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Tulips at Garvin Woodland Gardens (Max Webster)

Events in Arkansas

Volume 6 Issue 1 Spring-Summer 2019
By Patti Worden

Arkansas bursts with beauty – lakes, streams, rivers, bayous, delta bottomlands, forested mountains and abundant fish and wildlife. Arkansans get to enjoy a multitude of events, both indoors and out. Here are just a few fun and family-friendly events happening this season.


April 19-20 57th Annual Arkansas Folk Festival, Historic Downtown, Mountain View. Annual Spring celebration featuring handmade crafts, parade, lots of “Folk, Mountain, and Bluegrass” music, and dancing on the Courthouse Square. A great family fun festival. Ozark Folk Center opens for the season. Free admission to the Craft Village during this weekend. Free shuttle from downtown to the Folk Center. www.arkansas.com/events/57th-annual-arkansas-folk-festival

April 20 Hot Springs Gumbo and Crawfish Festival, Hot Springs. Who’s got gumbo? WE got gumbo... You got gumbo? Bring it!.. You might win a gaudy trophy and a cash prize! www.facebook.com/hsgumbocrawfishfest


May 3-4 World Famous Armadillo Festival, Hamburg. This annual event is full of fun for the whole family. It includes arts, crafts, a carnival, lots of delicious food vendors and exceptional live music all set around our scenic downtown square. www.arkansas.com/events/world-famous-armadillo-festival

May 3-5 Lightning On Ludwig, Lake Ludwig, Clarksville, is a premier sporting event that will feature hydroplane boat racing on Lake Ludwig. Boats go 70-100 mph on the water. It is very cool to watch. www.facebook.com/LightningonLudwig

May 3-5 North Arkansas Woodcarvers Show & Sale, Mountain Home Fairgrounds, is one of the area’s largest shows featuring woodcarvers, whittlers, wood turners, carving supplies, judged competition (May 4), demonstrations and a carving contest (May 5). Participants are from all levels–novice to professional. www.northarkansaswoodcarvers.org

May 3-5 Toad Suck Daze, Conway. Festivalgoers gather for food-on-a-stick, local and national entertainment, arts & crafts, activities for kids, and of course, the World-Famous Championship Toad Races. Several festival-sanctioned events sponsored by local nonprofit organizations take place throughout the weekend as well, including a 5K/10K race and the Tour de Toad bicycle race. http://toadsuck.org

May 17-18 Magnolia Blossom Festival & World Championship Steak Cook-Off, Magnolia. Can you cook a great steak? If so, we hope you’ll sign up to participate in Magnolia’s famous World Championship Steak Cook-off™, May 18, 2019! The best team wins the coveted Governor’s Cup and BIG prize money! $10,000 in total prize money is up for grabs! https://blossomfestival.org/

May 17-18 Picklefest, Atkins. It all started in 1945, when the Goldsmith Pickle Company invested $75,000 to build a pickle plant in town; townspeople raised an additional $15,000 to build and equip the plant. The plant later became the Atkins Pickle Company and sustained the local economy for more than half a century. To highlight and honor the significance of the Pickle, PBA started a festival and since 1992, we have been celebrating how pickles have influenced our community! From the Mr. Dill Pickle & Miss Sweet Pickle pageants to the ALWAYS popular Pickle Juice Drinking and Pickle Eating contests, there is no shortage of fun and excitement at Picklefest! Food and Craft vendors top off the festivities and there’s even a Rodeo! www.peopleforabetteratkins.org/picklefest


June 8 3rd Annual Reel-Em-In Fishing Derby, Russellville. What better way to get a kid hooked on fishing than to fish in a friendly derby?! Lake Fort Smith State Park is hosting our 3rd annual Reel-em-in Fishing Derby for kids ages 15 and under. Come out and join the fun as we fish for catfish, bass, and sunfish in Lake Fort Smith. Prizes are awarded in many categories, raffle ticket prize drawing, and free hot dogs. www.arkansasstateparks.com/events/3rd-annual-reel-em-fishing-derby/

June 26-29 Annual Rodeo of the Ozarks, Springdale. Two rodeo parades; over 500 contestants and professional athletes will compete in six PRCA and WPRA sanctioned events—Calf Roping, Steer Wrestling, Barrel Racing, Bareback Riding, Saddle Bronco Riding and the popular Bull Riding. www.RodeoOfTheOzarks.org

June 28-29 Purple-Hull Pea Festival & World Championship Rotary Tiller Race, Emerson. This is a rotary tiller race highlighted by “souped up” tillers. There is also a pea shelling contest, a purple hull pea cook-off, a pea dinner, a purple hull pea booth, arts, crafts and entertainment, children's events, a parade and more. www.PurpleHull.com


July 4 Independence Day Celebration, Bull Shoals. Enjoy all-American fun for the entire family! Activities are scheduled at the James A. Gaston Visitor Center. Fireworks begin at dark with shuttles available from park pavilion to the bluff for a minimal fee of $2 per person. Contact the park for a detailed schedule. www.arkansasstateparks.com/parks/bull-shoals-white-river-state-park

July 25-27 Cave City Watermelon Festival, Cave City. The 40th celebration of the World's Sweetest Watermelons. After its debut in 1980, the Watermelon Festival has evolved into an annual summer celebration, bringing Grammy winning artists, emerging talent and local favorites along with thousands of people from Cave City, the surrounding area and around the United States together each year for free entertainment and an unforgettable homecoming experience like no other. www.cavecitywatermelonfestival.com


August 8-10 Bargains Galore on 64. 160 miles of yard sales, antiques, collectibles, and flea markets from Fort Smith past Conway to Beebe, the River Valley of Arkansas is proud to host another of our Bargains Galore on 64 yard sale extravaganzas. This annual event is held on Thursday through Saturday, the second weekend in August. www.bargainsgaloreon64.org brave flag

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