It was a big day for the Shriners last week.


After decades in Little Rock, the organization moved to North of the River and are now occupying a building on Riverfront Drive in downtown North Little Rock.


A ribbon-cutting last Thursday was well attended by Shriners along with representatives from the North Little Rock Chamber of Commerce and city officials, including Chief of Police Mike Davis.


The building is at 631 Riverfront Drive with parking located off of Karrot St.


Known as the Scimitar Shrine Center, the building will host about 350 members for its half of the state.


Arkansas is divided into two halves, with the line running diagonally from west to east. The eastern half has a center in Pine Bluff. Hot Springs Village also has a center that primarily serves the gated community in Saline and Garland counties.


The buildings were formerly known as temples, but that was dropped some years back. The Shriners are not a religious organization.


Heavily involved in local philanthropy the Shriners are familiar faces, and cars and bikes and everything else, at Christmas parades and other events. The Shriners are also dedicated to healthcare and nationally support 22 hospitals in North America with the closest facility to here being in Shreveport, which was also the first hospital built by the Shriners in 1922.


For more information, or how to join, call 231-3264. Or visit www.arkansasshriners.com