By Rick Kennedy, managing editor
Although the threat of severe weather throughout much of Arkansas has rescheduled the state football playoffs, including Prescott’s semifinal with Booneville, Friday’s two major events of local note, the 69th Lions Club Auction and the new SWAAC Holiday Bazaar, are set to go on as normal as of updates confirmed at 10 a.m. Friday.
According to the National Weather Service regional advisory on Friday morning, “A significant upper level storm system will combine with a supply of low level Gulf moisture and favorable strong winds on the surface and aloft. Severe thunderstorms appear likely to develop late this afternoon into tonight across parts of the southern Plains through the Four State Region, accompanied by the risk for a few tornadoes, in addition to large hail and potentially damaging wind gusts. Rainfall will be heavy at times and amounts will range from near one half to one and one half inches through tonight.”
Within Hope, rains are forecast to start at approximately 3 p.m. Friday with potential peak storm activity between 9 p.m. and 11:45 p.m. and then, into early Saturday morning until 1 a.m.
Mark Ross of the Hope Lions Club said, “We are ready to go on tonight as scheduled. We are good.” For Friday, the Lions Auction is scheduled to get underway at 6 p.m. and run until approximately 10 p.m.
For Saturday, the third day of the Lions Auction, it has traditionally run from 6 p.m. until “all items are sold…” The Lions are also on a tight schedule as their traditional year-end dinner is scheduled for Monday, Dec. 3 at 7 p.m. (right after the Christmas parade) at Hempstead Hall.
SWAAC director George Smith said Friday morning, “We are aware of tonight’s inclement weather conditions; we are running a 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. schedule for today and Saturday, so we plan to continue as normal.”
Update: Friday afternoon, Smith said, “We will be open Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Art Station at 200 East Division in Hope. That’s the last chance you can see the unique work of more than 20 artisans from the area.”
Smith added a short inventory of items still available for sell at the Bazaar, including: Handmade cedar fishing lures in almost 50 distinct styles and patterns; original jewelry designs; “mermaid” pillows (at the site or for custom order; season painted pallet for yard art; Razorback themed wood items; macrame plant hangers, wall hangings and book markers; one-of-a-kind glass art by James Hayes; original Ukrainian style egg art (only 10 left); holiday t-shirts, pillows and hand towels; handmade soaps; and painted rocks and ornaments; soft drink bottles from the defunct Hope Beverage Company, plus other items.