29 Popular Festivals In Arkansas, USA - Updated 2022

festivals in arkansas
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Joe 
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The southern state of Arkansas is blessed with an abundance of natural treasures, including a terrain with mountains, rivers, hot springs, and caves. Little Rock is the state’s capital and is considered to be the most populated metropolitan. It’s also home to Old State House Museum, an outstanding 1800s Greek Revival building. Apart from the capital, other locations such as the rugged Ozark region are known for their hiking trails and limestone caves - an adventurer’s heaven with plenty to explore. This southern state offers vast historical sites and attractions for curious tourists to explore. If you already know when and where you’re going, be sure to check if your destination has an upcoming festival! Find out more by scrolling through this list of popular festivals in Arkansas, USA.

1. Spanker Creek Farm Arts And Crafts Festival

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

Spanker Creek Farm Arts and Craft Festival is an annual event that takes place in October at Spanker Creek Farm in Northwest Arkansas. This art festival attracts visitors and tourists with its lovely exhibits and outdoor events. Checking out this festival is a great way to see Bentonville’s culture and the local talent pool. The venue is set on the foot of the Ozark Mountains, offering pristine hillside scenery.

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

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

If you think of yourself as a music lover, Arkansas Folk Festival in Mountain View is one event that you can look forward to. During this April music festival in Arkansas, you can enjoy amazing music, great performances, and a fun jig dance contest. Food vendors crowd the streets, and the aroma of delicious fair food will definitely whet your appetite. Looking to buy local souvenirs? The street will also be jammed with stalls selling gorgeous arts and crafts, wood carvings, handmade knives, and flameworked jewelry.

Arkansas Folk Festival

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

Takes place: April

3. Hope Watermelon Festival

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

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

First started in 1926 in Hope, Arkansas, Hope Watermelon Festival is an exciting event that usually takes place in mid-August. This festival features various activities, including the Watermelon Idol talent show, a car show, and a 5K run/walk event. You can also expect arts and craft, delicious food from local vendors, and definitely a big crowd!

Hope Watermelon Festival

Address: Fair Park, Hope, Arkansas, United States

Website: Hope Watermelon Festival

Takes place: August

4. Depot Days Music Festival

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

North Mississippi Allstars

Posted by Depot Days Festival on Friday, 29 September 2017

If you’re planning a trip to Newport, Arkansas in September, then your visit is undoubtedly going to be an exciting one since Depot Day Music Festival also takes place in the same month. This is a two-day festival that’s always celebrated in downtown Newport. For two whole days, the city enjoys fantastic food, lots of music, and good fun. In addition to the liveliness of the event itself, the venue is just on the banks of the White River, so you can enjoy spectacular scenery to boot!

Depot Days Music Festival

Address: 201 Hazel Street Newport, AR 72112

Website: Depot Days Music Festival

Takes place: September

5. Bikes, Blues and BBQ Festival

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

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 blues music, September or 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, and back then it only had had about 300 riders. Today, this event attracts riders and bikers from all 50 states. Bikes, Blues, and BBQ Festival is more than just a gathering for motorcycle enthusiasts. It’s also a somewhat high-end vintage fete characterized by good music 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: October

6. Arkansas Scottish Festival

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

Posted by Arkansas Scottish Festival on Tuesday, April 16, 2019

The birth of this amazing festival was in 1979, and it aims to celebrate Scottish heritage. Arkansas Scottish Festival is an annual event celebrated in the bustling city of Batesville, and it takes place in July. The festival was first called Highland Games before it was changed to Arkansas Scottish Festival. The event is typically characterized by drummers, athletes, pipers, dancers, and various vendors.

Arkansas Scottish Festival

Address: 2300 Highland Road Batesville, Arkansas 72501

Website: Arkansas Scottish Festival

Takes place: Usually held in April

7. Ozark Folk Festival

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

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

This music festival is usually celebrated in Eureka Springs in October. The Ozark Folk Festival is known to invite an amazing crowd of festival-goers who flock to enjoy a rich fusion of urban, American, folk, and bluegrass music. If you’re ever in the city during when the festival takes place, you can enjoy everything from live music to delicious food. This is one of the longest folk events in Arkansas, and it honors an outstanding tradition that began in 1948.

Ozark Folk Festival

Address: Eureka Springs, AR

Website: Ozark Folk Festival

Takes place: Usually held in October

8. Magnolia Blossom Festival

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


Magnolia Blossom Festival is a two-in-one fete: It hosts an art event and a world championship steak cook-off. It’s one of the biggest festivals in the city of Magnolia, and the cook-off is always the highlight of this festivity. It attracts many participants and thousands of hungry spectators eager to see which grilled rib-eye steak emerges as the victor of the cup trophy for the tastiest and juiciest steak.

Magnolia Blossom Festival

Address: Magnolia, AR

Website: Magnolia Blossom Festival

Takes place: May

9. Hot Springs St. Patrick’s Day Parade

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

Photo by David Yerby.

Posted by World's Shortest St. Patrick's Day Parade on Friday, March 22, 2019

Hot Springs’ St. Patrick’s Day Parade is also popularly known as the World’s Shortest St. Patrick’s Day Parade. This is celebrated annually in June in the heart of Hot Springs. This fun festival attracts a huge crowd of visitors who come to participate or cheer at the dancers and marchers. Food vendors come to sell delicious eats and the street is typically filled with good music, excitement, and fun. This is a wonderful 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

10. Rodeo of the Ozarks

Parsons Stadium in Springdale, Arkansas
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Brandonrush used under CC BY-SA 3.0

If you are a rodeo fan, June is one of the best months to be in Springdale, Arkansas. This is when you get a chance to watch the Rodeo of the Ozarks. Among the thrilling amusements to expect include cowboy challenges, bareback riding, steer wrestling, and tie-down roping, among others. Good music will keep everyone entertained throughout while drinks and food will keep the crowd happy and buzzed. The Rodeo of the Ozarks is definitely one you don’t want to miss if you’re in Springdale in June!

Rodeo of the Ozarks

Address: 1423 E Emma Ave, Springdale, AR 72765

Website: Rodeo of the Ozarks

Takes place: June

11. King Biscuit Blues Festival

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


Mid-October, the weekend before Columbus Day - this is when the King Biscuit Blues Festival, an iconic event attracting thousands of visitors from all over the globe, takes place. It’s held on the banks of the Mississippi River in Helena, Arkansas. This festival features up-and-coming acts, amazing food and drinks, and outstanding live entertainment. This three-day festival was founded in 1986 and is a popular event among blues enthusiasts. You can also expect street music, arts and crafts, and a barbecue contest.

King Biscuit Blues Festival

Address: Helena, AR 72342

Website: King Biscuit Blues Festival

Takes place: Mid-October

12. Hot Springs Music Festival

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

Posted by Hot Springs Music Festival on Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Held in June every year, Hot Springs Music Festival invites classical musicians from all over the world to Hot Springs. This two-week festival brings the city to life by offering concerts and open rehearsals that people can listen to. There’s no one venue to this event as the concerts are held in different venues across Hot Springs, from historic buildings to open-air spaces.

Hot Springs Music Festival

Address: Hot Springs, AR 71902

Website: Hot Springs Music Festival

Takes place: June

13. Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival

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

Posted by Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival on Friday, June 11, 2021

Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival is an annual festival dedicated to celebrating cinema. This is a 10-day event featuring both local and international documentaries. It’s held every October and attracts filmmakers and film enthusiasts from all over the country. Panels and talks are held, and there is also a documentary boot camp that aspiring filmmakers can sign up for.

Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival

Address: Hot Springs, AR

Website: Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival

Takes place: October

14. Old Fort Days Rodeo

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

Posted by Old Fort Days Rodeo on Sunday, June 6, 2021

If you’re looking for some fun, excitement, and old-fashioned entertainment, then don’t miss Old Fort Days Rodeo. This 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 who come to compete for the largest price in the state. The event features saddle bronc riding, bareback riding, barrel racing, steer wrestling, calf roping, and bull riding. To complement the exciting shows, vendors sell 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

15. ACANSA Arts Festival

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


Also known as ACANSA Arts Festival of the South, this event in Noth Little Rock is usually celebrated in September. It’s a two-week fair known to feature music, dance, theater, culinary arts, and visual arts, among other entertainment. This performing arts festival attracts art lovers from different parts of the US. From musical performances to stand-up comedies, ACANSA Arts Festival is sure to delight.

ACANSA Arts Festival

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

Website: ACANSA Arts Festival

Takes place: Usually held in September

16. Territorial Fair [Last event in 2019]

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

If you love historic fairs where people dress up and act like it’s the 1800s, then you’ll love Territorial Fair. This event is hosted by Historic Arkansas Museum in Little Rock. The activities take place in various areas in and around the museum, and you can enjoy outdoor games and dancing.

Territorial Fair

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

Takes place: May

17. Smackover Oil Town Festival [Last event in 2019]

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

Don't Miss your chance to catch Lone Star at this years Oil Town! They will be putting on 5 show's between Friday and Saturday! Stay Tuned for times!

Posted by Smackover Oil Town Festival on Friday, April 8, 2016

One of the most fun-filled festivals that happen in Smackover, Arkansas is Smackover Oil Town Festival. This is a festival featuring various activities such as arm wrestling, turtle racing, bunco, bingo, horseshoe pitching, and a cook-off. This is one of the best family-friendly fairs celebrated during the third week of June. There is always something to look forward to every night.

Smackover Oil Town Festival

Address: Smackover, AR

Website: Smackover Oil Town Festival

Takes place: May

18. Des Arc Steamboat Days [Last event in 2019]

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

Posted by Steamboat Days on Saturday, 18 May 2019

Held in Des Arc, Arkansas, Des Arc Steamboat Days is usually held in 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. Adults will enjoy good music and drinks. Activities include a barbecue cook-off, a car show, a carnival, and a bass tournament, among others. The fireworks show in the evening makes it all the more exciting.

Des Arc Steamboat Days

Address: Des Arc, Arkansas

Website: Des Arc Steamboat Days

Takes place: June

19. Malvern Brickfest

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

We still have a few spots left to put down your chairs or blankets... but just a few Better hurry! Lonestar gets started at 8:30!

Posted by Malvern Brickfest on Saturday, June 29, 2013

Malvern Brickfest is an event that commemorates the importance of bricks to the city. Brick production in Malvern helped boost its economy, so the locals created a festival to celebrate it. This free event is held in June and attracts thousands of people since vendors come to sell food and arts and crafts. As with most fun festivals, a watermelon eating contest is also held, along with a basketball tournament.

Malvern Brickfest

Address: Malvern, Arkansas

Website: Malvern Brickfest

Takes place: June

20. Surf the Bay Watersports Festival [Last event in 2019]

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

Surf the Bay Watersports Festival is an event like no other. This is a premier watersport and music event. You’ll be able to enjoy wake surfing, kayaking, and flyboarding, but you can also 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

Takes place: June

21. Arkansas State Fair

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


October is the month when Little Rock organizes Arkansas State Fair, an annual festival. This exciting festival takes place at a designated 140-acre (57-hectare) arena. The event offers a range of incredible facilities, including the Hall of Industry, Barton Coliseum, and cattle barns. As always, food and drink vendors are present to offer tasty treats. When it comes to October festivals, this is one you can’t miss.

Arkansas State Fair

Address: 2600 Howard St, Little Rock, AR 72206

Website: Arkansas State Fair

Takes place: October

22. Arkansas Jonquil Festival

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

Annually hosted at the historic Washington State Park, Arkansas Jonquil Festival is a three-day event that attracts visitors and entertainers to this small city. Vendors sell amazing local goods, including food and crafts. This festival is always celebrated in March since this is when the jonquil plants bloom. Visitors will definitely enjoy the park’s tranquility.

Arkansas Jonquil Festival

Address: 103 Franklin St Washington, Arkansas 71862

Takes place: March

23. Riverfest [Last event in 2018]

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


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.

Riverfest

Website: Riverfest

Takes place: May (Memorial Day weekend)

24. Chile Pepper Cross Country Festival

Chili Pepper CC Festival
Source: Photo by Flickr 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 Chile Pepper Cross Country Festival presents the perfect opportunity. This marathon is a combination of three Northwest Arkansas cross-country races under one umbrella, forming one major event. Over time, this festival has turned into a premier event in America that features the Tom Lewis 1 Mile Pepper Dashan and 5K and 10K marathon races.

Chile Pepper Cross Country Festival

Website: Chile Pepper Cross Country Festival

Takes place: October

25. Fat Tire Festival [Last event in 2019]

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

The Nelson Fat Tire Festival is a three-day event 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

Takes place: July

26. Big Bass Bonanza

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

The Big Bass Bonanza is an annual mid-October event that invites fishing enthusiasts and anglers to head to the Arkansas River to fish for big bass. Competition is high as a cash prize is promised to whoever catches the biggest bass during the event. This tournament is hosted by Arkansas Hospitality Association.

Big Bass Bonanza

Website: Big Bass Bonanza

Takes place: Mid-October

27. Cleburne County Fair

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

Another festival that takes place in September is Cleburne County Fair. This fair features livestock shows, good food, and fantastic music. Every year, thousands of tourists from across the US are drawn to this intriguing festival in Heber Springs. Some events include a costume contest, a showmanship competition, a senior pie contest, and more.

Cleburne County Fair

Address: 880 Bittle Rd, Heber Springs, AR 72543

Website: Cleburne County Fair

Takes place: September

28. World Championship Cardboard Boat Races

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. It features a mix of amusing activities, including a treasure dig, a volleyball tournament, and a watermelon eating contest. If you get hungry, there are food vendors around. This festival is normally held in Sandy Beach, with races beginning at 10 am and ending at 4 pm.

World Championship Cardboard Boat Races

Address: Sandy Beach, Heber Springs, AR 72543

Website: World Championship Cardboard Boat Races

Takes place: July

29. Lights of the Ozarks Festival

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 when the Lights of the Ozarks Festival takes place. It turns downtown Fayetteville into a light spectacle, beautifully illuminating the city streets with over 4,000 colored lights. 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.

Lights of the Ozarks Festival

Address: Fayetteville, AR

Takes place: November to January

Fun festivals in Arkansas

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

When it’s time to party, it’s time to party. To many, festivals are a reason to socialize and enjoy good food, drinks, and amazing music. If you’re visiting Arkansas anytime soon, check out this list to see if your destination has a festival coming up!

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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