Construction was completed at a cost of about $3.4 million, and the Ozark Folk Center State Park officially opened in May 1973. Facilities included a 1,060 seat music auditorium new seating has since reduced the capacity to 1,000, sixteen craft shops now twenty four craft demonstration areas. Which is a welcome center, a sixty unit lodge, a restaurant, food outlets in the crafts area, a conference center, and a gift shop. Extensive remodeling and additions in recent years have greatly enlarged the restaurant by adding so many things. Theater style seating in the large auditorium, preserved some log cabins that were moved to the park, upgraded the in-park public transportation, and refurbished the lodge rooms, conference center, and craft cabins was al things that completed this center.
A year after the park opened, a support group known as the Committee of 100 was created by educator Bessie Moore. Women from each of the state’s seventy five counties, plus twenty five at large members, volunteer each year to support and raise funds for educational programs of the center. The committee established the Music Roots Program for youngsters, an herb garden, the park’s apprenticeship in crafts and music program, and the Ozark Cultural Resource Center, which archived well over 100,000 items. The OCRC provided opportunity for in house research of books, periodicals, manuscripts, and photographs on Ozark history, culture, folklore, music, and genealogy. Specific items available to researchers were over thirty years of live performances from the Ozark Folk Center State Park music theater, recordings of traditional and commercial country music dating from 1900, and rare sheet music dating to the early 1900s. In 2007, however, the park announced the closure of the OCRC. The research materials were transferred to the Arkansas History Commission in Little Rock where they are available for use.
Self guided tours of the crafts village take visitors to shops with demonstrations of basketry, blacksmithing, printing, broom making, quilting, woodcarving, pottery, and several other pioneer skills. Apprenticeships and workshops are offered in music, herb gardening, folk dance, and crafts. Each spring, the park also conducts an Ozark Folk School, offering instruction in traditional Ozark crafts, music, and gardening. Elderhostels, an educational week of programs, classes, lectures, etc. for those fifty five years of age or older are scheduled throughout the season with folk themes ranging from hill culture to crafts and songs. Also located at the park is Loco Ropes Treetop Adventure Park, which offers zip-lining and other activities. This is a awesome place for a family vacation get away, which so much to do for everyone on the trip at any age.