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Schedule is shaping up

The 57th annual convention of the 99th Infantry Division Association will be held July 19-23, at the Doubletree Hotel in Little Rock AR.

Room rates are $71 single occupancy and $81 double occupancy per night. The hotel is located at 424 W. Markham, Little Rock and the website is www.doubletreelr.com. The phone number for reservations is 501-372-4371 or Central Reservations at 1-800-222-TREE. Cutoff date for the 99th rate is June 19, 2006.

Several tours are being finalized.

An Arkansas river cruise is being planned for the evening of July 19.

Participants will see the beautiful Arkansas River from the decks of the Arkansas Queen. The view from the water shows Little Rock and North Little Rock, including the Clinton Center, the "Little Rock," the metropolitan skyline, the Capitol, and beautiful parks along the shores.

The captain's commentary will tell about the river's rich history and its influence on the entire mid-section of the U.S.

Dinner on the river will include prime rib, shrimp Creole, roasted turkey, salads, vegetables, rice, and potatoes.

Entertainment by the Riverboat Ramblers and a cash bar will round out the evening.

On Thursday, July 20, enjoy a trip to Marlsgate Plantation.

Just 20 minutes from downtown Little Rock, Scott AR, is home to the cotton farming area of the state. Marlsgate Plantation is a throwback to the bygone times when gracious living was part of the heritage of the Old South.

The tour of this plantation, which has been in existence since 1850, will include a tour of the private residence, which was restored in the early 1980s by a local caterer and florist, David Garner.

The tour also includes a sit-down luncheon in the opulent dining room overlooking Bearskin Lake, a visit to the boxwood gardens and the Carriage House, the popular plantation gift shop.

A military tour is scheduled for July 21, following the memorial service.

The first visit will be to the MacArthur Military Museum of Arkansas History. This museum, located in the officers' quarters of the Old Arsenal Building, is the birthplace of General Douglas MacArthur. Exhibits tell about MacArthur, his father, who was the commander of the arsenal, and other Arkansas natives who have contributed to various branches of the service.

A tour of the Little Rock Air Force Base, home to the largest C-130 training facility in the free world, will follow. Participants will have the opportunity to go onto the flight line and tour these multi-faceted airplanes that have been in service for more than 40 years. A private luncheon on the base is scheduled.

Social Security numbers and birth dates will be required for security clearance.

On Saturday, July 22, a short driving tour of Little Rock, including Arkansas' State Capitol, the governor's mansion, and the Quapaw Quarter Historic District will begin following the ladies' program and the men's business meeting.

The tour will include a visit to The Old Mill, featured in the opening credits of "Gone With the Wind," and a visit to the Central High Museum/National Historic Site, commemorating the beginning of integration of the nations' public schools.

The tour includes lunch and a stop at the Clinton Presidential Library and Clinton Center Gift Shop.

All tours are four or five hours long and include professional guide service, motor coach transportation, meals, entrance fees, and taxes.

Each tour is handicap accessible. A bus with a wheelchair lift is available.

Watch the mail for convention registration packets and information, which will be mailed in March.

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