Fort Smith Area to host July 4th festivities, Clayton Camp and more

event preview by Brittany Ransom
bransom@thecitywire.com

July starts off with a bang, as the Fort Smith region hosts a nature-themed art opening, Mayor's 4th of July Celebration, Clayton Camp, and a youth golf tournament. Sometimes the only way to beat the heat is to keep moving.

Center for Art and Education July Reception
The Center for Art and Education in Van Buren will debut its July exhibit with an opening reception on July 1. Focusing on "Nature and the Nature of Things," the exhibition will feature the works of four artists, including Jimmy Leach, Jason Davis, Carole Doshier, and Jo Anne Doshier.

Showing in the Main Gallery will be Leach and his “The Nature of Change” collection, comprised of beautiful outdoor scenes and landscapes. Davis will present “Stone: The Struggle of Expression," which will include several carvings and sculptures.

The Studio Gallery will showcase the work of Carole and Jo Anne Doshier, and will include unique watercolor, acrylic and graphite works by the artists. Several of the artists will be on-hand at the reception  to answer questions about their works and chat with visitors.

The reception will be held from 5 to 7 p.m., with light refreshments served. The event is free and open to the public. "Nature and the Nature of Things" will remain on display through July 25. For more information, call 474-7767.

Mayor's July 4th Celebration
The City of Fort Smith will celebrate the nation's birthday with its annual Mayor's July 4th Celebration at Harry E. Kelley Park. The evening will feature the area's largest fireworks display, as well as live music, food and other fun.

Festivities will kick off at 6:30 p.m. Entertainment will begin at 7 p.m. with local artists Blue Fiddle, The Community Band, and Mr. Cabbage Head and the Screaming Radishes performing. Fireworks will start at 9:30 p.m., followed by an encore performance of  Mr. Cabbage Head.

Concessions will be provided by the Fort Smith Citizens Academy Alumni Association.

The streets around the Harry E. Kelley Park will close at 5 p.m., allowing only pedestrian traffic. Fort Smith Transit will provide bus service beginning at 6 p.m. along Garrison, Rogers, and North A and B Streets. Handicapped parking will be available in the parking lot across from the Park at the West End and the parking lot at the glass pavilion.

Admission to the celebration is free. Visitors are encouraged to bring lawn chairs. Ice chests are permitted, but alcohol is prohibited. No personal fireworks are allowed.

Clayton Camp
The Clayton House in Fort Smith will host a day of old-fashioned fun with its "Clayton Camp" on July 12. Open to kids ages 7-12, the day will feature Victorian-era games, including a cake walk, ice cream social, horseshoes, watercoloring and more.

Camp will start at 9:30 a.m. and run until noon. A special horseshoe forging demonstration by Richard Shotzman will be held prior to camp beginning at 9 a.m. Special guest Nancy Verson from First United Methodist Church will provide music and entertainment.

Cost is $10 per child. Parents are welcome to accompany their children. To RSVP or for more information, call 783-3000.

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The First Tee Drive, Chip & Putt Championship
The First Tee of Fort Smith will host a local qualifier for the Drive, Chip and Putt Championship on July 12. One of only two qualifying tournaments in the state, the event serves as the first step toward participants having a chance to attend  The Masters in Augusta next year.

The tournament is open to area players ages 7 to 15. It will be held at The First Tee of Fort Smith, located at 5800 Geren Road. Play will begin at 10 a.m.

Participants can register online. Only 200 spots are available for the tournament. Contestants may only participate in one local qualifier. For more information, call The First Tee at 648-9833.

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