Region 8 businesses prep for Memorial Day weekend

HARDY, AR (KAIT) - Memorial Day marks the first weekend of summer break for most kids, and it's also the first big weekend for many local businesses.

The holiday is what many in Hardy call the "kick-start party." The city turns from ghost town in the winter to tourist destination in the summer.  

"We're going crazy, getting all of our employees rounded up to get ready for the weekend and ready for the crowds," Three Rivers Outfitters owner Jeff Klein said.

Three Rivers Outfitters has been in business for the past 17 years and Klein said Memorial Day is always one of their biggest weekends. 

"It's the kickoff," Klein said. "School's out and everybody's ready to hit the water. It's been kind of a cold winter. I think everybody's had cabin fever. They're ready to get out."

Klein said their cabins are completely booked, but they still have canoes and tubes available for two to eight hour trips on the river.

Klein tells campers not to worry about the recent flooding in Region 8. The river levels are now back to normal. 

"As a matter of fact, they're in just excellent shape right now," Klein said. "They're actually the best I've seen them in quite some time."

Rain is in the forecast for Memorial Day weekend, but Klein said he isn't worried about it.

"I think we'll be ok," Klein said. "That's usually late in the afternoon when we do get them so I think we can get them in and out and have a great time. That won't slow them down any."

If campers would run into rainy weather, downtown Hardy has plenty of indoor activities as well.

"Good eating, good food, good shopping, lots of places to play," said Al Corte, Main Street Hardy executive director. "Memorial weekend's a big weekend for Hardy. We've got people coming through from all over the nation."

Corte said shoppers can find antiques, music, jewelry and more.

"There's a lot of good sales going on this weekend," Corte said. "A lot of merchants are ramping up, giving good deals. It's a good place to be. If you've got nothing going on, come to Hardy! We'd love to have you."

Corte and Klein said Hardy gets busier as the summer continues.

"The months of June and July are just pretty much non-stop if the weather's good," Klein said. "It's a weather dependent business, but on good weather days, we stay busy all day. We're open every day so come during the week, come on the weekend. We're here all the time."

Corte said Main Street Hardy already has several new events planned for summer: a Saturday night acoustic concert series and Bingo every Friday night from 5:30 to 9 p.m. 

For more information on these events and more, visit the Main Street Hardy website.

To make reservations for river activities, visit the Three Rivers Outfitters website.

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