Jonesboro, located in the midst of the Mississippi Delta Region, occupies approximately 80 square miles of land. It was established in February 1859 and is currently home to more than 63,000 citizens (2007 estimate). Jonesboro is the 5th most populous city in Arkansas and the second largest in the state by land area. The city is part of Craighead County, an area where the sale of alcohol is severely restricted. Jonesboro is the home of Arkansas State University.
ECONOMY AND INDUSTRIES
Jonesboro is well-renowned for its significant industrial plants as well as its excellent transportation system. Home to more than 100 industrial plants and related facilities, Jonesboro was recently named as one of the 10 best manufacturing cities in the country. Among these facilities are production plants for nationally known brands.
Other industries, for which the city is known, include agriculture, education and health care. Major employers in Jonesboro include Nestlé, Butterball, Frito Lay, Post Cereals, etc. The city is centrally located and thus provides a platform to the major markets, which include America's Distribution Center, Memphis, Tennessee.
NEIGHBORHOODS AND DISTRICTS
The city has many attractions, such as the Craighead Forest County Park and the West Washington Avenue Historic District. Crowley's Ridge State Park and Lake Frierson State Park offers facilities for camping, boating, hiking and fishing. The city is well known for its beautiful churches and has over 15 of them. There is also an Islamic Center for Jonesboro.
Jonesboro has about 24,000 houses and just over 300 houses or condos are placed per square mile, which doesn't make it a very densely populated city. Nearly 13,000 houses are occupied by the owners and the rest by renters.
- Forrest L. Wood Crowley's Ridge Nature Center: Located in south Jonesboro, this a nature center features roughly 100 acres of woodland to explore, as well as an exhibit area and an observation tower. It also features a variety of educational programs as well as a number of different hiking paths, which include the popular Habitat Trail, a quarter-mile walk that features stops at a pond, a prairie, and bottomland forest.
- Craighead Forest Park: This popular outdoor spot surrounds a large lake and offers trails, camping, fishing, a playground, and picnic pavilions.
- Fowler Center: A center for fine arts and performing arts, this facility is owned and operated by Arkansas State University. The Fowler Center is Jonesboro's preeminent place for cultural tourism. It features performances from a wide array of artists, ranging from jazz musicians to acrobats to Irish tenors. Noteworthy speakers such as Colin Powell and former U.S. president Bill Clinton have participated in the Fowler Center's Lecture Series. Various genres of contemporary art are regularly featured at the Center's Bradbury Gallery facility.
- The Mall at Turtle Creek: The fifth-largest shopping center in the state of Arkansas, the Mall at Turtle Creek is located on East Highland Drive.
- Juliana's Day Spa and Salon: a popular spa and salon located in historic downtown Jonesboro.
ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT
- Arkansas State University Museum: One of four accredited museums in the state, the institution rotates exhibits about regional history. The permanent collection includes prehistoric fossils, antiques, and an "Old Town Arkansas" exhibit that recreates early-twentieth century storefronts. The museum is free and open to the public.
- The Forum Theatre: Located in downtown Jonesboro, this non-profit theater hosts film screenings, community performances, and educational programs.
- The Bradbury Gallery: Specializing in contemporary art, this art gallery displays the work of artists from around the world. It also hosts the Delta National Small Prints Exhibition, a juried printmaking show, and occasionally displays the work of Arkansas State University students.
- The Fowler Center: A large auditorium on the Arkansas State University campus that hosts concerts and theater productions, including three performances each year by the local Delta Symphony Orchestra.
- The Convocation Center: The city's largest event center, seating up to 11,500 people, hosts concerts, rodeos, trade shows, and more.
Craighead Forest Park sponsors a number of annual events including:
- Mr. Trophy Triathlon: In early May of each year, the Jonesboro Parks and Recreation Department sponsors a race in the Iron Will Triathlon series. The Mr. Trophy Triathlon is open to everyone who purchases at least a temporary membership in the USA Triathlon organization, and requires participants to swim 500 meters, bike a 13-plus mile course, and complete a three-mile run.
- 4th in the Forest
- Labor Day Blues Fest
- Fergus Snoddy Half-Marathon
- KAIT Channel 8, an ABC broadcast affiliate, is one of Jonesboro's hometown television stations. KAIT also operates a 24-hour all-weather television channel.
- KTEJ Channel 19, a Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) station, also broadcasts from Jonesboro.
- KVTJ Channels 48 and 49 is a local affiliate of the Victory Television Network, a religious-programming outlet run by Agape Church Inc. of Little Rock.
- KEGI FM (100.5), a classic rock radio station, is headquartered in Jonesboro.
- Music station KDXY (104.9) and Adult Contemporary station KJBX (106.7) service the Jonesboro area.
- The local daily newspaper, Jonesboro Sun, serves seven counties and has a circulation of nearly 20,000.
Jonesboro is home to the main campus of Arkansas State University, a public post-secondary educational institution that enrolls more than 11,000 students annually. Arkansas State University offers a range of undergraduate and graduate degrees, including handful of doctoral degree programs in several disciplines.
The Arkansas State University Red Wolves play 16 different sports. The football team won the NCAA Sunbelt Conference championship in 2005.
Aside from to their beloved Red Wolves, Jonesboro sports fans have little to choose from in the athletics department. Jonesboro does not currently have any professional or semi-professional sporting franchises.