Anyone could -- and many people do -- book a graduation, wedding, birthday or holiday party at Simple Pleasures, an unusual event center in Bella Vista. But founder Ken Miner also wanted to invite the public to see all the work he and wife Elaine have done since 2002.
"Our vision was to build an event center that would reflect small-town charm," says Miner, who came to Northwest Arkansas from the Kansas City area. "When adults enter the grounds, the vintage style architecture, landscaping, art and displays immerse them in memories of a simpler time. For children, the ambiance is a time capsule that, when opened, offers them a fascinating view into the past. It's truly a unique and educational experience.
"Since we are primarily available for private events, the general public has no way to experience Simple Pleasures," Miner goes on. "Having the Lily Festival, we have a chance to welcome the public into our unique venue. We also try to partner the Lily Festival with deserving area charities. This year, all proceeds from donations will go to the Northwest Arkansas Children's Shelter. And of course we have many beautifully landscaped lilies to enjoy."
The lush, brightly colored lilies are just the beginning, however.
Miner says visitors will enter via the country store soda fountain, where they'll be offered free ice cream and then directed to a gallery of 1950s, '60s and '70s cars, vintage toys and other memorabilia. In the dining room, they can enjoy 1940s and '50s Formica and chrome tables and vintage neon advertising. And outdoors, Simple Pleasures will host a "non-show car show" with no judging and no reservations required.
"We are inviting car enthusiasts to drive their classic 'wheels' and show them off," says Miner. "Just park and share. There are fun activities for the kids also: Tonka Town, Piston toss, corn hole, an old fashioned merry-go-round and teeter-totter will entertain the little ones. The event is pet-friendly so bring your fur-baby along."
-- Becca Martin-Brown
WHEN — 1-5 p.m. June 19-20
WHERE — Simple Pleasures Event Center, 13718 Rothbury Drive in Bella Vista
COST — Free
INFO — 876-5959 or simplepleasures.us