Music and contests and food, oh my! These annual community celebrations have long been a part of tradition and culture in the Natural State. Year after year, folks from all over the United States flock to Arkansas to enjoy many great festivals. Here are 10 of the best.
Established in 1977, Riverfest is a staple of downtown Little Rock. Riverfest guests can enjoy live music, food, and local wine and beer tastings. The festival, which spans several days, will be filled with an amazing line-up of live music that Riverfest is famous for. The celebration concludes with the annual Riverfest fireworks show.
Famous for that grape ice cream and those spaghetti dinners, the Tontitown Grape Fest is one of the largest and oldest festivals in Northwest Arkansas. From the carnival rides and the free music concerts to the arts & crafts and the Queen Concordia crowning, the Tontitown Grape Fest has been a community tradition for over a century!
Hope isn’t just home to former President Bill Clinton, it is also home to the world’s largest watermelons with three Guinness World Records to prove it. This free family festival features arts & crafts, kids’ activities, and a 5K race in addition to watermelon eating and seed spitting contests.
As mentioned in the Congressional Records, Smackover holds the honor of having the only center of the road traffic light in the Natural State. The Oil Town Festival began in 1971 and attracts about 10,000 people each year. This free family festival is held at Kennedy Park.
The Johnson County Peach Festival, one of Arkansas’s oldest fests, is a true tradition. From opening to closing this Clarksville festival is packed with interesting events including a greased pig chase, a peach eating contest, a horseshoe tournament, and, of course, a peach eating contest. Other activities include a teen street dance and scavenger hunt occurring throughout the weekend.
This award-winning festival is held the weekend of the last Sunday in April each year, bringing in about 30,000 people to the downtown Siloam Springs area. Since 1974, vendors from across the United States have flocked to the Dogwood Festival to set up their booths. This festival is also well-known for its awesome KidZone that provides incredible activities including an inflatable obstacle course, trampoline bungee jumpers, a rock-climbing wall, and so much more.
This family-friendly festival includes a carnival, a kid zone, a pageant, and a fun run in addition to those famous Cabot Strawberries. Hosted by the Junior Auxiliary of Cabot, all proceeds of this annual festival go to help local children.
This southwest Arkansas festival also includes the Annual World Championship Steak Cook-Off and the Annual Art Show. That’s a whole lot of celebration at once for the Magnolia community. Keep an eye out for what excellent musical artists the Magnolia Blossom Festival invites this year!
Held by Lyons College each April, this small fair has grown into a premier competition venue for dancers, bands, and pipers. Opening ceremonies of the Arkansas Scottish Festival, formerly the Ozark Scottish Festival, include a parade of massed bands and clans. This weekend festival is filled with great food and crafts, as well as those well-known piping competitions.
Blues Weekend in historic Eureka Springs is a fundraiser for multiple charities including the Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge, a local refuge for over 100 exotic cats. This music fest has featured many Grammy award winning artists from across the nation and throughout the world. Headliners will take the stage at Turpentine Creek and other acts will perform at partner venues throughout Eureka Springs. Those planning to check out all the great vendors are encouraged to bring sunscreen and cash.