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Hood-Nic in Dumas halted for security and wants to improve the community’s future



Little Rock, Arkansas – The non-profit organization declared in a statement that they will not be holding their yearly celebration for the town starting this year, nearly two years after a fatal shooting at a Hood-Nic event in Dumas.

Although Hood-Nic has long been a cherished Dumas tradition, the foundation’s president, Sylvester Spinks, claims there are valid reasons why the event won’t be held this year.

“Instead of somebody ending it for us, we’re not ending it. That’s our decision to move it. No one is running us out of dumas,” Spinks said.

In 2004, Hood-Nic began as a community picnic honoring the lives lost and a campaign against violence. The name of the traditional event, which evolved into a three-day family festival with car exhibitions, pageants, live entertainment, and more, was created by combining the phrases neighborhood and picnic.

“It’s kind of bittersweet. Hood-Nic has grown to such a big event to now where…We’ve almost exhausted the room in the town… The town… The town you know we have problems finding somewhere to do it. We have very limited resources of people actually wanting to help us actually find what we need to make it better… Make it safer,” Spinks said.

The occasion remained calm for fifteen years until March 2022, when a gunfight left one person dead and numerous more injured. The next year, according to Spinks, it was back, but it wasn’t the same since they believed the county didn’t want them there.

“The police presence was extra heavy, and we know it’s because of the shooting the year before but it seems like it was a bit overboard because people couldn’t even get to the event out of fear of being pulled over,” Spinks said.

“Instead of being at the actual event they were pretty much just on the street pulling people over so that was one of the biggest decisions moving it out of the town and another reason was location and resources pretty much,” Spinks added.

Many community members expressed their worries about the announcement online. Price Boney, the mayor of Dumas, claims he thought it was still going on.

“Kind of like a family reunion to me. It was good time, even though we’ve had a couple occasions that didn’t pan out good but it helped the economy,” Boney said. “I think it had a positive more than a negative,” Boney added.

The mayor and the town at large, according to Spinks, have always supported their cause. He emphasized that this isn’t the end—just a temporary one.

“We don’t ever want it to be a fearful thing to come to the hood-nic so we’re trying to put the joy back in it so if we have to take a year or two to have a break to just move somewhere else to a different community then yall follow us to that different community,” Spinks said.

Even if Hood Nic doesn’t materialize, according to Mayor Boney, Dumas will seek to organize another community event to hold in the interim.


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