29 Popular Festivals In Arkansas, The USA - Updated 2021

festivals in arkansas

Classified as a southern state, Arkansas is blessed with an abundance of natural treasures including a terrain with encompassing mountains, rivers, hot springs, and caves. Little Rock is the state’s capital and is considered to be the most populated metropolitan. The state’s capital is also home to the Old State House Museum, an outstanding 1800s Greek Revival building, and a popular landmark. If you want to enjoy a nice city picnic, MacArthur Park offers a pristine location to chill-out. To explore and learn about the state’s art culture, the Arkansas Arts Center is always a must-visit destination offering quite an intriguing insight. Apart from the city’s capital, other locations such as the rugged Ozark region is known for its hiking trails, and limestone caves, an adventurer’s heaven with plenty to explore. This southern state includes offers vast historical and attraction sites for curious tourists to explore. Each city in Arkansas is known for organizing some of the best fiestas. These festivals are not just regular parties, they are all unique in their own way. If you want to know more about the parties that the state hosts, there is a list of popular festivals in Arkansas, the USA.

1. Spanker Creek Farm Arts And Crafts Festival (October)

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Bluegrass music

Posted by Spanker Creek Farm Arts & Crafts Fair on Thursday, July 11, 2013

The Spanker Creek Farm Arts and Craft Festival is an annual event that takes place in October at Spanker Creek Farm, Northwest Arkansas. This art and craft fair and festival in Arkansas attracts visitors and tourists who flock to showcase as well as buy at other art exhibits. During this outdoor event, food lovers display their food art while paintings and various sorts of arts and crafts are put on an exhibition showcasing the talent and culture of Bentonville. The festival venue is set on at the foot of the Ozark mountain, offering an amazing Ozark vibe accompanied by pristine hillside scenery, the perfect spot for such a fiesta.

Spanker Creek Farm Arts And Crafts Festival

Address: 8464 W. McNelly Rd. Bentonville, Arkansas

Website: Spanker Creek Farm Arts And Crafts Festival

Takes places: October

2. Arkansas Folk Festival (April)

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

If you think of yourself as a music fanatic, Arkansas Folk Festival in Mountain View City is the event to look forward to. During this April music festival in Arkansas, a celebratory parade excites the cheering crowd on the bustling streets echoing with amazing folk music. Food vendors throng the streets with aromas of good grabs ready for your picking. Thinking of local souvenirs? The street will also be jammed with gorgeous handmade arts and crafts, wood carvings, handmade knives, and flameworked jewelry, ready for you to buy.

Arkansas Folk Festival

Address:109 N Peabody Ave, Mountain View, Arkansas 72560

Website: Arkansas Folk Festival

Takes place: April

3. Hope Watermelon Festival (August)

Posted by Hope Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday, 4 April 2017

First started in 1926 in Hope City in Arkansas, The Hope Watermelon Festival is an exciting carnival, a food, modern art and culture fiesta usually heald in mid-August. It is an outstanding gala typically featuring various activities including the Watermelon Idol talent show, a dog show, and for long race runners, a 5-k race. This annual festival is dedicated to celebrating the world’s largest watermelons.

Hope Watermelon Festival

Address: 101 W 2nd St, Hope, AR 71801

Website: Hope Watermelon Festival

Takes place: Mid-August

4. Depot Days Music Festival (September)

North Mississippi Allstars

Posted by Depot Days Festival on Friday, 29 September 2017

If you happen to live peacefully in Arkansas and were born in September, then your month is undoubtedly going to be an exciting one. The Depot Day Music Festival also happens to be in the same month. It is a two-day festival always celebrated in downtown Newport. For two whole days, the city is invariably treated to loads of fun, fantastic food, and good music. In addition to the liveliness of the city, the venue just on the banks of the White River, offers spectacular scenery complimenting this exciting fete.

Depot Days Music Festival

Address: 201 Hazel Street Newport, AR 72112

Website: Depot Days Music Festival

Takes place: September

5. Fat Tire Festival (July)

Posted by Eureka Springs Fat Tire Festival on Friday, 15 June 2018

The Nelson Fat Tire Festival is a three-day fiesta held annually in July. This fete commemorates Cam Alexandra, an avid cyclist who tragically lost his life while enjoying what he loved most, cycling. This festival of Arkansas got its name from the Cam Alexandra who was known for his ferocious appetite, warm smile and his love for bikes. He was adored by the city so much that the festival was named after him. It is a festival like no other where instead of mourning their loss, a big party is thrown celebrating his life.

Fat Tire Festival

Address: Eureka Springs Arkansas, AR

Website: Fat Tire Festival

Takes place: July

6. Bikes, Blues and BBQ Festival (September - October)

What are some of your favorite Bikes, Blues and BBQ memories? Is it the rides, the music, the food? You tell us! We can't wait to make more incredible memories in September #rallywithapurpose

Posted by Bikes Blues and BBQ on Wednesday, 15 January 2020

If you consider yourself a die-hard lover of bikes and good music blues, September and October are the months to visit Fayetteville, Arkansas. This is when the Bikes, Blues, and BBQ Festival is typically celebrated. The festival was first started in 2000, back then when it only had had about 300 riders. It is now grown becoming the largest motorcycle rally, attracting riders and bikers from all the 50 states in the United States. The Bikes, Blues, and BBQ Festival is more than just motorcycle gathering. It is a somewhat high-end vintage fete characterized by good music, Run-A-Mucca Motorcycle, and a gourmet barbecue lunch.

Bikes, Blues and BBQ Festival

Address: 601 W Dickson St Fayetteville, Arkansas 72701

Website: Bikes, Blues and BBQ Festival

Takes place: September - October

7. Arkansas Scottish Festival (April)

The birth of this amazing fiesta was in 1979, celebrating the Scottish heritage. The Arkansas Scottish Festival is an annual event celebrated in the bustling city of Batesville in July. The festival was first known by the name Highland games before being changed to Arkansas Scottish Festival. The festival is among the worthiest things to do in Arkansas typically characterized by drummers, athletes, pipers, dancers and various vendors who flock in from various regions of the country.

Arkansas Scottish Festival

Address: 2300 Highland Road Batesville, Arkansas 72501

Website: Arkansas Scottish Festival

Takes place: April

8. Ozark Folk Festival (October)

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Posted by Original Ozark Folk Festival on Monday, November 16, 2020

This musical fiesta is usually celebrated in Eureka Springs during October. The Ozark Folk Festival is known to invite an amazing crowd of festival-goers who flock ready to enjoy a rich fusion of Urban, American, folk and bluegrass music that fills the air at the Basin Park Hotel. Everything from live music, scrumptious delights, and an amazing atmosphere are just but the icing on the cake. This Arkansas festival and event is one of the longest folk fiestas and an outstanding tradition since it began in 1948.

Ozark Folk Festival

Address: Europa Springs, AR

Website: Ozark Folk Festival

Takes place: October

9. Riverfest (May)

Memorial Day come with so many excitements, it is a day when you get to relax and spend time with family. On Memorial Day weekend, the party still goes on as the Riverfest Festival keeps the festivities going. This annual three-day premier fete is always celebrated on the banks of the Arkansas River. The Riverfest Arts and Musical Festival was initially started in July 1978 by the Junior League of Little Rock. It attracts a variety of crafts and food vendors and features an incredible kid’s zone fitted with loads of assorted amusements for entertainment.


Website: Riverfest

Takes place: May (Memorial Day weekend)

10. Magnolia Blossom Festival (May)

As if adding fuel to the fire, Magnolia Blossom Festival is a two-in-one fete, an art event along with and a World Championship Steak Cook-Off. It is one of the biggest festivals in the city, and the cook-off is always the highlight of this festivity attracting participants who are eager to prepare a variety of grilled rib-eye steaks trying to emerge the victor of the cup trophy for the tastiest and juiciest ribs.

Magnolia Blossom Festival

Website: Magnolia Blossom Festival

Takes place: May

11. Hot Springs St. Patrick’s Day Parade (March)

Hot Springs St. Patrick’s Day Parade, popularly known as the world’s shortest St. Patrick’s Day parade is celebrated annually in June in the heart of Hot Springs. This unique festival attracts a huge crowd of visitors who come to participate and cheer at an amusing and idiosyncratic group of dancers, marchers, strutters, and waddlers. Food vendors come to sell their delicacies while the street is filled with good music, excitement, and fun. It is an exciting event that brings joy to Hot Springs.

Hot Springs St Patrick’s Day Parade

Address: Hot Springs, AR

Website: Hot Springs St Patrick’s Day Parade

Takes place: March

12. Rodeo of the Ozarks (June)

Rodeo of the Ozarks 001
Source: Photo by user Doug Wertman used under CC BY 2.0

If you are a Rodeo fanatic, June would be one of the best months to be in Springdale, Arkansas. This is when you get a chance to play your part in The Rodeo of the Ozarks. This is a fete for all who love to get their hands dirty and get involved in the excitement. Among the thrilling amusements to expect include, all-around cowboy challenge, bareback riding, steer wrestling, team roping saddle bronc riding, and tie-down roping. Good music will consistently keep everyone entertained while drinks and food keep the crowd happy and buzzed. The Rodeo of the Ozark is a fair, worth giving a try with the family.

Rodeo of the Ozarks

Address: 1423 E Emma Ave, Springdale, AR 72765

Website: Rodeo of the Ozarks

Takes place: June

13. World Championship Cardboard Boat Races (July)

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Held annually in July, the World Championship Cardboard Boat Races is a festival with an ever-changing theme every year. It features a mix of amusing activities including, a treasure dig, volleyball tournament, and watermelon eating contest. If you happen to feel hungry, food vendors are always around to keep you re-energized with a tasty meal. This festival is normally held at Sandy Beach with races beginning at 10 am ending at 4 pm.

World Championship Cardboard Boat Races

Website: World Championship Cardboard Boat Races

Takes place: July

14. King Biscuit Blues Festival (October)

Mid-October, the weekend before Columbus Day; this is when the King Biscuit Blues Festival, an iconic fiesta attracting thousands of visitors from all over the globe happens. It is held on the banks of Mississippi River in Helena. It is a festival featuring up-and-coming acts, amazing food, drinks, and outstanding live entertainment. This three-day festival was founded in 1986 and is known to attract hardcore blues enthusiasts who are eager for some stirring performances. Expect a wide variety of street musicians performing on the streets, good food, crafts, and a barbecue contest.

King Biscuit Blues Festival

Address: Helena, AR 72342

Website: King Biscuit Blues Festival

Takes place: Mid-October

15. Hot Springs Music Festival (June)

Held in June every year, the Hot Springs Music Festival is famous for luring over 100 musicians from all over the world to Hot Springs. It is a two-week festival that brings life to the city by introducing enticing shows and plays held at different venues in the city for music lovers to enjoy. Open symphony orchestra and nightly concert and chamber orchestra always fill the street with music while food vendors pitch their tent and set up their carts in strategic locations ready to offer the best local delicacies and drinks in the city.

Hot Springs Music Festival

Address: Hot Springs, AR 71902

Website: Hot Springs Music Festival

Takes place: June

16. Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival (October)

Hot Springs is just full of fiestas. Another fete that takes place in this beautiful city is the Documentary Film Festival. It is an annual festival dedicated to celebrating the cinematic culture. The Documentary Film Festival is a 10-day cinematic fiesta featuring a mix of cinema from both local and international shows. It is held every October inviting film enthusiasts and makers who come to get entertained by over 100 of the best cinematic entertainment the world has to offer. Like any other festival, food vendors are always attracted to this kind of event serving the best dishes and grubs for the visitors to enjoy.

Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival

Address: Hot Springs, AR

Website: Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival

Takes place: October

17. Cleburne County Fair (September)

Another festival that takes place in September is Cleburne County Fair. This fair features a livestock show, rides and amusements for the kids, good food and fantastic music. Every year, tens of thousands of tourists from across the states are drawn to this intriguing festival bringing life and excitement to the vibrant streets of Heber Springs. It is a festival that ignites excitement in ranchers and cowboy die-hards, eager to showcase their merchandise, priced cattle, and to have some fun while at it.

Cleburne County Fair

Address: 880 Bittle Rd, Heber Springs, AR 72543

Website: Cleburne County Fair

Takes place: September

18. Big Bass Bonanza (October)

The Big Bass Bonanza is an annual mid-October festival that invites fishing fanatics to have their moment in the spotlight. This is when the fishermen and women go on a rampage on Arkansas River fishing for the biggest and toughest big bass they can catch. The party doesn’t stop when the sun sets, music fills the air at night as the vendors are always on-site, ready with the best dishes and beer to keep everyone happy.

Big Bass Bonanza

Website: Big Bass Bonanza

Takes place: Mid-October

19. Old Fort Days Rodeo (May)

If you are looking for some fun, excitement and old-fashioned entertainment, then don’t miss Old Fort Days Rodeo. It is an annual event held in May, in the city of Fort Smith Arkansas. The festival is famous for attracting cowboys from all over the globe, drawn to this fiesta to compete for the larges price in the state. The event features saddle bronc riding, bare back riding, barrel racing, steer wrestling, calf roping, and bull riding. To complement the exciting shows, vendors can be found busy selling everything from cowboy merchandise, souvenirs, food, and drinks.

Old Fort Days Rodeo

Address: 4400 Midland Blvd, Fort Smith, AR

Website: Old Fort Days Rodeo

Takes place: May

20. Chile Pepper Cross Country Festival (October)

Chili Pepper CC Festival
Source: Photo by user Wm Chamberlain used under CC BY 2.0

If you think you can be a gold medal marathon champion but haven’t gotten the chance to prove yourself, then the Chile Pepper Cross Country Festival presents the perfect opportunity. This marathon festival is a combination of three Northwest Arkansas cross-country races under one umbrella forming one major event. Over time this festival has metamorphosized into a premier event in America featuring the Tom Lewis 1 Mile Pepper Dashan, an open 5K and 10K marathon races. If you are looking for the perfect motivation for cutting down som curbs, this is your perfect chance.

Chile Pepper Cross Country Festival

Website: Chile Pepper Cross Country Festival

Takes place: October

21. ACANSA Arts Festival (September)

Also known as the ACANSA Arts Festival of the South, this festival is usually celebrated in September. It is a two-week fair known to feature a unique blend of world-class music, dance, music, theater, culinary, visual arts and lots of entertainment. This performing art festival attracts art lovers from different parts of the 50 States who come to enjoy the amusing local visual and arts scene performances in Little Rock. With anything from silver screen shows, classical strings, Texas swing to stand-up-comedies, the ACANSA Arts Festival of the South marks September as a spectacle month with arts performances.

ACANSA Arts Festival

Address: 413 A Main St, North Little Rock, AR 72114

Website: ACANSA Arts Festival

Takes place: September

22. Lights of the Ozarks Festival (November)

Carousel Lights
Source: Photo by Flickr user Tanya Impeartrice used under CC BY-ND 2.0

In the city of Fayetteville, Arkansas, the month of November is always a month of celebration. This is when the Lights of the Ozarks festival turns downtown Fayetteville into a light spectacle, beautifully lighting up the city streets. It is an astonishing five-week fair where the streets are illuminated with over 4,000 colored lights that make the city a spectacle. Food vendors can be found in almost every corner and free space on the street serving up drinks and food. For entertainment, there are several activities including pony and carriage rides. Santa Claus will always be around and happy to gift requests from kids.

Lights of the Ozarks Festival

Address: Fayetteville, AR

Website: Lights of the Ozarks Festival

Takes place: November

23. Territorial Fair (May)

At Territorial Fair, you will be treated to a spectacle of delicious food, old games and old houses giving you the illusion of traveling back in time. It is a fair celebrated in May hosted at Historic Arkansas Museum. This open house festival features amazing music in the Hinterliter GropShop. Other several outdoor amusements include ball-and-cup, checkers and skittles. At Brownlee Kitchen House, you will be treated to a tasting bonanza sampling the year’s themed cuisines. Just the perfect venue and festival to celebrate with family.

Territorial Fair

Address: 200 E 3rd St, Little Rock, AR, United States

Website: Territorial Fair

Takes place: May

24. Smackover Oil Town Festival (June)

Posted by Smackover Oil Town Festival on Friday, 26 June 2015

One of the most fun-filled festivals that happen in Smackover is the Smackover Oil Town Festival. It is an annual festival featuring challenging activities including arm wrestling, turtle racing, bunco, bingo, horseshoe pitching, 5K oil run, and rib cook-off. The Smackover Oil Town Festival is one of the best family-friendly fair celebrated during the third week of June. There is always something to look forward to every night, if it’s not the engaging games or entertaining shows, you will find yourself drinking and partying while ending the month in style.

Smackover Oil Town Festival

Address: Smackover, AR

Website: Smackover Oil Town Festival

Takes place: June

25. Des Arc Steamboat Days (May)

Posted by Steamboat Days on Saturday, 18 May 2019

Held in Des Arc city in Arkansas, Des Arc Steamboat Days is held in May or June and invites fun, excitement, and music to the streets of this charming city. Kids get excited as they are treated to a range of games and entertainment and amusements. For adults, you will get to enjoy some good music, drinks and to get your spirit lifted, and gospel nights. Entertainment is always catered for with activities including a barbecue cookoff, car show, motorcycle poker run, horseshoe contest, a carnival, and a bass tournament. The firework show in the evening always makes for a spectacle in the night.

Des Arc Steamboat Days

Website: Des Arc Steamboat Days

Takes place: May/June

26. Malvern Brickfest (October)

Held in mid-October weekend before Columbus Day, Malvern Brickfest is an iconic fiesta attracting thousands of visitors from all over the globe. It is held by the banks of Mississippi River in Helena. It is a festival featuring up-and-coming acts, food, drinks, and music. This three-day festival was founded in 1986 attracting hardcore blues enthusiasts who come to enjoy the stirring performances featuring a wide variety of street musicians, food and crafts, and a barbecue contest.

Malvern Brickfest

Address: Helena, AR 72342

Website: Malvern Brickfest

Takes place: Mid-October

27. Surf the Bay Watersports Festival (June)

Posted by Jenny Adams on Monday, 16 September 2019

Held in June, every calendar year, Surf the Bay Watersports Festival is a fiesta like no other. It is a premier water sport and also a music event that introduces newbies to the fun and offers the experienced another chance to celebrate. Enjoy wake surfing, kayaking, SUP and flyboarding. You can expect food, live music and lots of socializing. This is the perfect festival to plan a Father’s Day surprise.

Surf the Bay Watersports Festival

Address: 4350 Highway 330 S., Fairfield Bay, Arkansas 72088

Website: Surf the Bay Watersports Festival

Takes place: June

28. Arkansas State Fair (October)

October, this is the month when Little Rock organizes Arkansas State Fair is an annual festival. This exciting festival takes place at a designated 140 acre (57 hectares) arena. This fiesta venue offers a range of incredible facilities including; Hall of Industry, Barton Coliseum, and cattle barns. As always, food and drink vendors are always preset to offer the tastiest treats and keep you busy when you are not engaging in any activity. When it comes to October fests, Little Rock isn’t that little.

Arkansas State Fair

Address: 2600 Howard St, Little Rock, AR 72206

Website: Arkansas State Fair

Takes place: October

29. Arkansas Jonquil Festival (March)

Annually hosted at the historic Washington State Park, Arkansas Jonquil Festival is a three-day event that naturally attracts visitors and entertainers to Historic Washington. This is when you get to marvel and at the city’s amazing craftsmanship and dynamic range of local delicacies. This annual festival is always celebrated during March, this is when the Jonquils get the opportunity to welcome tourists who are ready to explore, have fun and undoubtedly enjoy the park’s tranquility.

Arkansas Jonquil Festival

Address: 103 Franklin St Washington, Arkansas 71862

Website: Arkansas Jonquil Festival

Takes place: March

Arkansas fiestas for the year

Downtown Hot Springs, Arkansas
Source: Photo by user Ken Lund used under CC BY-SA 2.0

When its time to party, its time to party. Every time there is a festival coming up it is a cause of excitement. That is because to most it means a short vacation, or a reason to socialize, accompanied by good food, drinking, fun, and amazing music. This list has selected just a handful of Arkansan’s annual festivals for you to explore. Some festivals occurring in the same month but if you are a party lover, this list will offer you a well-detailed insight into the fun events happening every month.

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

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A seasoned travel Journalist, Thomson Joe is a free spirit, and an enthusiast travel writer with a fiery passion for discovery and exploration of new attractions, culture, and heritage. With...Read more

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