Annual Activities & Festivals
Steamboat Days is an annual festival in June that provides entertainment and activities for all ages including a carnival, singing competitions, concerts, several cook-offs, fireworks, a pageant, a 5K Run/Walk, and many others. Find out more details on Steamboat Days at www.SteamboatDays.net.
Fall Festival is a yearly event in late October or early November. The Des Arc Chamber of Commerce started the festival in 2012 and plans on continuing every year.
The festival provides games and other activities for kids at no charge. Businesses and churches sponsor and host the activities. For the 2013 festival, the Chamber is planning some exciting additions to the event such as a 5k walk and a “Mr. Fall Festival” pageant.
Miss Merry Christmas, an annual Christmas pageant, is held in late November each year. Entry is open to girls from birth to age 21. There is also a photogenic contest open to boys and girls. Winners are awarded with crowns and/or sashes and have their pictures taken for the Chamber.
A Christmas Parade is usually held on the first Saturday in December unless the weather is uncooperative. Winners of all contests are encouraged to participate in the Christmas parade. The Chamber encourages businesses in town to hold open houses on the Saturday of the Christmas Parade. Each participating business gives out tickets to individuals who spend a designated amount of money in their particular business. At this time, a ticket is drawn from those given to individuals who shopped at a business participating in the Chamber Open House event, and a prize is given that individual.
The Parade, led by Santa Claus, includes horseback riders, pageant winners, city police, fire fighters, EMT personnel, and floats provided by local businesses, churches and other organizations. Floats are judged and winners are awarded prizes for their efforts. Winning is based on how closely a float reflects the chosen theme for the year. After the Parade, citizens gather at the courthouse and bring their children to see Santa Claus. At this time, a ticket is drawn from those given to individuals who shopped at a business participating in the Chamber Open House event and a prize is given that individual.
Chamber Awards Banquet
The Chamber hosts a yearly banquet to honor individuals who make a difference in the Des Arc community. This event takes place in March at the Des Arc Elementary School. Awards are given for the Educator, Business, Citizen, Volunteer Firefighter, and Public Servant of the Year. An individual is invited to speak at this event each year. Then awards are presented by Chamber members.
Des Arc has two parks at the end of Main Street overlooking the White River. Both have covered pavilions for outdoor picnics. One park provides a playground with equipment for children and the other provides a concrete boat access to the White River. Des Arc also has a walking trail. The trail (trailhead) is located directly behind the Prairie County Courthouse where it goes by the White River where old steamboats docked at one time. The trail goes to the Des Arc High School. It is a 10 foot wide paved trail with park benches along the way and is lighted with old antique lamps. It is approximately 1/2 mile out and back in length.
The Lower White River Museum State Park (LWRM) contains information,photographs, and exhibits that explain and interpret the history of settlements on the banks and surrounding areas of the lower White River where Des Arc is located. Early commerce in the region is explained including hunting, fishing, and shelling, and how it evolved into timber and agriculture. The museum also includes a research room where visitors may search through materials such as cemetery records and old newspapers and research their family history and genealogy. Park staff provides special events and workshops throughout the year. The Prairie County Log Cabin Museum, owned by Prairie County, is located next door to the Lower White River Museum State Park. The museum includes a dogtrot log cabin, a wash house, a potato house or smoke house, and an outhouse. The log cabin is a replica of a late 1800’s dogtrot cabin with a wood shingles roof. It consists of two rooms with the kitchen and wood cook stove in one room and the living and sleeping quarters with a wood burning fireplace in the other. The two rooms are separated by an open breezeway called the dogtrot. The log cabin is furnished to show a family’s way of life during early settlement days. All buildings in the Log Cabin Museum may be toured with assistance from the museum staff.
Both museums are located at 2009 Main St. in Des Arc. For more information, contact them at (870) 256-3711. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Other points of interest include the Prairie County Court House, the library (formerly the Presbyterian Church), and a few historic buildings that can be viewed from the outside.
The Des Arc Parks and Recreation Board regulates and oversees many activities for youth in the area. Leagues featuring baseball, softball, football and basketball are available for the enjoyment of all ages.
Great hunting opportunities abound In the Des Arc/White River area. White River Game Management area, Cache River Refuge, Black Swamp, and Wattensaw Game Management Area are only minutes from downtown Des Arc. Game such as deer, rabbit, raccoon, squirrel, duck, and geese abound in these areas.
Lake Des Arc, White River, Cache River, and Bayou Des Arc provide ample opportunities for the fishing enthusiast. The River Front Park, located at the end of Main Street in Des Arc, provides a public boat ramp to provide access to the White River. Park amenities also include a playground, picnic spaces, pavilion, and a paved walking trail.
The 9-Hole golf course at the Grand Prairie Country Club (located at 682 Country Club Rd, Hazen) offers nearby golf 14 miles south of Des Arc. For more information or to book a t-time, call (870) 255-3043.
3001. Highway 11 North Hazen, AR 72064 Phone: 870-255-4914 Fax: 870-255-4771 Email: AGSubway@direcway.com
T. Ricks is located off Interstate 40 at Exit 193 in Hazen, approximately 13 miles south of Des Arc, 40 miles east of Little Rock and 90 miles west of Memphis. T. Ricks offers 26 pull-through Recreational Vehicle sites, each with 20-Amp and 50-AmpService. Full water and dump service is available. Campsite reservations are not required, but suggested. Reservations and inquiries are directed to the listed phone or fax number, or E-mail. If it is food you want, T.Ricks Citgo, adjacent to the camping site, is a 24-hour convenience store featuring Subway and TCBY. Lake Des Arc Lake Des Arc, located 5 miles north of Des Arc on Highway 11, is a 953-acre wildlife management area owned and operated by the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission. For information on camp sites, contact Barbara Dry at 501-281-1337.
Lake Des Arc offers primitive campsites, as well as those with electrical hookups, on Des Arc Lake, a 320-acre public fishing lake. Opportunities include hunting, fishing, and bird watching. For more information, one may call 1-877-734-4581, or visit the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission website at www.agfc.com. Maps are available online. Wattensaw Wildlife Management Area (WMA) Wattensaw WMA is owned and operated by the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission and is located in Prairie County, Arkansas. Wattensaw WMA is located approximately 11 miles south of Des Arc, 40 miles east of Little Rock, 93 miles west of Memphis, and 26 miles north of Stuttgart.
Wattensaw features 38 primitive camping sites with plenty of hunting and fishing opportunities, there are three retriever trial areas, 28 target archery ranges, and a concrete launch ramp.
For more information, one may call 1-877-734-4581 or visit the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission website at www.agfc.com.
There are 2 motels located approximately 13 miles south of Des Arc on Hwy 11 and Interstate 40.
1552 Mammoth Drive Hazen, AR 72064 870-255-3563 Email: TravelInnHazen@gmail.com