I can’t believe it’s already May, and summer is around the corner. May is a fun time around the Baker household as both kids wrap up the school year, and we gear up for all kinds of exciting summer activities. It’s a busy month for us, but it’s a fun one. 

And it’s a busy month for Arkansas, full of activities for the whole family to enjoy. Festivals, like Toad Suck Daze, Magnolia Blossom Festival, Greek Food Festival and even Memphis in May just across the Mississippi River are can’t miss events. To help you sort through them all, we’ve recommended a number of fun festivals that are on page 118. And don’t forget the ever-popular Bentonville Film Festival! Read more about it on page 102. 

As you enjoy spring and prepare for summer, we want to help you relax with a family picnic. We’ve outlined some tips for the perfect spring picnic, and even shared some of our favorite picnic spots around Arkansas. Check it out on page 132. And if you’d rather stay inside and chow down on a burger, we’ve got you covered there, too. Since May is Beef Month, we’ve assembled an AY Bucket List of our state’s best burgers. It’s on page 126, but proceed with caution. It will make you hungry! 

May is also one of my favorite months here at AY because it’s the month we honor the best our state has to offer. From dentists to diners, hospitals to home designers, our list includes all the best from every category in the state. And they were all voted on by you, our loyal readers. We can’t wait to showcase who you chose this year, beginning on page 28.

May also marks AY’s 31st anniversary. That’s 31 years of showcasing all of what we love best about Arkansas. And I’m honored that this 31st-anniversary issue is the largest issue ever published! 

This month, I also want to wish a happy Mother’s Day to all of our mothers including my own. Each and every one of you means the world to your family, and here at AY, we wish you all the best!



Mom, I would not be the person I am today if it weren’t for you. Thank you for bringing me into this world. I’m so glad you decided to not take me out of it even though I gave you many reasons. Thank you for loving Jesus and instilling a Godly foundation in my life. Thank you for taking me to church even when it would have been easier to just stay home. I look at my own children and pray I am imparting those same qualities in them. I love you and you are the best mom ever!