Arkansas Tourism

Gov. Radio Address: Fishing Tourism Big Business

Aug 29, 2015
Office of the Governor


The following is a transcript of Gov. Asa Hutchinson's Radio Address for the weekend of Aug. 28, 2015:

Some folks say Arkansas is a football state, or a Razorback state. In Northeast Arkansas, they may say we’re a Red Wolves state. During the winter, we may be a basketball state.

But you know what Arkansas ALWAYS is? We are always an outdoors state. We are always a hunting and fishing state.

The historic Delta Queen riverboat is heading for New Orleans for repairs that some hope will make it seaworthy for the Arkansas and Mississippi Rivers again.

One significant hurdle remains for the vessel. A congressional exemption to the Safety of Life at Sea Act is necessary because the Delta Queen is a riverboat rather than an oceangoing vessel. A bill allowing the exemption stalled in the Senate last year.

Lee Powell, Executive Director of the Delta Caucus, is optimistic about congressional support this year.

Dogpatch USA

North Arkansas authorities say a fire has destroyed three buildings at a former theme park.

The Newton County sheriff's office received a report early Sunday about a fire at Dogpatch USA, a former attraction based on Al Capp's "Li'l Abner" comic strip. It closed in 1993.

Glenn Wheeler, fire chief of the Krooked Kreek Volunteer Fire Department, says one building already was destroyed and two others were engulfed in flames when firefighters arrived. Wheeler says a fourth building caught fire but had minimal damage. He says the cause of the fire is under investigation.

Dogpatch USA

It was once a big attraction in north Arkansas, but Dogpatch USA, a hillbilly theme park based on the Li'l Abner comic strip, closed in 1993.

Nearly two decades later, the property has now ended up in the hands of a 23-year-old who nearly died there. Pruett Nance and his family are considering what to do with the land, located between Jasper and Harrison.

In 2005, Nance was riding an ATV through the grounds when he was struck by a throat-high cable stretched between two trees.