Mark your calendars and celebrate Batesville’s bicentennial year with Old Independence Regional Museum at its annual Spring Family Day on Saturday, May 1, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The family-friendly event is free and open to the public. Families are invited to participate in a variety of activities, crafts, and demonstrations.

“After a year of dormancy, the staff is excited to welcome families back to the museum for Spring Family Day,” Terri Crawford, the museum’s humanities educator, said in a release. “We are especially pleased to be celebrating 200 years of Batesville history.”

Visitors will enjoy watching a variety of demonstrations and trying their hand at some old-fashioned crafts and games.

Jessica Hogue, owner of a local Shetland sheep farm, Hackberry Farm, will demonstrate how to make yarn from sheep’s wool. Through the various stages of processing, Hogue will discuss how a raw fleece becomes beautifully colored yarn which can be used to create clothing.

Volunteers Amy and Clint Howard will be cooking cornmeal mush over an open fire. While this may not sound like a favorite menu item today, it was a staple meal that served the pioneers well. Samples will be available to taste.

Wanda Mayhall, a master crafter who designs her own creations, will be crocheting inventive yarn dolls. These unique dolls are intricately detailed and demonstrate how a skill can also be art.
Local volunteers Vicky and Ricky Middleton will be returning with their popular manual hay press that is used to condense loose hay into small bales.

Visitors may move through various other stations, including planting seeds, crafting historic toys, and playing old-fashioned games.

The museum and its exhibits will be open to the public free of charge during the Spring Family Day event. The gift shop will be open as well, with proceeds benefiting the general operations.
Masks are required inside the building.

For more information, call (870) 793-2121 or email Information can also be found at or on Facebook and Instagram.

The museum is open Tuesday-Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $5 for adults and researchers; $3 for seniors, military and students; $2 for children 6-12; and free for children 5 and under.
The museum is located at 380 South 9th St., between Boswell and Vine Streets in Batesville.

Old Independence serves a 12-county area: Baxter, Cleburne, Fulton, Independence, Izard, Jackson, Marion, Poinsett, Sharp, Stone, White, and Woodruff. Parts of these present-day counties comprised the original Independence County in 1820s Arkansas territory.

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