Special guest blog by Tori Bell, A-State Public Relations/Advertising Major
Have you ever heard that saying, “From the outside looking in, it’s hard to understand, from the inside looking out, it’s hard to explain.”? This could be applied to the experience of being a downtowner. Being a downtowner is truly a way of life here in Jonesboro. It’s hard to understand, yet even harder to explain. Coming from someone who was once on the outside, hear me when I say you don’t want to miss out on what Downtown Jonesboro and being a downtowner has to offer.
Living in a small town my entire life with a population of 1,500 and four restaurants, a dollar store, and a couple of gas stations has been quite the experience. I graduated with 45 people and between our preschoolers and high school seniors, our school district has about 500 students. Everybody knows everybody, the town thrives on its small businesses, and we just can’t walk into the pizza place or dollar store without seeing someone we know. We can get to school in one minute, we have to drive 30 minutes to the nearest Walmart, and we can simply walk in the gas station and say “charge it” while filling our car up with gas. Within the overwhelming atmosphere of Jonesboro is the historic, small-town ambiance of downtown’s similarity to my hometown, which is one aspect that truly drew me into becoming a downtowner.
Since the sheltered, freshman, 18-year-old me moved to Jonesboro in 2014 I have been an avid downtowner – eating, shopping, entertainment – the best of it all is located in Downtown Jonesboro. Particularly, Godsey’s Grill holds a special place in my heart because it is the first restaurant I ate at in Jonesboro and it will forever be my go-to spot. The food is life changing, I tell ya! Honestly, downtown Jonesboro is where I learned to parallel park. It’s where I’ve spent countless hours at dinner and spent way too much money on clothes. Downtown is life changing – I just didn’t realize how much until now.
As a freshman I made a list of goals I wanted to achieve during my time at Arkansas State University. Hold a leadership position in my sorority, find my bridesmaids, get involved on campus, get an internship with Downtown Jonesboro Association… Two years later and I am now a junior at A-State and Downtown Jonesboro Association’s newest Marketing/Public Relations intern. This is a milestone in my life that I will forever remember. Working around some of the most amazing people, seeing non-profit work first hand, and learning skills that can’t be taught in a classroom… Downtown offers so much more than restaurants and retail stores. Once you are able to understand and feel the downtown experience there is no turning back. It’s historic past, vibrant arts and entertainment, 14 restaurants, food truck court, and trendy retail shops will quickly become your go-to spots. The mission of DJA is passionate and growing, and I am thrilled to be a downtowner on a whole new level. Downtown’s main street community and overall atmosphere is the place to be in Northeast Arkansas.
Now, who wants to be downtowner?