Arkansas shares the magical beauty of the southern states. It’s the place to go when you want to explore the Ozarks or the extensive, winding rivers that make the state so picturesque.
The Natural State has plenty to offer residents and visitors alike. If you love to have fun, you will appreciate Arkansas’ unique festivals.
Arkansas has many festivals and events happening year-round, with most occurring during fall. Out of all festivities, this guide takes you through some of the most unique the state has to offer.
1. The Ozark Folk Festival, Eureka Springs
If you ever find yourself in Eureka Springs in October, stick around until you participate in the famous Ozark Folk Festival, an old folk music celebration that has been around since the 1940s. It’s also the oldest of its kind in the United States.
Many people attend the festival to enjoy folk and bluegrass music performances from a great lineup of folk musicians.
The festival involves good food, art shows and plenty of competitions like the ‘Barefoot Ball’, a longstanding tradition where dancers kick off their shoes and keep going barefoot.
2. Hope Watermelon Festival, Hope
Residents of Hope love their famous agricultural product and, of course, celebrate it every August. Apparently, Hope is home to the world’s largest watermelons, and what’s the best way to mark that achievement than a festival?
Hope Watermelon Festival is as unique as it gets. The longstanding Arkansas festivity began in 1926 and continues to attract thousands to participate in various activities. One thing is for sure, there’s plenty of fun to have.
3. King Biscuit Blues Festival, Helena
The legendary Blues Music never died and continues to be at the heart of the Deep South, partly due to the movements surrounding the style. While blues festivals are common, the King Biscuit Blues Festival is one of the best in the country, capturing the beauty and timelessness of the style.
Every year in October, hundreds of thousands of people gather on the banks of the Mississippi to witness the biggest blues festival in the nation.
If you’re visiting Helena in October, this iconic festival should be on your bucket list because the performances won’t just be fun but also memorable.
4. Tontitown Grape Festival, Tontitown
While the Concord grape is the signature agricultural product in Tontitown, Washington County, the festival isn’t really about grapes.
The Tontitown Grape Festival, the oldest annual community celebration in the state, marks the town’s Italian heritage. It started as a Thanksgiving picnic after the harvest of 1898 and soon after developed into a festivity attracting neighboring settlers.
The Grape Festival is today a huge occasion featuring music, Italian dishes, art booths, and carnival rides. Once the three-day celebration begins, it’s merrymaking, with the hallmark being the crowning of Tontitown’s Queen Concordia.
5. Bikes, Blues, and BBQ, Fayetteville
When the summer heat subsides as fall settles in, lots of fun events happen in Arkansas, and one of the most unique is the Bikes, Blues, and BBQ Festival.
The occasion is held annually in Fayetteville, Arkansas, and it typically attracts hundreds of riders from across the nation.
As the name suggests, the event revolves around motorcycles, blues music, and the good ol’ barbecue.
Still, you don’t have to be an avid biker or a blues enthusiast to enjoy the festival. Many people gather to socialize and raise funds to support local causes.
6. 4/20 in Arkansas
April 20 is a day of celebration for people who support cannabis. On this day, the pro-cannabis community across the country holds functions with marijuana-themed activities.
While marijuana is illegal in Arkansas for adult use, it doesn’t stop Arkansans from marking the day. Groups and businesses across the state tend to hold fun-filled 4/20 events.
4/20 in Arkansas is unforgettable. You can hop from one event to another, enjoy good music and food, buy unique items, and take part in other fun activities.
Medical marijuana dispensaries would usually offer amazing deals on 4/20. If you’re a patient, Marijuana Doctors suggest checking if you qualify for medical marijuana so you can fully take advantage of the next 4/20 holiday in Arkansas.
There’s so much fun to have during festivals, and Arkansas has many which are unique to the state. This guide will come in handy as you can plan your trip to coincide with several of these occasions.