Tag Archives: Found in Arkansas

Showing That Irish Pride Every March


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March is a month that I’ve always looked forward to every year. Parades, eating pot roast and potatoes, and donning the color green. I can remember one year, when I was in first or second grade, that I had gotten pinched for wearing too much green. I was covered in green from my shoes, socks, pants, and my tee. I never understood why a person would pinch someone for not wearing green or for wearing too much of it, but it was something that I can remember doing every year, supporting my Irish heritage.

It’s something I still do today, attend the local St. Pat’s parade, eat beef and potatoes, and wear as much green as I want without worrying about getting pinched.

Celebrating St. Patrick’s Day originated in America by the Irish who immigrated to the States over two centuries ago. It became a tradition in celebrating their culture, heritage, music, and of course their patron saint, Patrick every March, that it took off with popularity, continuing on with their descendants and is now celebrated in every major city in the US and almost every city in Ireland, bringing in attendees from every cultural background, including Irish.

According to Ireland of the Welcomes magazine, “the first St. Patrick’s Day parade every record, was in 1737 in Boston, Massachusetts, hosted by the Irish Society of Boston.”

“Almost 25 percent of the population in Massachusetts is Irish, making it the most Irish state in the US. Boston is often called the capital of Irish America because of the thriving Irish community that dates back to colonial times.”

Here in Little Rock the Irish Cultural Society of Arkansas hosts a parade every year on the Saturday before St. Patrick’s Day. It’s a mile long and seems to grow in attendance every year. This year marks their 16th annual parade and will be this Saturday, March 14th at 1PM. The parade will start in front of Dugan’s Pub at Third and Rock, then will travel east on Third, the North on Sherman, towards President Clinton Ave, running in front of the river market, making a right turn on Main St, crossing over the river bridge, ending at Sixth and Main.

I find that the best areas for viewing is right in front of the river market on President Clinton Ave. Though if you have kiddos with sensitive hearing like my daughter, bring ear protection as the several motorcycles, handful of fire engines, and that one guy with the train, can create such a loud echoing noise in between those big city buildings, startling those wee ones.

Please click here for more information on the parade, as the Irish Cultural Society usually host an organization benefit. Last year, they collected canned food for the Rice Depot…There was a sponsored truck in the parade procession collecting canned food from the attendees, I proudly donated a few cans to them as they passed us.

Oh, if you decide to attend, and I hope you do, don’t forget to bring a bag so that the kiddos can collect candy and beads thrown to them from the parade procession.

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Quartz Crystal Mining


My youngest sister came up from Georgia this past May for a short visit. While she was here it was her birthday and she wanted to go dig for quartz crystals. Here in Arkansas there are many places to dig and keep as many crystals as you can load into your car.
I’ve seen a few guys trying to carry a huge boulder size quartz rock to their car. Though with each tiring effort, they managed to put it into their car.

I also noticed a lady, standing near her car with about ten quartz rocks the size of bowling balls, as well as a few buckets full of dirt and rocks. Like I said, if you can manage digging for them and getting them into your car, it’s yours to keep, but for a small fee, which is the admission price for the entire day.
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Some places I’ve found charge $10 or more. One place charges $20. I was lucky to have found one that charged $8, the only problem was the road getting to the place was badly washed out and in some areas the road was sharply inclined that if I were to let off the gas, my car would roll backwards or I wouldn’t be able to continue the climb without backing all the way down the hill and giving it another charging start back up.
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 Once we got up the hill and to the actual digging site, I paid for our admission, found a parking spot, then got our tools and buckets out, and headed towards the digging area, which is a huge red hill of lovely clay mud, mostly dried clay rock. I didn’t care to look for the biggest quartz rock, however, I had set out to find the shiny points to which I planned to use for necklace pendants.
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After twenty minutes of digging, my sister was bored and hot and decided to go sit in the car. Meanwhile, I continued to dig and scavenge as much as I could. I found quite a lot of clear rocks, some small and some half the size of my hand. I was enjoying myself. It’s the archaeologist in me I think. I did get somewhat cover in the red clay, mostly on my shoes, but that wasn’t what bothered me. What bothered me was the eight-legged residents. I made sure not to bother them as much as I could.
I had enjoyed myself so much, that a few weeks later I made another trip back to the same crystal mine and had found more of what I was looking for on that trip than I did on the previous trip.
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If you are interested in purchasing a small clear crystal rock or pendant, I have them listed on my Etsy page.
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Little Rock’s Turkish Food Festival


Yesterday, my daughter and I ventured out to Little Rock where they were having a Turkish Food Festival at the Raindrop Turkish House. They had bouncy houses for the kids, cultural music and dance, arts and crafts booths, henna tattooing, and plenty of food booths with all types of Turkish food and deserts.

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I stopped at one table, where a guy was writing peoples names in Turkish style calligraphy on a large piece of colorful paper. I had him write my daughter’s name for me of course. We moved on to another booth, where a guy was painting colorful pictures on a giant plate. I couldn’t help but stare as he dabbed his pen every so carefully on the plate. I was mesmerized by the beautiful artwork he was doing, as well as the other pieces of artwork they laid around him, on top of his table.

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We ventured to the desert booth and I had my daughter pick out something, then walked outside to see what else we could find to fill out plates. We watched a small group of young women, dressed in beautiful cultural costumes, dance to some cultural music, then listened to a Mariachi band play.

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Machine Show – Blogging From A to Z Challenge


During the Spring, Summer, and Autumn months, my daughter and I usually take a drive on the weekends, ending up at some destination where a civil war re-enactment, historical event, or any type of festival that is occurring. This past weekend, we ended up in Sheridan, Arkansas, stumbling upon their 22nd Annual Antique Machine and Tractor Show. I decided to drive a few miles down the road to pick up my nephew and have him join us.

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My daughter was in awe of the many tractors lined up around the courthouse square. Then she saw a train, set up with a passenger car and caboose and immediately wanted to get on it. It was a very windy day, so they weren’t able to set up the inflatables, but they did have a few other activities set up for children. I let the kids play for a little while, then we walked around the square, looking at all the tractors and machines and as well as a few antique cars. They had a few booths set up with knick knacks, crafts, jewelry, clothes, shoes, and home made baked goodies.

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We followed our tractor tour with a trip to a few antique shops adjacent from the courthouse square. It didn’t take too long for the kids to become bored and for me to notice just how warm it was outside. We headed back to my sister’s house where we grilled hamburgers and hot dogs.

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Digging for Diamonds


There is a small town in the Southwestern corner of Arkansas, called Murfreesboro where you can dig for diamonds, for a small price, and keep what you find. It’s the 8th largest diamond mine in the world, but it’s the only diamond mine open to the public. Crater of Diamonds became a State Park in the mid 1970’s. Since then people have been finding diamonds of many sizes; at least two diamonds a day can be found.

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This Spring Break, I took a few friends to hunt for diamonds. It was their first time and my second time. Though we found many color rocks, such as Jasper, quartz, and calcite, but no diamonds. The park has a desk, made specific to help you go through your finds and tell you what each rock is and if you have found a diamond or not. They also have a museum to help you distinguish what the diamonds look like there at the Crater of Diamonds State Park.

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The digging areas are marked where all of the diamonds have been found, and a bulletin board showing how many diamonds were found on what day and how big the were; this bulletin board is updated daily. You can rent sifting screens, shovels, and buckets or you can bring your own. They have water tubs,that make sifting through some of the tougher clay, much easier. It also helps the shiny rocks become more noticeable.

Even though the only shiny rocks I found were quartz crystal and calcite, I still enjoyed myself and didn’t mind get dirty. I’m hoping to make another trip in May with my youngest sister when she comes up from Georgia to visit.

Note: Even though they say they plow the 37 1/2 acres weekly or daily, the best time to go digging for diamonds is right after it rains. This allows some of the sediments to wash away and help the diamonds become more noticeable. The best clothes to wear for digging diamonds are, a pair of boots (trust me on this one) and a pair of jeans and a tee that you don’t mind getting dirty. You can bring a sack lunch, umbrella, and a lawn chair out on the field with you and they are pet friendly (I’ve seen many dogs out there having a great time).

For more information about the park, prices, location, etc. visit their website.