Almost 30 vendors will be on hand with everything from gyros to burgers and hot dogs.

Frontier Day has a western theme, and in the center of it all is a renovated “western town” in the middle of downtown Plainview.

“All of the stores in town were empty like in a lot of small towns, so last year we took the empty buildings and made a western town,” Bailey explained.

This year the Plainview Beautification Committee has worked hard to add features to the western town — like a school building and an old mercantile.

Also new to the festival this year will be donkey rides and more children’s games.

“My grandchildren can’t wait,” Bailey said.

The Arkansas Razorbacks football game will be broadcast because the event is taking place during the game against Alabama.

“Some lucky Razorback fan will have the chance to win two tickets to a Razorback game, plus a motel room and $50,” Bailey said.

Other new attractions this year will include a youth talent show, a penny-in-a-haystack competition, a 3-on-3 basketball tournament, painted turtle contests and more.

The first ever ugly-purse contest has already provided Bailey some amusement.

“I think I have the worst one, so I’ll be surprised if someone can beat me,” she said.

But the main event will be the parade.

“It’s about 45 minutes long, and every tractor in town will be there,” Bailey said. “You’re going to see everyone you know in the parade.”

More than just a day of fun, Bailey said, the festival has done wonders to improve the attitudes of Plainview residents and business people.

“When we lost the bank, everyone was worried about what was going to happen to the town,” Bailey said.

But now the town is doing a better job of promoting itself and capitalizing on the tourism surrounding Lake Nimrod, she said.

With events like Frontier Day, Bailey hopes even more attention will be drawn to the small Yell County community.

“Everyone always has such a good time, and we know we’re going to top it this year,” Bailey said.

For more information about Plainview Frontier Day, call Pat Bailey at (479) 272-4766.

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