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    Harrison, Arkansas Is One Of "The Best Small Towns in America

    The flavor of this city might be best experienced by taking the Main Street Harrison Historic Walking Tour, which includes downtown parks, the historic Lyric Theater, the 1909 Boone County courthouse, the 1914 Boone County Jail and the Hotel Seville.

    Historic Walking Tours - In Harrison's downtown is the Hotel Seville, a Spanish-like castle built in 1929 that has three stories and a wood frame with brick and terra cotta veneer. Once the heart of the city's social activity, the preserved hotel is located in Harrison's downtown historic district.

    The Lyric Theater - The Lyric Theater offers live performances on a regular basis, and a thorough renovation of the historic structure is nearly complete. Built in 1929, the theater's interior is graced by stunning murals.

    Harrison Museums - Downtown also boasts two museums: the Boone County Historical Museum and the Marine Corps Legacy Museum. The historical museum contains railroad artifacts, Native American exhibits, genealogy files and Civil War memorabilia. The Marine Corps Legacy museum was founded and is maintained by two retired Marines, a father and son. It contains historical exhibits on the Marine Corps, tracing its roots to 490 B.C., when troops first trained specifically as marines.

    Shopping - more than just historic interest in downtown Harrison. Shoppers can spend hours perusing an art gallery, several antique stores, vintage clothing stores, women's clothing stores, a home décor store, shoe stores and a bookstore. There's also a barbershop, and its barber pole still turns.

    Dining - If you crave a bit to eat then you can choose between a number of restaurants. Located in the Hotel Seville, Cantarutti's Ristorante Italiano alone is reason enough to visit Harrison. Set amidst ornate décor and elaborate stenciling, Cantarutti's features Old World Italian dishes served in hefty portions. Continental cuisine is the specialty at Bottini's Restaurant, which is open during lunch and dinner hours and serves brunch on Sundays. At Out to Lunch, patrons can choose between fresh salads, sandwiches, soups, quiches, daily specials and desserts as well as premium coffees.

    And the Townhouse Café serves up old-fashioned, plate lunch specials and home-style Southern fare as well as seafood on Friday and Saturday nights, which are the only evenings the restaurant is open for dinner. Getting around town to shop is dine is easy on the trolley. A single trip costs 50 cents and includes numerous stops. While children ride the trolley to the city pool, Kay Steffen, executive director of Main Street Harrison, said tourists are finding they can park their car and then use the trolley to get a more personal view of the community.

    Arkansas State Hot Air Balloon Races - Just as historic buildings and their contents define Harrison's character, so do its special events. During mid-September balloonists from throughout the region converge over Harrison to compete for the Arkansas State Hot Air Balloon title. The annual event includes balloon competitions, rides at the city park and nightly balloon glows.

    Harvest Homecoming - Harrison's largest festival, Harvest Homecoming, takes place in Early October, and features arts and crafts booths, live music and great food venues throughout the downtown district. The festival includes a Ford Mustang and open car show as well as a home and lawn show with tractor races.

    By Melody Schubert

    Getting There:

    To learn more about events and attractions throughout Arkansas, visit the Arkansas Department of Parks & Tourism  at http://www.arkansas.com/.

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