Citizens Bank Travel Club concludes fourth year

Featured image: Colorful decorations at Garvan Woodland Gardens greeted Citizens Bank Travel Club members (from left) Glenda Baker of Cherokee Village; Candy Weber of Batesville; Mary Murphy of Hardy; Marcella Langley, Joyce Prickett, Sharon Webb, Gary and Cathy Goforth, Barbara Fitzpatrick, Sharron Swaim, and Janet Poole, all of Batesville; and Linda Pugh of Mountain View.

Fifty-four members of the Citizens Bank Travel Club recently enjoyed a “Holiday High Tea” and the holiday light displays at the 210-acre Garvan Woodland Gardens near Hot Springs.

The event began with a three-course “high tea” menu that offered flavorful teas that accompanied each of three courses, the club stated in a press release. The first course was crumpets and scones; followed by cucumber sandwiches, smoked salmon toast and savory meat pies; and the dessert course featured chocolate brownie truffles, pretzel hugs and pecan pie bars.

Club members then toured the most celebrated outdoor light display in Arkansas for the holiday season, with over 4.5 million lights in a myriad of natural settings.

Displays included a luminescent Garden of the Pine Wind, a 50-foot tall Holiday Tree playing holiday tunes animated to a light show, and traditional holiday scenes in the woodlands.

Garvan Gardens was the travel club’s final activity for 2019, which also was the fourth year that Citizens Bank has taken customers and guests to plays, concerts, museums and parks in the region, as well as to more destinations elsewhere in the U.S. and around the world.

Many of the monthly activities are simple day trips, the club said in the release. Each year, however, the club escorts guests on a premium domestic journey, as well as an international adventure to such past locales as Austria, Canada, Germany, Ireland, and Switzerland.

This year, the travelers enjoyed the “Holland Tulip Festival” in Michigan, and luxurious accommodations at the historic Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island. In October, two dozen members explored “Classic Italy by Rail” for 10 days.

The Citizens Bank Travel Club’s 2020 Calendar of Activities is highlighted by a 15-day tour in May to “Discover Greece and Its Islands,” and a five-day holiday visit to New York City in December 2020. Reservations are being accepted now for those tours and all monthly activities.

No fee is required to be a member of the club. Members pay only for their tickets to concerts, plays or attractions, plus any meals or lodging that may be involved. Citizens Bank provides the motorcoach that transports the groups to their destinations, at no additional cost.

To learn more, or to sign up for a trip, contact Chuck Jones at Citizens Bank, (870) 698-6233, or by email,

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Enjoying the first of three courses of the “Holiday High Tea” at Garvan Woodland Gardens are (from left) Roe Stoneking, and Bill and Helen Fulbright, all of Batesville.

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Santa Claus doesn’t seem to have little choice but to listen to the Christmas gift wishes of (from left) Colleen Jackson and Debra West of Batesville; Sue Floyd of Sulphur Rock; and Susan Harris of Batesville at Garvan Woodland Gardens.

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Admiring the lights and decorations on the 210-acre Garvan Woodland Gardens are (from left) Michelle Shepard of Cave City; Grace Ebker of Heber Springs; Sarah Jones and Joe Johnson of Batesville; Ruth Bonds of Eureka Springs; Jim & Merry Anne McSpadden of Batesville; Linda Pugh of Eureka Springs; and Roe Stoneking, Janie Inman Barber and Linda Dobbs Krepps, all of Batesville. / All images submitted

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