POCAHONTAS, Ark. – The historic downtown square in Pocahontas is as active as ever and a new project has added life to a section of downtown, even at night.
A “Lights Over Pocahontas” project was recently completed downtown, on North Marr Street, in Pocahontas. The section of Marr, approved at last month’s city council meeting to be the official Arts and Entertainment District, is called NoMa and consists of eight blocks of North Marr Street.
Downtown Pocahontas includes a 17-block national historic district. The City of Pocahontas recently designated a section of North Marr Street, within the historic district, to be the North Marr Arts and Entertainment District (called NoMa, which stands for “North Marr”), and the lighting adds to the festive feel of it all.
With so much life pouring into downtown, Dr. Patrick Carroll of the Lesmeister Guesthouse donated the strings of LED lights and paid for the labor to install them and the electrician to route power to them. The Guesthouse is also paying for the electricity to power them.
“Since we used energy-efficient LED lighting, they only draw 300 watts of power, and since they are on a photocell, they only burn at night,” Carroll said.
GNC Industries of Pocahontas donated the steel cable to which the lights are attached. Barnes Signs & Graphics provided the use of their bucket truck for the installation work. The group obtained permission from Bella Piazza Italian Restaurant and Gypsy Girl Boutique to attach to their buildings, along with permission from the City of Pocahontas itself.
NoMa consists of 8 blocks of North Marr Street, and a half-block to either side, and includes:
- The R.J. Reynolds art gallery
- The Downtown Playhouse – live Broadway and off-Broadway plays
- Marr Street Productions/Marilyn’s Clogging – dance and music
- Bella Piazza Italian Restaurant and private club
- The Silhouette Wall – part of the wall is visible on the left in the attached photo. Visitors enjoy posing or mimicking these images for fun photos.
- The Rendezvous Event Center (opening fall 2017) – performances, lectures, receptions, parties, small conventions, corporate retreats, etc.
- Lesmeister Guesthouse upscale suites and vacation rental apartments
- Our 1872 courthouse
- Randolph County Heritage Museum
- The oldest barber shop in Arkansas
- Gypsy Girl Boutique – trendy clothing and accessories
- Generations – body art
- The North Marr Art Park (opening fall 2017) – outdoor art display
- A 4-block neighborhood of historic homes from the 1890’s.
Pocahontas Mayor Kary Story said the NoMar Arts Guild approached the council with the idea of naming the section as the NoMar Arts and Entertainment District – and the council was on board.
“We convinced the council to do that and we have an official arts and entertainment district around Marr Creek Ridge and all the way to city hall,” Story said. “If you look down there, you’ll understand why. You have a theater, you have Marilyn’s Clogging, you have a restaurant that serves alcohol and more.”
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Photos submitted by Pat Carroll
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