First annual ‘501 Day’ leaves Central Arkansas communities feeling unified

Central Arkansas hosted its first ever ‘501 Day’ where citizens from Little Rock, Conway, Hot Springs, and surrounding areas all celebrated.

SHERWOOD, Ark. — Central Arkansas hosted ‘501 Day’ today, kicking it off with numerous events and deals, among other things.

Citizens from Hot Springs, Little Rock, Conway, Searcy, and surrounding areas all celebrated in their respective areas. 

No matter what city you commuted from, there was plenty to do and plenty to see on Saturday, in celebration of those that make up the 501 area.

“I mean we grew up here, we were born and raised, so it’s home,” Kristen Peterson, a vendor selling candles and aromatics, said. 

“They’re just excited to be back outside, excited to be able to get vaccines and to shop again.”

In Sherwood, local vendors came out to an open market, and for many, it was the first time they had sold their products in person in over a year.

“It has been one of the first ones and it’s been a nice change,” Linda Moore, a jewelry seller, said. 

“To the community, everyone can get out and support each other. This is 501, a good day.”

Local support and community building were the two major themes that stood out throughout the day.

Family, friends, neighbors–whatever you choose to call those around you, we’re all part of the same area code.

“I mean we’re all family,”  Aimee Richbourg, a nail vendor, said.  

“It kind of shows when you get to do events and you get to meet your community,” she continued. 

The sense of community was apparent in Sherwood, as the open market was full of people purchasing various items from their fellow community members.

For some, today might just be a date on the calendar, but to those in the Central Arkansas area it’s much more important than that.

“I think the last year is over,” Khoo, the owner of Unique Furniture said. 

“This is a new year for us.”

Organizers have yet to say whether or not they’ll host another 501 Day in the future. No matter the case, today was good enough for Moore.

“It’s different– it’s life, it’s joyful, it means a lot,” Moore said. 

“For us to get out and to join together and be a cause. We’ve been separated for so long, we’ve been isolated, but this means the world to us.”