Even before the day dawned enough to see clearly, city employees were on the site for the Pea Ridge Mule Jump Saturday, Oct. 9.
Vendors started arriving shortly after 6 a.m. and they found a well organized group showing them where to set up.
For months, Nathan See worked behind the scenes contacting potential vendors and sponsors. This year, there was still a bit of hesitation as it wasn't clear whether the regulations from the pandemic would allow the city to host the annual event. Last year's event was canceled.
Held every year since 1989 except 2020 and 2014 (canceled due to rain and flooding), the event draws thousands of people into town to enjoy the small-town atmosphere, friendliness and good will of the people of this Ozark community.
The population of Pea Ridge may be changing. There are many people who have moved here, choosing to make it their home, whereas a few decades ago, it was mostly natives and their descendants who comprised the city and surrounding area population. But, whether native born or new-comer, there seems to be a common denominator -- friendliness and good will.
There are complainers, we're human after all and there will always been people who are bent towards grumbling more than gratitude, but, there are also many good people -- people quick to wave, smile, offer a helping hand.
The annual event is a perfect illustration of an old adage of my great-grandmother's -- many hands make the work light. There were many hands involved in organizing, setting up, orchestrating, hosting and then cleaning up the event and each volunteer worker 'did Pea Ridge proud'!
Editor's note: Annette Beard is the managing editor of The Times of Northeast Benton County, chosen the best small weekly newspaper in Arkansas for five years. The opinions expressed are those of the author. She can be reached at [email protected]