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2016-08-15

Information Packet 2015-01-14 COVERb

 

Our area has many notable attractions, from the restored art deco Greyhound Bus Station in downtown Blytheville to Sans Souci Park on the Mississippi River in Osceola, or the quaint Tudor-style square in Wilson to Big Lake National Wildlife Refuge in Manila. We have a rich collection of all sorts of interesting things that makes our area a very rich place to visit or make your home. Whether you are looking for things to do as a family, or are interested in war history, or are a music buff, or just enjoy the outdoors, Mississippi County has something for everyone.

The legendary Blues Highway 61 runs like a vein through our county, making music heritage the biggest influence of our area, second only to agriculture. The aforementioned Johnny Cash boyhood home is just one point of interest. Dyess is also home to Gene Williams, a major player in the Nashville scene. Wilson currently hosts a concert series, featuring a variety of musicians. Osceola has ties to a variety of blues musicians, including Albert King, Son Seals, and The annual Osceola Heritage MusicFest is a weekend of rock, blues, country, and folk on the courthouse lawn. Blytheville is the home of the oldest radio station west of the Mississippi River, which played some of the biggest musicians while they were still unknowns pushing for the chance for airtime. Blytheville also hosts an annual MayFest event with music and fun for the family.

We boast some of the best options for those that enjoy the great outdoors. Big Lake National Wildlife Refuge in Manila boasts natural beauty, fishing, and hunting. Just south of Osceola, Sans Souci Park is arguably the best Mississippi River outlook in Arkansas. It boasts an Arkansas Game and Fish Commission ramp for boat fishing access, several picnic pavilions to enjoy a picnic with near panoramic view of the Mighty Mississippi. In Blytheville, we have the relaxing Walker Park where you can enjoy a walk or feed the geese. Options for golf are also abundant in Mississippi County, with the Osceola Municipal Golf Course, Blytheville Country Club, Thunder Bayou, and Big Lake Country Club.

History buffs also have many things to pique their interest. Throughout the county, we have over 30 buildings and sites on the National Register of Historic Places, 36 Cotton Highway historical markers in the southern half of the county alone, plus numerous others with historical significance. We also have the Mississippi County Historic and Genealogical Society Museum in Osceola, Hampson Archaeological Museum & State Park in Wilson, and the Delta Gateway Museum in downtown Blytheville. Sans Souci Park mentioned above is also the site the Battle of Plum Run Bend, one of only two Civil War gunboat battles. Herman Davis Memorial State Park in Manila honors Private Herman Davis, a native who is considered one of the top heroes of World War I. Bassett was the site of a World War II POW camp, where Germans were housed and taught to work with agriculture. The gates to the camp still stand along Highway 61.

Families are more than welcome in Mississippi County. Both Blytheville and Osceola feature wonderful sports complexes with baseball fields that feature year round team sports. Manila is now the site of a public access water park. Playgrounds are a part of several parks, including Walker Park in Blytheville, Florida Park in Osceola, and Hampson State Park in Wilson. Blytheville also has a roller-skating rink and bowling alley for your enjoyment.

We have a great selection of dining and shopping opportunities throughout the county. For unique finds, check the shops of Downtown Blytheville, Downtown Osceola, or on the beautiful square in Wilson.

For the literary fan, Sans Souci also inspired Mark Twain's Life on the Mississippi. Or travel to the infamous That Bookstore in Blytheville to browse an eclectic collection of works. You might get lucky and meet the up and coming author, or sometimes famous writers such as John Grisham.

The next big trend in tourism is agritourism, and we have that too. You can be anywhere in our county and be within 10 minutes of a horizon of cotton fields and breathtaking sunsets that will rival anywhere in our country. Whitton Farms in Whitton offers informative visits to their organic farm, which supplies local residents and at least two restaurants with quality fresh produce. Adams Gin in Leachville is the world's largest cotton gin. Just a little beyond our county border is Tyronza, which is the site of the Southern Tenant Farmers Museum.

 

Recreation, Attractions and Events

Osceola Community Center
The $1.5 million Municipal Recreation Center features indoor basketball and racquetball courts, exercise room, indoor jogging track, a padded aerobics room and male and female locker rooms.

Osceola Parks and Recreation Baseball Complex
Osceola Parks & Recreation Department sponsors Summer & Fall Softball, Little League T-Ball & Jr. Babe Ruth Baseball, Youth Soccer, Youth Basketball, Youth Cheerleading, and Racquetball Tournaments.

Osceola Municipal Golf Course
The Osceola Municipal Golf Course is located at the Riverlawn Country Club. This is nine-hole course is beautiful and challenging, with trees, water, and recently renovated sand traps.

Downtown Osceola
Downtown Osceola is a National Trust Historic District that contains forty-one buildings on the National Register. Features the Main Street Osceola offices (check out the mural), several unique local shops and a restaurant.

Mississippi County Courthouse
On the National Register of Historic Places, the Osceola Courthouse was built in 1912 and retains its neoclassical architecture and solid copper dome. It is one of the most photogenic courthouses in Arkansas.

Mississippi County Historical and Genealogical Society Museum
Located @ 209 W Hale, Osceola, in the two Patterson buildings which have stood for over 100 years on Hale Avenue, across from the historic Mississippi County Courthouse.

Sans Souci Park (approximately 5 miles south of Osceola)
Sans Souci ("Without Worry") is arguably the best Mississippi River overlook in Arkansas. State Game and Fish Commission boat ramp for fishing access, covered picnic pavilions, and several markers highlighting Civil War gunboat battle, Mark Twain's inspiration for Life on the Mississippi, and more. On Hwy 198 just off of Hwy 61.

Florida Park
Located in the heart of Osceola, this city park features a wide variety of playground equipment, plenty of room for to run and play, and lots of shade.

Wilson, Arkansas (approximately 10-15 miles south of Osceola)
Beautiful square with unique shops and dining. Also features Hampson Archaeological Museum State Park with playground and picnic area.

Dyess Colony (approximately 15 miles southwest of Osceola)
A few miles southwest of Osceola, Dyess is the boyhood home of the internationally famous singer Johnny Cash. It was dedicated as the Dyess Colony by First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt. Restoration of both the Cash home and the Dyess Administration Building was recently completed. Drive by to see or plan a trip back for grand opening on August 16.

Bassett, Arkansas (approximately 15-20 miles south of Osceola)
Site of a World War II POW camp, where Germans were housed and taught to work in agricultural. The gates to the camp still stand along Highway 61.

Manila, Arkansas (approximately 25 miles west of Osceola)
Herman Davis Memorial State Park, Big Lake National Wildlife Refuge, and a small water park for family fun.

Adams Gin
The world's largest cotton gin, located in Leachville, Arkansas, northwest of Osceola a little past Manila.

Blytheville, Arkansas (approximately 20 miles north of Osceola)
Unique downtown area with boutique shops, a fully restored classic Greyhound Bus Station that houses their Main Street offices, and the beautifully restored Ritz Civic Center. Also, feed the birds at Walker Park.