The new Arkansas Welcome Center is now open in Helena on Biscoe Street near the Mississippi River Bridge. According to Pam Garofas, director of the center, the new facility features four exhibit spaces, six picnic areas and tourist information and rest facilities for travelers.
The exhibits feature local history and culture, ranging from Civil War history to displays of Delta-made crafts. Other exhibits include the history of music in the Delta and another features agricultural information. The outdoor picnic areas are covered and house tables and cooking grills. The lobby will house two televisions for tourist information; one will be tuned in to CNN news and the other will feature current weather information.
Although travelers will have use of restrooms 24 hours a day, the lobby will be staffed from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. during the fall and winter. From Memorial Day through Labor Day, the lobby hours will be 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Though the center is open now, the grand opening will be Nov. 19 at 11a.m. Governor Mike Beebe is expected to speak at the event.