Helena-West Helena will serve as host city for the 2010 Arkansas Preservation Conference April 15-17.

Helena-West Helena will serve as host city for the 2010 Arkansas Preservation Conference April 15-17. Sponsored by the Historic Preservation Alliance of Arkansas and the Arkansas Historic Preservation Program, Main Street Helena Director Paula Oliver says the 2 and 1/2-day event focuses on exploring the tools needed for successful historic preservation and continued use of historic and cultural resources.
“Helena-West Helena is privileged to host the upcoming Arkansas Preservation Conference,” said Oliver. “This statewide conference will bring approximately 150 people to our community, and will give us an opportunity to showcase some of our preservation successes.”
The Historic Preservation Alliance of Arkansas Web site calls Helena-West Helena a “once booming port town that has faced preservation challenges but has charted significant victories by capitalizing on the town’s Civil War history and Delta Blues culture.”
According to Oliver all of the events are going to be held in downtown Helena.
“This will provide our local merchants a unique opportunity to attract these visitors into their place of business,” she said.
There are plans to roll out the old Helena-West Helena hospitality.
“As you can imagine, we want to make a great impression,” Oliver continued. “We want everyone in the community to know about the conference and make our visitors feel welcome.”
As Main Street director Oliver is encouraging all downtown merchants to put their best foot forward. There are plans to put together a “goodie” bag for all of the conference registrants.
For example Oliver said, “…Put a coupon or other incentive to visit your business in the bag.”  Those should be submitted to the Delta Cultural Center by April 9.
Oliver is also encouraging businesses to put out welcoming message in front of their stores or in the store windows. April 14-17. She suggested something like, “Welcome Preservation Conference.”
In the meantime Oliver is encouraging everyone to “fix up and spruce up! Company’s coming.
For additional information on how to get involved contact Oliver at 338-9144.