FORT SMITH, Ark. (NBC News/KWNA) – Mask wearing is going up in smoke for some Arkansans after Gov. Asa Hutchinson dropped the state-wide mask mandate earlier this week.
Hutchinson on Tuesday lifted the mandate, allowing businesses to set their own COVID-19 protocols.
At a Fort Smith brewing company, customers actually gathered for a mask burning, celebrating the end of the mandate by tossing their face coverings into a fire. .
Despite the symbolism of the event, Quinton Willard, owner of the brewing company, said he doesn’t want people to forget about the pandemic or the risks, but added he believes people should be able to make their own decisions about what they feel is right for them.
Willard said people who are allowed to make their own decisions can address their individual issues and make the right choices for themselves. He has created a positive environment where his customers can make those decisions for themselves.