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About Us

Hot Springs, Arkansas, has been a winter retreat for show people for generations. For a while, Bathhouse Row, Oaklawn Jockey Club and casino gambling provided the perfect atmosphere for a short winter’s rest. In 1948, about 20 people met in the home of Harry and Alice Hennies to plan and organize the Hot Springs Showmen’s Association. Each participant donated $100, and a charter was obtained. In 1949, the association held meetings under the presidency of Noble Fairly in an establishment known as the White Front. In 1950, the Hot Springs Showmen’s Association rented a suite of rooms in the DeSoto Hotel, where they met and flourished for five years. Construction of the clubrooms was completed in the summer of 1954. Doc O’Kelly donated the shovel used by Paul Olson in the groundbreaking ceremony. This shovel hangs on a wall in the club today. A plaque by the entrance honors the members of the Building Committee. The Hot Springs Showmen’s Association officially starts each season on the last Thursday in October and remains open until mid-April. Meetings are held every Thursday night following a dinner prepared by the Ladies Auxiliary. The Auxiliary also provides a complete holiday fare, free of charge, to the members and their families on Christmas Day. Special events and parties, complete with dance music and refreshments, are scheduled weekly in winter. The association is especially proud of its cemetery, Showmen’s Rest or Memorial Gardens. A beautiful monument is dedicated to the memories of departed friends and family, and a memorial service is held yearly. The men and women work together to maintain and decorate the cemetery all year long. A significant concern of the association is the health and well-being of its members and other less fortunate in the community. The annual Installation of Officers, banquet and ball is held each year in conjunction with the Arkansas Fair Managers Meeting. This year’s convention was scheduled for Jan. 14-16, 2023. Meetings and parties are held throughout the weekend, including an open house featuring entertainment and a buffet. At this time, there will also be the yearly raffle with prize money awarded. Another big project for the association, held annually, is to provide Christmas gifts for underprivileged children in Garland County. The party in 2022 was held on Dec. 18. The association invited over 200 children to the party, which included entertainment and treats. Santa Claus made a personal appearance and delivered the presents to each child individually. The Hot Springs Showmen’s Association stays involved in local charities throughout the year.

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HSSA Officers

Vince

Vince Conley

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Johnny Miller

Wayne

Wayne Kohler

Rich

Richard Jentz

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Devon Wells

Mike

Mike Phillips

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Drew Miller

Herb

Herb Nelson

Greg

Greg Striowski

Dennis

Dennis Bedene

Ladies Auxiliary

Peggy

Peggy Crable

Janet

Janet Bedene

Terri

Teri Dean

Sue

Sue Miller

Della

Della Bossman

Wanda

Wanda Whalen

Joan

Joanie Lynchard

Raven

Raven Wells

Amy

Amy Swyear

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April Nelson

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