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story.lead_photo.caption Lucy Josserand examines the face of a black rat snake, held by Arkansas State Parks representative Victoria Carson, on May 8 at the Arkansas Welcome Center in Texarkana. Photo by Hunt Mercier / Texarkana Gazette.
Connie Hormell, from Shelbyville, Ky., left, speaks with Cyndy Anderson about Ron Coleman Mining in Jesseville, Ark.
Photo by Hunt Mercier/Texarkana Gazette.

Last year was a banner year for the Texarkana, Ark., Welcome Center.

Manager Melissa Adams said 304,021 travelers visited the center in 2018, up from 275,000 in 2017.

"Last year it was easier to travel by car than airplane. People like to get out in nature. In Dallas they have a city and concrete. We're a natural state," Adams said.

Besides extending a warm welcome, Welcome Center staff also provide visitors with cool treats, including ice cream, root beer and muscadine juice.

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