Fort Smith, AR
Fort Smith is nestled at the foothills of the Ozark Mountains and along the western
edge of Arkansas on the Oklahoma border. The Arkansas River creates a northern and
western border. The city has a population of over 80,000 people, making it the second
largest city in Arkansas. The surrounding communities drive the population of the
Metropolitan Statistical Area ("MSA") to over 202,000 people.
Fort Smith is a town that provides its residents the advantages of a larger
city without sacrificing the comforts of a smaller community. For those who
subscribe to a life in larger cities, Fort Smith provides nightlife, culture,
shopping, restaurants and entertainment. Fort Smith offers those who prefer smaller
communities a low crime rate, a low cost of living, sports and recreation, and a
friendly, family-oriented atmosphere. Fort Smith also has a new terminal at the
Fort Smith Regional Airport, providing access to virtually any destination world-wide.
The flavor of Fort Smith's past is preserved in many outstanding examples of historical architecture.
These include the National Historic Site, one of the Southwest's final border outposts, and the
beautiful 22-square block Belle Grove Historic District, lined with graceful
Fort Smith and the surrounding area were born in the early 1800's as a true "wild west" town. Fort
Smith's history is filled with the stories of notorious outlaws, U.S. Deputy
Marshals, and Civil War soldiers.
Fort Smith is an ideal spot for the outdoor enthusiast. Surrounding the city are some of America's
most beautiful mountains, lakes and streams. This provides excellent conditions for those who like
to canoe, fish, hunt, hike, camp or water ski.
Fort Smith provides a home to 24 parks, comprising over 1,600 acres of land. Several private and
public facilities exist for those who participate in golf, tennis, soccer, racquetball or fitness centers.
City and church leagues offer those who enjoy softball, basketball and volleyball a chance to show
off their talents or just have fun.
Fort Smith Classic
In June, golfers come from all around to participate in the Fort Smith Classic, a
Nationwide Tour PGA Event held at Hardscrabble Country Club. This event also benefits various charities each year, raising over
$1.3 million for 48 non-profit organizations since it began in 1998. The 2009 tournament benefitted six charities that help
improve the lives of Fort Smith-area children including: The Children's Emergency Shelter, Children's Service League,
Fort Smith Boys & Girls Clubs, Girls Incorporated, WestArk RSVP and The First Tee of Fort Smith.
Fort Smith Convention Center
The Fort Smith Convention Center began hosting events in January 2001. The
Center is located in the heart of historic downtown Fort Smith, Arkansas - "Where the new South meets
the old West". The Convention Center is within walking distance from the National Cemetery, National
Historic Site and adjacent Fort Smith Museum and a short distance from River Front Park, antique shops
and a variety of excellent downtown restaurants. For fun, visitors can relive days gone by with a
short trolley ride. The Convention Center also houses the Arkansas Best Corporation Performing Arts Center.
Fort Smith has a fine variety of shopping facilities and is home to several local entertainment
establishments and groups, as well as a frequent stop for touring theatrical, musical and comedy groups.
The Fort Smith Little Theatre provides quality drama, comedy and musicals throughout the year.
The Fort Smith Symphony entertains thousands each year with its series of concerts. The Fort Smith
Chorale brings the joy of song to the community several times a year. All of these organizations
consist of local talent and new members are encouraged to participate. The Fort Smith Art Center
features permanent and rotating exhibits year-round.
Several special events take place in Fort Smith throughout the year.
Arts and crafts, live music, a smorgasbord of foods, sporting events and family
entertainment accompany the festival. The Arkansas/Oklahoma State Fair attracts thousands each
September, as well as some of America's hottest country artists in concert. The Riverfront Blues
Festival attracts some of the greatest blues talent in the country. The month of May signals in
one of the largest events in Fort Smith, the Old Fort Days Rodeo. The rodeo is one of the world's
largest outdoor rodeos.
The nightlife is also prominent as several establishments provide live music, dancing or just a place
to meet your friends. Country, blues, rock, soul, jazz and classical music are all a part of the
Fort Smith nightlife.
Fort Smith boasts two major hospitals, offering the latest in medical technology and procedures.
Fort Smith is a regional medical center with dedicated centers for heart disease, cancer treatment
and prevention, leading edge computerized and magnetic imaging and plastic surgery.
Education and Churches
The public school system of Fort Smith has an outstanding reputation for excellence. They
consistently receive the North Central Association of Accreditation's highest ratings. Fort
Smith's 27 public schools have been recognized with many honors.
Persons wishing to pursue a higher education have many choices available through the
University of Arkansas-Fort Smith.
UA Fort Smith is the state's fifth largest institution
of higher education. A variety of educational opportunities is available at UA Fort Smith,
including master's, bachelor's and associate's degrees, technical certificates and certificates
of proficiency. The campus currently encompasses approximately 100 acres with 19 major buildings.
Recent additions to the campus include a 102,170-square-foot technology center; a Convocation
Center providing 3,100 seats for concerts, athletics and other activities; and an 84,000-square-foot
Campus Center which houses all student services. The University also recently completed construction of
new on-campus student apartments.
Fort Smith is home to over 100 churches that represent approximately 20 different