22nd SouthArk Outdoor Expo coming to El Dorado September 11

The 22nd SouthArk Outdoor Expo presented by Clean Harbors, a fundraising effort of the South Arkansas Community College Foundation, will feature a full day of exhibits, live music, outdoor-themed vendors, children’s activities and arts and crafts.

A commemoration of the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, also will be held in connection with the event.

The expo will be held inside and around the grounds at the El Dorado Conference Center. While there is no charge for admission, guests are asked to bring one canned or packaged food item, which will be donated to a local food bank by event organizers.

“The Outdoor Expo is an event that benefits our college students and college programs,” foundation executive director Cynthia Reyna said. “Our foundation board of directors decided years ago to waive an entry fee and to provide all activities at no cost. We know that this allows many more families and their children to enjoy a healthy and fun family-oriented day.”

The day will begin with the Delek US Hero 5K Run-Walk at 7:30 a.m. Other contests associated with the expo are the Withrow Family Rib Cookoff and The Systems Group Student Art Contest. Contest winners will be awarded cash prizes, including a total of $5,000 top overall prize for the cookoff. A non-competitive, free-to-enter car show also will be held.

Activities include a BB gun shooting range, archery, lawn games, a balloon toss and Timberlane Meat Market and T-Model’s Pit Stop KidsWorld. Exhibits include chainsaw carving, a magic show, Smokey the Bear and a live baby alligator. Vendors will be selling duck calls, sportswear, riding lawn mowers, fishing equipment, and other products.

“Our board of directors is dedicated to providing a fun and full day of hands-on activities for outdoor enthusiasts and their families,” SouthArk Foundation Board President Greg Withrow said. “This event is the foundation’s flagship fundraiser, having raised close to $800,000 over our 22-year history. In addition to our title sponsor Clean Harbors and contest sponsors, we are also grateful to our other major sponsors Lanxess, Standard Lithium, Murphy USA, Medical Center of South Arkansas, First Financial Bank, Glenn Mechanical, Reeds Metals and the El Dorado A&P Commission, as well as many other sponsors supporting this event. We know that these companies have a passion for and understand the importance of supporting education in our community.”

Musical acts are Jason D. Williams, the Aces Wild Band and the Randall Lawson Band.

A selection of food trucks will sell barbecue, fried fish, chicken wings, hamburgers, hot dogs, shaved ice, kettle corn, vegan options and more.

“South Arkansas Community College and the SouthArk Foundation are so pleased to be able to bring back the SouthArk Outdoor Expo,” SouthArk president Dr. Bentley Wallace said. “We appreciate all of our sponsors so much, including our title sponsor, Clean Harbors. This event includes fun for the whole family, and helps support student success at SouthArk. Come join us for all the fun.”

More information about the SouthArk Outdoor Expo, including how to enter the various contests, can be found at www.southarkexpo.com.

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