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Statewide Culture 0

A Decade of OnlyInArk.com


We began OnlyInArk.com 10 years ago to share Arkansas’s best stories with our customers, neighbors and fans on social media. The original site began with these words:

There’s a lot to celebrate in Arkansas. It’s unique. Southern. Delightfully eccentric. That’s why we love every nook, cranny, cave and corner. In fact, some of our favorite things can’t be found anywhere else. They’re only in Arkansas. So we love them even more. The attractions we visit, the food we crave, the festivals we attend, the mountains we hike, the rivers we float, the stories we tell and the company we keep – it all adds up to one incredible state. And that familiar, meandering silhouette? Looks like home to us.”

After publishing over 3,400 stories, I have learned more about Arkansas than I ever thought possible. In fact, some would say I know TOO much about Arkansas, as I regularly throw out facts I have learned in just about every conversation.

Wilson Arkansas

My Dad and husband on one of our Arkansas adventures to Wilson last summer.

Publishing the site has only strengthened my curiosity about our home state. My family and I have visited many places over the last decade, from the Louisiana Purchase State Park to the amazing small Delta town of Wilson and our favorites, Mammoth Spring and Hardy.

We have covered many interesting Arkansas events over the last 10 years. I loved learning about the Emerson Purple Hull Pea Festival, Toad Suck Daze, the Bradley County Pink Tomato Festival, the Hope Watermelon Festival and Bean Fest in Mountain View, to name a few. Then in 2015, writer Adria English wrote a story about chocolate gravy. I had no idea at the time that everyone didn’t have fond memories of chocolate gravy from childhood and that it is special to Arkansas. This got me thinking about my own community of Searcy and inspired me to start the World Championship Chocolate Gravy Cookoff here. In fact, the third annual cookoff is coming up May 4. Find tickets here!

Another way OnlyInArk.com has influenced my life is through the friendships I have built with our writers and editor, Stephanie Buckley. You will hear from a few of them this week when they write about the impact of 10 years of the site on their lives. We have watched families grow up on the site, like Amanda Farris‘ family and their adventures at the county fair, the strawberry patch, a Christmas cookie party and camping at Fifty-Six. And we have seen George Kohl (son of writer Julie) grow from a baby to a big 7 (and a half!) year old. I believe he made his site debut here.

Here’s a roundup of some of my other favorites over the last decade. It’s hard to pick favorites, but the following stories have stayed with me for a long time and piqued my curiosity the most.

Ozark Giraffe House Searcy, Arkansas

Arkansas Architecture

Ozark Giraffe Houses
Sears Catalog House in Searcy
E. Fay Jones Chapels Hiding in Arkansas


Roosevelts in Arkansas 
Arkansas and the St. Louis Cardinals
CCC in Arkansas
Monte Ne
For the Love of a Pay Phone Booth
Arkansas Mastodons
Carnegie Libraries

Just Plain Fun

Unique Arkansas Sculptures
Roadside Attractions
Hallmark Movie-Worthy Arkansas Scenes
The Legend of Snipe Hunting
Bruno the Bear’s Summer Tour
My First Float Trip
Arkansas Bear Survey

Tear Jerkers

Paws in Prison
Shiloh: A Flood of Memories under the Water
Cultivating a Year-Round Spirit of Gratitude in Kids


Bulldog Restaurant’s Famous Strawberry Shortcake
Sweet Freedom Cheese
10 Great Strawberry Desserts in Arkansas
Grumpy Rabbit in Lonoke
Chocolate Gravy
And all the recipes from “What’s Cookin’ at First Security

Most-Read Stories of the last decade

  1. 8 Unique Getaways in Arkansas
  2. Digging Crystals
  3. Top 8 Flea Markets in NWA
  4. Coolest Arkansas Airbnbs
  5. 15 Unforgettable Date Night Ideas in NWA
  6. Arkansas Signal Trees
  7. Alligators in Arkansas
  8. Arkansas Trees
  9. Weekend in Jasper
  10. The Unknown Baby Girl

We hope you have enjoyed reading the site over the last decade and continue to enjoy it for years to come! If you have a story idea you would like to see here, please let us know by emailing onlyinark@fsbank.com or by reaching out on social media.

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And, as always, follow us on social media here:
Only In Arkansas Facebook Group

Meet the

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A little about .

Kristi was raised in the Natural State and has lived most of her life in Searcy. She enjoys traveling, reading, drinking girly coffee, taking sewing classes at Make.Do. and volunteering for Main Street Searcy. Otherwise, she is managing OnlyInArk.com and marketing at First Security Bank.

Read more stories by Kristi Thurmon


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