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Outdoor Show, Oh WATA Night and Antique Valentines fill January calendar

The Fort Smith Region kicks off the new year with a polar bear walk, an outdoor show, antique valentines, and a "Night at the Copacabana."

Polar Bear Walk
Brave the winter weather and walk for a good cause. The Girls Shelter in Fort Smith will host its annual Polar Bear Walk on Jan. 11 at Creekmore Park. Walkers young and old are invited out to Creekmore to take part in the event. The walk will begin at 10 a.m.

Cost for adults is $15, and $10 for youth ages 12 and under. Registration will be available onsite the morning of the event with all registered walkers receiving a goody bag.

Proceeds from the walk benefit The Girls Shelter, which serves as a one-year residential facility for females ages 12-18 who have been court ordered from their homes. The shelter's goal is "to provide a safe, structured homelike atmosphere while encouraging behavior modification," with the hope of reintegrating clients back with their families.

For more information, call 479-646-0444.

RAM Debuts Valentine Exhibit
The Fort Smith Regional Art Museum (RAM) will host an opening reception for its upcoming exhibit, "Valentine's-The Art of Romance," on Jan. 16 from 6-8 p.m.

The exhibition will feature approximately 100 Valentine's day greeting cards, postcards, and other art from the United States and Europe from the early 1900s. The exhibit will showcase the evolution of Valentine's cards and customs through the decades , and will include handmade cards, embossed designs, lace paper notes, and other unique creations.

The reception is free and open to the public. "Valentine's-The Art of Romance" will remain on exhibit through April.

Arkansas Tackle, Hunting and Boat Show
Outdoor lovers will be in wildlife heaven as the Fort Smith Convention Center hosts the 2014 Arkansas Tackle, Hunting and Boat Show Jan. 17-19.

The show will feature products new to the market, as well as special demonstrations and exhibits. Fishing, hunting and other experts will be on-hand giving seminars and answering questions. Boats, ATVS, hunting equipment, firearms, tackle, fishing gear, apparel and other items will also be on display and up for sale.

There will be something fun for all families as guests are invited to enjoy the "Fetch and Fish Dog Jumping Show," kids fishing pond, duck calling contest, and archery area. A red balloon giveaway will be held on Friday evening beginning at 6 p.m. The first 500 children will go on a scavenger hunt for red balloons to win prizes and products from participating vendors.

Headlining this year's show will be fishing legend Jimmy Houston. Houston will give a seminar on Sunday beginning at 11 a.m., followed by a meet-and-greet from 12-2 p.m.
Doors will open at noon on Friday and will be open until 9 p.m.. Saturday's hours will be 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

General admission is $10 for adults, $5 for kids age 6-12, and free for children 6 and under. Admission will be half-price on Friday from noon until 5 p.m.

Oh WATA Night

The Western Arkansas Tennis Association will take guests out for a trip to the Copacabana with its annual "Oh WATA Night" on Jan. 18.

This year's event will be held at Immaculate Conception Parish Hall in Fort Smith from 6:30-11:30 p.m. The evening will feature food, beverages, live and silent auctions, music, and dancing. Entertainment will be provided by Larry B & the Cradle Rockers.

Tickets are $45 in advance or $50 at the door. Tables of 10 can be reserved for $400.
All proceeds from the event benefit the Western Arkansas Tennis Association, which promotes local tennis in conjunction with the Arkansas, Southern, and U.S. Tennis Associations.

To purchase tickets or for more information, call 479-782-5333.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Festivities
The University of Arkansas at Fort Smith will commemorate Martin Luther King, Jr. Day with a full slate of activities and celebrations on Jan. 20.

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The morning will kick-off with a community breakfast in the Smith-Pendergraft Center beginning at 7:30 a.m. The breakfast is free and open to the public. It will be followed by educational sessions by UAFS faculty and representatives from the MLK Community Association.

At 9:45 a.m., visitors will take part in a symbolic march, in honor of the freedom marches of the 1960s. Participants will walk from the Campus Center to the Reynolds Towers to the tune, "We Shall Overcome," where a brief ceremony will be held.

The breakfast and ceremony are part of a more than week-long Martin Luther King, Jr. celebration, sponsored by UAFS and the MLK Community Association.

For more information, visit the event schedule or call 479-788-7006.

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