“Summertime, and the livin’ is easy.” I always think of that song when the mercury is in the 90s, and the heat index is 100 degrees. But there is more I am reminded of when it’s summertime in Arkansas. And our August issue points to many of summer’s highlights.
Kids and dogs — the two things in my own home that dictate what we’re doing at any given moment, and the two topics we address in this issue. First, with kids. Contributor Heather Allmendinger tells us what back to school might look like at the end of the month. Of course, when this issue went to press, there was a green light for schools reopening in August. By the time you read this, there could have been alterations to that plan. Keep that in mind as you read her article in what is a fluid situation. Second, is man’s best friend. Our staff did a great job telling you what to do if you’re new as a pet parent or even if you’re a seasoned pet mom or dad. It’s a great issue on the resources for those of us who love our canines. (Y’all remember Charlie, right? If not, here’s a picture. He’s a horse now.)
Appetizers and beer — yep, those are two other things that dictate what we are doing at any given moment. That’s an embellishment, actually. But the appetizers and beer are what lure you (and me) to the great restaurants we have in the state, and it’s our bucket list of the best of both. And per usual, we have some recipes to help you whip up your own appetizers; you’re on your own with the beer procurement.
And speaking of appetizers and beer …Who knew that the small town of Mountain Home was a trailblazer when it came to entertainment districts in the state? Our travel editor, Joe David Rice, takes us there in his monthly look at unique Arkansas cities. It was Mountain Home who opened the door for these new entertainment districts that are popping up. Another Arkansas city always on our radar is Bentonville. Have you been wondering what happened to the Bentonville Film Festival that was scheduled for May? Because of pandemic adjustments, the festival is now this month to accommodate those hungry for avant-garde film. Drive-ins and virtual screenings are being offered. Writer Angela Forsyth gives us a sneak peek into three of the films being featured.
And what would highlighting the many facets of our wonderful state be without recognizing it as one of the best places in the country to retire? In this issue, we talk about planning for retirement and the things that make Arkansas a special place to do so.
I think I buried the lede here. We have been talking to you about AY’s Best of Awards for 2020 and the big fancy, schmancy gala we were going to have. It, too, was a casualty of the pandemic. Sort of. What we are doing now is way better. Broadway star, TV host, and all-around-funny-guy James Corden is going to host our awards in a virtual event at the end of the month. That means all of our favorite hospitals, churches and every category in between will find out who won this statewide honor when JAMES CORDEN ANNOUNCES THEIR NAMES. Sorry for the all caps, but this is huge, people. Mr. Carpool Karaoke might say your name or the name of someone you know. The event is Aug. 27 at 6 p.m.
Let’s hope we can call the Hogs soon, but let’s also pray for a short recovery from COVID-19.