Local Lingo & Lore
We welcome everyone to Fort Smith and to Arkansas! Here are a few unique facts and tips from the “locals” that can be helpful when navigating the area:
A Road by Many Other Names
You will find that we like to give one road multiple names. For example, Fort Smith Park, where the Thunder Through the Valley Motorcycle Parade starts from, is located on Riverfront Drive. Riverfront Drive used be called Clayton Expressway and it is also Hwy 255.
And the Road Goes On, and On
Sometimes what looks like the end of the road…isn’t the end of the road. Many of the streets in Fort Smith will stop and pick up a few blocks over with the same name.
On the Avenue
“On the Avenue” or “The Avenue” is how locals refer to “Garrison Avenue.” Some also call it “cruisin’ the gut” or “downtown.” Garrison Avenue is one of the widest downtown streets in America.
In the Bag
If you buy just a few items at a local store you may have to ask the cashier for a bag. Some say it’s because people here are environmentally conscious but you can make up your own mind on that.
A Drive-Thru Window for Everything
You will find that in addition to drive thrus for banks, fast food and pharmacies that many liquor stores have drive thru windows. Apparently, not all states have this.
O and Zero
In Fort Smith, there is an “O” Street (between “N St.” and “P St.”). There is also a “Zero Street” and the word “Zero” is spelled out. This can be very confusing!
This Bud’s for You
Earl Harris, Sr., was local farmer and beer distributor who loved Budweiser so much, he painted one of his silos near Lavaca, AR to look like a giant Budweiser can circa 1975-1976. According to the label, it holds 8,734,902 fluid ounces of brew, enough to fill eight swimming pools; located on private property southwest of town, on the southeast corner of Hwys. 22 and 96; Lots of people have taken their photo in front of this roadside attraction.
Elvis was here
Chaffee Crossing, Arkansas: Elvis Haircut Historic Site: The Chaffee Barbershop Museum enshrines the spot where Elvis got his first Army buzz cut on March 25, 1958. Located at 7313 Terry St., Chaffee Crossing, AR Directions:At the Fort Chaffee Barbershop Museum, Building 803. Take I-540 exit 8 or 8B. Drive southeast on Hwy 22/Rogers Ave. for about four miles, through Barling. At the stoplight turn right onto Frontier Rd. Make first left onto Taylor Ave., then make first right onto Terry St. You’ll pass a little Fort church on the left; the museum is the third building past it, also on the left. Donations Appreciated (Call for hours of operation) Phone:479-434-6774.
Made to Order
Ed Walker’s Drive-In is the only drive-in left in the country that has car hop service for beer; Located at 1500 Towson Ave, in Fort Smith the old-fashioned ’50s diner (established 1943) has a menu that offers burgers, fries and the famous “French Dip” sandwiches and their Giant Cheeseburger is a specialty, weighing in at five pounds of beef. Click here for more info
Place mouse over green and plum markers for names of locations of Places to Visit and blue markers for Places to Eat. Click on the markers for address and more information about each location.