words: Marla Cantrell
images: courtesy venues and Arkansas Dept. of Parks & Tourism
We’ve gathered a good sampling of what our great state has to offer. Take a look, make your plans, and enjoy a day in the beauty of this place we call home.
Turkey Track Bluegrass Festival
See website for pricing | Find them on Facebook
The Turkey Track Bluegrass Festival takes place on eighty acres near Waldron. It’s the thirty-ninth year for the festival, and this year features a number of talented performers. Enjoy the music and food. You can even camp at Turkey Track.
King Biscuit Blues Festival
See website for pricing | kingbiscuitfestival.com
The King Biscuit Blues Festival is one of the nation’s foremost showcases of blues music. Tens of thousands of music lovers come to downtown Helena for this one-of-a-kind event. This year’s lineup features dozens of blues performers on several stages, including Sonny Landreth with special guest Roy Rogers, John Mayall, and Charlie Musselwhite.
Fall Festival Arts and Crafts Fair
Free to attend | oldtownvanburen.com
A kids’ carnival, a karaoke contest, lots of live music with headliner Camille Rae performing, and helicopter rides. All this plus, art, antiques, collectibles, plenty of food, and arts and crafts. Van Buren’s Fall Festival takes place on Main Street, and begins October 7th at 7pm, continues October 8th from 9am until 6pm, and runs through October 9th from 9am until 5pm.
Free to attend | mainstreetsiloam.org
The Homegrown Festival runs from 10am until 5pm in downtown Siloam Springs and has live music, food trucks and great shopping. You’ll find original, one-of-a-kind, and limited-run items including illustration, printmaking, music, jewelry and accessories, handmade goods, salvaged and repurposed goods, and hand-picked vintage.
Original Ozark Folk Festival
Many free events, see website for details | ozarkfolkfestival.com
The Original Ozark Folk Festival in Eureka Springs is America’s longest continuously running folk festival. Attend the Barefoot Ball, listen to free music in Basin Park, watch the Folk Festival Parade, and marvel at the folk dancing.
Spanker Creek Farm Arts and Crafts Festival
Free to attend | spankercreekfarm.com
Spanker Creek Farm Arts, Crafts and More Festival is an extraordinary outdoor market for the whole family. Exhibitors will have a variety of products that consist of handmade or unique arts, crafts, and other items as well as great fair foods. Gps location: 8464 W. McNelly Rd. Bentonville. Hours, 8am until 5pm, except Sunday, which is 9am until 4pm.
Bella Vista Arts and Crafts Festival
Free to attend | bellavistafestival.org
This juried festival in Bella Vista has been growing since it began in 1969. Gorgeous art, wonderful crafts, great food, and tons of fun. Nearly 300 artisans will be displaying their work. The festival is located just off Arkansas Highway 279, south of the intersection of Arkansas Highway 340, and is open from 8am until 5pm.
War Eagle Fair
Free to attend | wareaglefair.com
The War Eagle Fair is a staple of fall in Arkansas. Professional craftspeople offer original handmade work ranging from country decorative items to antique broken china jewelry. You can also explore the old mill and eat at the Bean Palace restaurant.
Hillberry: The Harvest Moon Festival
See website for pricing | hillberryfestival.com
Hillberry is a four-day music and arts festival with an emphasis on bluegrass and roots music with a little bit of funk thrown in. Attendees can camp (included in the ticket price), and there is also a range of workshops for adults and children ranging from yoga to hula hooping and tie dying. Kids twelve and under are free.
Ozark Regional Arts and Crafts Fairs
Fayetteville, Springdale, Rogers
Free Admission | nwacraftfairs.com
The largest indoor craft fair in the state is taking place October 14th-16th in three locations: Northwest Arkansas Convention Center in Springdale, John Q. Hammons Center in Rogers, and Washington County Fairgrounds in Fayetteville. Fairgrounds ONLY open October 14th-16th; fairs at NW Arkansas Convention Center and John Q. Hammons Convention Center are open October 14th-15th.
Downtown Fort Smith
See website for details | downtownfs.com
Starts early, ends late! This first-ever Downtown Oktoberfest has something for everyone in the family. The fun starts at the Farmer’s Market with pony rides beginning at 9am, a pumpkin carving contest at 10am, live music, a car show, an art walk, and a haunted house. After dark, area bar and entertainment venues will offer commemorative cups, along with a variety of choices for live music.
Bull Shoals Fall Festival
Call for details | 870.445.3629
Nature programs, great trout fishing, lake and river cruises, a campsite decorating contest, games, and arts and crafts! Bring your lawn chair to the Trout Dock Amphitheater for a bonfire and live music. Hear gospel, bluegrass, folk, and country music.
See website for pricing | jacksongraves.org
Live music, handcrafted chocolate, craft beers, sauerkraut, and brats—all locally sourced. The fun begins at 3pm and runs until 8pm. Proceeds benefit the Jackson Graves Foundation, which supports area families with babies in intensive care units.
Wiederkehr Village Weinfest
Free admission | wiederkehrwines.com
Celebrate this year’s harvest with wine, food, and music. Dance the Polka, stomp some grapes, enter the Stein Stemmen or Baum Stossen, tour the cellar and vineyard, enter your pet in the Annual Dog Show, enjoy local arts & crafts vendors. Festival runs from 8am until 10pm.
Bean Fest and Outhouse Races
Free to attend | yourplaceinthemountains.com
Crafts and music on Friday. On Saturday, forty antique cast iron pots will hold 2,000 pounds of pinto beans. At noon, beans and cornbread are served for free. The parade of outhouses (that are built on wheels) starts at 1pm, followed by the outhouse races.
See website for pricing | arkansascornbreadfestival.com
Live music, food trucks, Arkansas art, crafts, jewelry and locally-produced food and gifts are all available at the Cornbread Festival in Little Rock. Everyone attending will get to taste the cornbread and side dishes, and vote for the best in two categories: amateur and professional. And did we mention… cornbread? Yum!