The Arkansas Festival and Events Association has recognized Beatles at the Ridge as the 2017 Festival of the Year during the AFEA Conference and Trade Show. The conference was held Feb. 7-8 in El Dorado.
Walnut Ridge Mayor Charles Snapp, who serves as chair of the Beatles at the Ridge Festival committee, along with his wife, Jackie, who is also on the committee, Lawrence County Chamber Director Lesa Walter and Jon Walter, who serves as webmaster for the event, attended the conference.
They accepted the Festival of the Year honor, as well as first place festival T-shirt and second place website on behalf of the festival committee.
Lesa noted that the T-shirt was designed by Walnut Ridge’s own Carrie Mae Snapp and printed by Simply Stitched Designs of Walnut Ridge.
In addition, the festival’s website was designed and is maintained by Jon Walter with JW Technology in Walnut Ridge.
Beatles at the Ridge is a joint effort of the Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce, the city of Walnut Ridge and the Downtown Walnut Ridge organization.
Lorra Whitmire, member of the festival committee and Downtown Walnut Ridge, said she is excited to see the festival recognized.
“This event has grown and evolved over the years, and it continues to amaze us because of the impact it has, not only that weekend, but throughout the year,” Whitmire said.
Lesa said there were 40 entrants from all over Arkansas competing for the honors.
“We were competing against larger city festivals in the state,” she said. “We are very humbled, and proud to bring these awards home to our community.”
Snapp said he was blown away by this year’s honor as top festival in the state.
“It’s hard to believe a free event, paid for through donations and sponsorship and managed by an all-volunteer group, can compete with the grand-old festivals around Arkansas,” he said. “Truth be, this festival and this award are the perfect example of how people around the country and the world can ‘come together’ and utilize modern technology for a common, heartfelt purpose, all benefiting growth and revitalization in Walnut Ridge and Lawrence County.”