While Crossett is undoubtedly the best lil’ hometown on earth, there are times we just need a change of scenery; a time to see and do the different. And with those getaways and road trips and all-out vacations comes an opportunity for us to spread the word about our hometown. Basically, I am saying, “Crossett...don’t leave home without it.”
On a recent mini-vacation to the Ozarks, I found myself mentioning Crossett to sales clerks, restaurant servers, other tourists and really just anyone I struck a conversation up with. I wore a shirt from Southern Spice on the first day and — of course — got compliments. With each compliment I made sure to mention Crossett’s boutiques and shopping. Restaurant servers can usually tell who the travelers are and will steer the conversation in the direction of “Where ya from?” Easy Crossett mention.
But I’d encourage you to go a step further by describing where you’re from as more than just the southeastern corner of Arkansas. You could say things like, “You know that little town with the big New Year’s Eve Ball Drop Block Party.” Or, “The birthplace of the Wiggins Cabin Festival.” Or, “That town where the weenie dogs run every October.”
By the way, the Second Annual Weenie Dog Races will be the last Saturday of October at our Crossett Farmers Market Crafters’ Fair. Get your weiner signed up by calling 870-500-0303.
Pretty soon you will be able to describe Crossett by its murals. The local artist team tasked with painting one on MaxBowl’s Main Street side wall has received its materials and should be starting this week. The mural team is Christy Simily and Kimberly Langstaff. Be sure to honk your approval as you drive by.
We can and should put Crossett on the mouths and minds of people who don’t live here simply by mentioning it. But we can do more. Neighbor Lynn Rodgers once told me the humorous story of how she became known as the “Toilet Paper Lady.” Any trip she took, whether work or play, she would leave a package of Crossett paper mill made toilet paper behind.
Lynn will tell you there is no telling how many packages she left all over the country with an explanation of why in the heck she was gifting with toilet paper, therefore making a name for Crossett in places that otherwise might never even hear of us. And if people don’t hear about us, how can they come visit us? And if people don’t come visit us, how can we generate the most revenue possible?
Sometimes, this world tells you that the answer to any need is complicated and therefore difficult to tackle and therefore useless to even try. As we try to grow Crossett, the chips might be seemingly falling against us making it easy to fall prey to this lie. We might feel overwhelmed by our underwhelming budget and cling to the idea that since we don’t have spending money we can’t move forward. Wrong. And, no, I am not about to talk grants.
It takes no extra money to talk about Crossett everywhere you go. It takes no major extra funds to leave products behind that tout our hometown. And before you complain about us not being a toilet paper town anymore, there are other ways to spread the word.
I am sure the local restaurants wouldn’t mind giving you a handful of to-go menus. Leave a bread crumb trail of them along your path. Crossett Parks and Recreation has Crossett stickers. Take some and stick them along your chosen road. Take a handful of Crossett shirts from one of the local shops and surprise strangers along your way.
Contact Eagle Booster Club president Brad Mcghee and nab some cool Eagle paraphernalia to leave in your wake. Mandy White at the Crossett Area Chamber of Commerce has Crossett maps and tourist tri-folds you can sprinkle around. Find ways to put Crossett in a spotlight in areas outside our borders.
Some items to mark on your calendar besides the Weenie Dog races:
4Crossett’s Pick Up Arkansas date is 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sept. 17 with a rain date of Sept. 24. This is an expansion of our weekly Litter Patrol with door prizes and free hotdogs. Crossett Parks and Recreation is partnering with the Crossett Area Chamber of Commerce and the state of Arkansas for this event.
4City Council meeting at 5:30 p.m. Sept. 21 at the Crossett Public Library.
4Pickin’ and Grinnin’ on Main, Sept. 26 at the Crossett Farmers Market Crafters Fair.
4The Dinner Under the Stars is being scheduled for October. Watch the Crossett Parks and Recreation Facebook page for exact date.
4Also in October, neighbor and veteran Bill Mayo will host the Crossett’s Veteran’s Parade, and Parks and Recreation will enter a “Very Patriotic Weiner” float full of dachsunds. Register your weenie dog today! This is a free event.
Come to any of these events. Heck, come to all of them and let’s be Crossett cool together!
In case you missed our phone number to call for more information on anything mentioned in this column, and even on things not mentioned in this column, it’s 870-500-0303.