501 Day hopes to celebrate everything and everyone in the area code

The newly made holiday, celebrated on Saturday, May 1, is a celebration of all things in and around the 501 area code.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — After months of being stuck inside, Ellen Lampe and the team at the Downtown Little Rock Partnership knew they had to get creative once restrictions were lifted.

“501 day is pretty much a completely made up holiday,” she said. “Our team just came up with it earlier this year.”

The newly made holiday, celebrated on Saturday, May 1st, is a celebration of all things in and around the 501 area code.

“There are, I think, about 80 cities within the 501 area code,” Lampe said.

From all the way up to Clinton and down to in Hot Springs, Searcy to Sherwood, there’s a lot of planned things everywhere.

“A lot of them are putting on events, whether it’s just a discount at a local business, or a race, or a festival,” Lampe said. “It’s kind of ranging to all different types of activities.”

501 Day is focused on those local places that make central Arkansas what it is. For those local business owners, this is too good of an opportunity to pass up.

“You know, it’s exciting when we as a community get together and decide to have fun,” John Brandenberger, owner of Community Bakery in the SoMa district, said. “I think especially with COVID and the year we’ve had, this is a great opportunity.”

It’s a thought echoed by Lampe.

“What’s not to love?” she said. “It’s just celebrating your community and everything you love about it, so I can’t believe we haven’t done something like this sooner.”

While the day doesn’t officially start until Saturday, Brandenberger says he and the other businesses near his are already excited.

“Well, businesses are excited,” he said. “It’s a great way for us to showcase our talents and put out products that we’re proud of, have the community come out to try it, share it, experience it, but it should be a lot of fun for everybody.”

And even though the first one hasn’t happened yet, there’s already hope for a repeat next year.

“We really hope this picks up traction every year and grows up into something bigger and better,” Lampe said.

For more information on 501 Day, click here to go to the official website.