When Barbara Harmony viewed the YouTube video of the Tissington, England Well Dressing last August, she felt inspired to do something similar for our beloved springs.
The Springs Committee, which has operated quietly as a committee of the Parks and Recreation Commission for eight years and was brought into existence through the vision of Marty and Elise Roenigk, decided to coordinate such an event.
What started as a three-hour processional from Crescent to Harding to Sweet and on to Basin has morphed into a weekend filled with activities for all ages.
Celebrate the Springs! begins on Friday, June 8 with a reception at Keels Creek Winery that includes a book signing by June Westphal and Kate Cooper, catering by Jane Tucker, harp by Beth Stockdell, and selected wines from Keels Creek. Advance tickets are $20 and can be purchased from Keels Creek, Parks office, or Granny's.
All other activities for the weekend are free. Saturday morning, June 9, begins with a processional led by Vicar Ben Helmer of St. James Episcopal. In addition, First Presbyterian and First United Methodist will participate. Other churches are expected to join.
Everyone is invited to follow the 9 a.m. processional which begins at Crescent Spring and ends at Basin Park. Basin Park serves as event central for the remainder of the day.
Saturday activities at Basin, beginning at 10 a.m., include creating shrines with Ralph (Mr. Shrine) Wilson, educational offerings from Springs Committee, Ozarks Water Watch, Kings River Watershed, Northwest Arkansas Land Trust, and Illinois River Watershed, and Caching the Springs with Lorri Carter and the Geocache Ambassadors.
Carry Nation, aka Michelle McDonald, also will be at Basin Park.
Other Saturday morning activities include Springs Tales with Jake Allen at Upper Basin; Harpist Beth Stockdell at Sweet; Chat with Gardener DonE Allen and the Preservation Society at Harding; and Plein Air Painting with Julie Kahn Valentine at Harding.
John Two-Hawks performs Mni Wakan-Sacred Water at 2 p.m. Saturday at Basin Spring. At 6 p.m., Angelo will lead a drum circle, and the Second Saturday Gallery Stroll will have a springs' theme.
Sunday morning begins with a Meet and Greet (place to be determined) for Caching the Springs at 9 a.m. This is a great opportunity for both seasoned geocachers as well as those with no experience. Another Sunday highlight will be Walking the Springs, at 10 a.m., with photographer/naturalist Chris Fischer and geologist Jim Helwig. You can register for the walk in advance at email@example.com
Both activities begin at Basin Park.
The Eureka Springs Historical Museum will feature early springs photos all three event days and the video of Blue Spring Heritage Center can be viewed at 48 Spring Street.
The three-day Celebrate the Springs! event is possible due to the generosity of the CAPC, Ozarks Water Watch and the Eureka Springs Preservation Society.
The springs are the foundation of our charming town. Water is a precious resource. Come celebrate our heritage.