By Fred Hilsenrath
Jackie Sikes talked to our Rotary Club about her latest changes and upgrades of her “dirty Farmers Community Market” in Clinton. ( 364 Main Street Clinton AR 72031, Tel 501 253 4716) Jackie shows much initiative to enhance her business. This is good for her business and also attractive for her customers; a win-win situation enhanced by Jackie’s ability to speak clearly while holding the attention of her listeners by charisma and charm.
Jackie Sikes, Marketing and Publicity Chairman for the We Love VBC initiative, spoke today about an upcoming event at the Clinton High School Auditorium on August 23. The We Love VBC initiative is dedicated to revitalizing the county seat of Historic downtown Clinton. The group has had their application accepted by Guinness World Records to break the world record for the Largest Potluck Party. The current record is 1,275 participants and they are hoping to up that number to at least 1,500. In conjunction with this event they are holding a Survivor-Fest in the City Park where there will be games, contests and demonstration booths all related to survival, emergency preparedness and self-sustainability. “Our county has suffered 17 natural disasters. Being able to claim the title of one of the state’s highest ranking counties for natural disasters might not be the best enticement for new business in our county but we can turn a negative into a positive. Let’s think of it this way, if you are going to be in a natural disaster, Van Buren County is one of the safest places to be. Not only are our first responders, fire departments, EMT’s and hospital well trained to assist, but this community knows how to pull together and be there when our neighbor needs a helping hand. We want to celebrate our resiliency, our passion for our community and how we are there for each other when it really matters. The people are the heart of Van Buren County and no matter what Mother Nature, (even accidents not caused by Mother nature) throw our way nothing can keep us down.”
Admission to Survivor-Fest and the Potluck is “one dish” which is defined by Guinness as “large enough to share with at least six other people at the potluck.” Participants will receive an arm band when they attend the Potluck and the armband will allow them free access to Survivor-Fest which will commence immediately following the Potluck. Live entertainment will be performed in the auditorium across the lobby from the arena while food is gathered and set up to be served.
Intake and Participant recording will begin at 10:30 a.m. You are asked to remain in the building during this time. We will announce our results at noon and the potluck party will begin in the gymnasium immediately after the announcement.
Jackie gave an update on the Farmers market which is busy selling Arkansas grown produce, locally raised beef, elk, buffalo, chicken and pork. “We also sell local eggs and our bakers have a wide variety of baked goods for sale or to order. We have large variety of handmade arts and crafts and our Greater Good Cafe is doing well. The Greater Good Cafe is an “Eat what you need and Pay what you can” lunch time cafe. We are open 5 days a week from 11 – 2. We offer meal vouchers for those who want to Pay it forward for someone who can’t afford a meal or you can purchase meal vouchers as gift cards for friends and family.” Lastly she mentioned that the market is now accepting EBT cards for food items from the farmers market.
Jackie shared a cheesecake made at the Greater Good Cafe and encouraged everyone to attend the Potluck and Survivor-Fest in August.