Train Day set for May 17th in Downtown Hope

Contact: Sharon Caldwell or Malinda Brinkmeyer 870-777-4444

The second annual “Train Day” is set for downtown Hope on Saturday May 17th from 10am until 3pm. The event is being sponsored by the Arkansas Great Southwest Regional Tourism Association. The event celebrates Hope’s long association with trains from its founding in 1875 as a stop on the Cairo-Fulton Railroad line up to its modern association as an official AMTRAK stop. There are also two historic depots that have been restored in the downtown area. These include the oldest building in town, the historic 1873 Cairo-Fulton Depot which is the home of the Southwest Arkansas Arts Council and its successor, the 1911 Missouri Pacific Depot which now houses the Hope Visitor’s Information Center and Museum.

The highlight of the “Train Day” celebration is a “tailgating” competition sponsored by the Hope Civitan Club. $1,500 in cash prizes will be awarded to the top three winners including a $1,000 first prize. The second place team wins $300 and third place wins $200. There’s no fee for a team to enter but each team must prepare 30 hot dogs to be distributed to the public along with buns and condiments. The tailgating teams will be judged on a food entry of their choice to be presented to the judges on one plate that day at noon. There’s no limit on team members. There will be no water or electricity available to teams. Setup can start at 8am and tear down can begin at 2pm. Applications are available from any Civitan member or can be printed off at They must be returned to City Hall in Hope by 5pm Monday May 12th or can be mailed to Debbie Hall, 615 Eastridge, Hope, Arkansas 71801. They can be faxed to 870-722-2579. For info call 870-703-0752.

There will be a variety of activities in downtown Hope for Train Day. There will be an antique car show. The downtown merchants will have special events and sidewalk sales. The Hope and Washington Farmers Markets will have a special farmers market that day in the parking lot at Division and Walnut. There will be free kiddie train rides, a caricature artist, various kids’ activities, special train displays for the kids to decorate, and the Hope Junior Auxiliary members will offer face painting. There will also be a limited amount of vendors in the downtown area.

Train Day will feature plenty of musical entertainment. At 10 am the Hope High Jazz Cats will take the stage. The Hartley Family from Arkadelphia will perform their Bluegrass music at 11am. Local favorite Dave Almond will perform at noon and the Red Dirt Renegades will play at 1pm.

Make plans to attend Train Day May 17th from 10am until 3pm in downtown Hope!





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