Friday, July 07, 2017

EDITORIAL >> Historic event

The Jacksonville Historical District, a nonprofit group working to restore and promote the city’s old downtown near the railroad tracks at South First Street, will hold its first awards banquet at 6 p.m. Thursday, July 27 at the Jacksonville Community Center, 5 Municipal Drive.

Twenty residents who have worked hard for the Jacksonville community have been nominated for honors like realtor of the year, independent business of the year, volunteer of the year, veteran of the year and citizen of the year.

The Jacksonville Historical District, spearheaded by Alderman Barbara Mashburn and artist Roberta McGrath, is one the most ambitious urban-renewal projects the community has ever seen, second only to the formation of the new Jacksonville-North Pulaski School District. Both signify the dedication to improve Jacksonville by cherishing the past and the future.

With that in mind, tickets to the banquet are already on sale. They are $20 each and can be purchased by calling 501-765-0767 or sending checks to Jacksonville Historical District, P.O. Box 6507, Jacksonville, Ark. 72076.

Proceeds will help establish a Jacksonville history and train museum at 120 N. First St. that will feature an interactive miniature train area.

Renovations to the building, the former Jim’s Pawnshop, will include installing a new roof and restoring its interior.

The historic preservation group also plans to restore the original telegraph and freight building and build a replica of the train depot.

The banquet will include a silent auction, door prizes and the bluegrass band Highway 31 will perform.

Donations of gifts or services are being accepted for the silent auction from businesses and individuals.

The menu includes barbecue chicken, potato salad, baked beans, coleslaw, rolls and cobbler for dessert. Jacksonville Fire Chief Alan Laughy will be the master of ceremony and will present the awards. Mayor Gary Fletcher and Alderman James Bolden will speak. See you there!