One facet of Louisiana that makes it such an appealing visitor destination is its deep and colorful history. European explorers found their way to the region and inhabited the area very early relative to settlement of much of the rest of the continent. As a result, some communities in Louisiana are among the oldest in the United States. Before those explorers arrived, of course, people we now know as Native Americans populated the region. Reaching still farther back in time, ancient peoples left their mark on the area thousands of years ago. The state of Louisiana offers many ways to explore the region’s rich history, in hundreds of museums, historic structures, landmarks, artifacts and works of art. The careful preservation and restoration of these sites and artifacts has created many rare opportunities for visitors to experience Louisiana’s history and gain insights into the diverse cultures that continue to influence the state today.
The family spirit of Jonesboro seems to shine most brightly during the holiday season when millions of tiny Christmas lights transform downtown into what locals have dubbed "Christmas Wonderland in the Pines." A community parade is held on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, and visitors will find carriage rides and audiences with Santa each evening during the season. Jonesboro is also known for the family legacy of the "singing Governor,” the late Jimmie Davis, who penned the official state song, You Are My Sunshine. During his life, Davis returned to Jonesboro for a homecoming party each year; it is a tradition still honored with a Southern revival-style gathering on the last Sunday of October at the Jimmie Davis Tabernacle, built on the site of his family home. His memory is also honored at nearby Jimmie Davis State Park where outdoor activities abound and the Big Bass Tournament is held each June.