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Northwest Arkansas is home to festivals that celebrate the region’s heritage, provide entertainment and simply offer plain ol’ fun.

From Civil War buffs to naturalists, music lovers to craft makers, virtually anyone can find some annual event that tickles a fancy.

At Tontitown’s Grape Festival, founded in 1899, about 7,000 spaghetti dinners are served. Other events may draw hundreds, while some — such as the annual collection of craft fairs that have come to collectively be referred to as War Eagle Weekend, or the transplanted Wakarusa Music Festival — draw tens of thousands.

Diversity remains a good description of all that is available in the form of festivals throughout Northwest Arkansas.

February

Fat Saturday Parade of Fools
Early February
Dickson Street, Fayetteville
• A family-friendly Mardi Gras parade, including floats, bands and walking groups in costume.

Eureka Gras
February 2-9, 2013
Historic downtown Eureka Springs
• Week-long event put on by the Krewe of Krazo that includes the Hookers and Jokers Ball, costume contests, a pub crawl and a Mardi Gras parade.

Mardi Gras on Dickson St.
February 2-9, 2013
Dickson Street, Fayetteville
• Street party and foot parade with costumed revelers and a Zydeco band.

March

Battle of Pea Ridge Commemoration
March 22-24, 2013
Pea Ridge National Military Park
• Civil War buffs will love the artillery demonstrations at this well-preserved battlefield.

April

Fort Smith Heritage Festival
Early April
Fort Smith: Historic Downtown
• A celebration of Fort Smith history and culture that benefits the Meals for Kids program.

Pickin’ in the Park
Every Saturday April through October
Rogers: Frisco Park
• Enjoy acoustic country, gospel and bluegrass every Saturday night.

Artosphere
April and May
Various locations in Fayetteville
• The Walton Arts Center hosts this celebration of art, nature and artists inspired by nature.

Dogwood Festival
Last weekend of April
Siloam Springs City Park
• An arts and crafts fair that boasts entertainment, a 5K run and a petting zoo.

May

War Eagle Mill Craft and Culinary Fair
Early May
Rogers: Historic War Eagle Mill
• Northwest Arkansas’ oldest and most revered craft fair features country crafts and whimsical charm.

Ozark Regional Arts and Crafts Show
Early May
Springdale: Northwest Arkansas Convention Center
• The largest indoor arts and crafts fair in Arkansas, this festival was named one of the top 100 craft fairs in the country.

Frisco Station Mall Arts and Crafts Festival
Early May
Rogers: Frisco Station Mall
• More than 250 craft exhibitors greet visitors to the craft fair.

Spanker Creek Farm Arts and Crafts Fair
Early May
Bentonville: Spanker Creek Farm
• This twice-annual arts and crafts fair takes place along idyllic Spanker Creek.

Heart of America Plein Air Paint-Out
Mid-May
Bentonville: Peel Mansion, Compton Gardens and Downtown Square
• Artists from around the country flock to Bentonville to paint outdoors.

Crawdad Days
Third weekend in May
Harrison: Town Square
• Country music, Cajun food, hot rods and carnival rides are all part of this yearly festival.

Pickin’ on the Square
May through September
Bentonville: Town Square
• A weekly bluegrass jam in downtown Bentonville.

Gully Park annual concert series
Late May through Mid-August
Fayetteville: Gulley Park
• Local bands play selected Thursday nights at 7 p.m. throughout the summer.

Old Fort Days Rodeo
Week of Memorial Day
Fort Smith: Kay Rodgers Park
• An old-fashioned, Old West rodeo that features calf roping,, barrel racing, wild horse racing, bareback riding, steer wrestling, saddle bronc riding and bull riding.

June

Wakarusa
May 30 – June 2, 2013
Ozark: Mulberry Mountain
• Bands and fans from around the country flock to this weekend celebration of music, carnival rides and camping.

Eureka Springs Blues Weekend
Early June
Eureka Springs: The Auditorium and downtown
• A celebration of local and regtional blues musicians.

Bentonville ArtsFest
Month of June
Bentonville: Downtown Square
• The indoor/outdoor ArtsFest features art from around the region, live theater and music, children’s activities, culinary explorations and workshops.

Opera in the Ozarks
Mid-June to Mid-July
Eureka Springs: Inspiration Point Theatre, 16311 U.S. 62 West
• Traditional operas performed by a nationally renowned local group.

Riverfront Blues Festival
Late June
Fort Smith: Harry E. Kelley Park
• A two-day festival featuring national blues acts such as Robert Cray and Johnny Lang.

Mount Magazine International Butterfly Festival
June 21-22, 2013
Mt. Magazine State Park
• Visitors can see 91 of Arkansas’ 127 butterfly species on Mount Magazine.

Rodeo of the Ozarks
Late June/early July
Springdale: Parsons Stadium
• A yearly rodeo festival that features traditional rodeo events, mutton bustin’ and stagecoach rides for the kids, an old-fashioned street dance and a barbecue contest.

July

KUAF Summer Jazz Concert Series
July and August
Walton Arts Center, Starr Theater
• A series of finger-popping jazz concerts.

August

Annual Decatur BBQ
First Friday of August
Decature: Decatur City Park
• Enjoy your barbecue while listening to live country music or watching a parade.

Tontitown Grape Festival
August 7-11, 2013
Tontitown: St. Joseph Catholic Church grounds
• Savor homemade spaghetti and fried chicken or tour craft booths and a carnival. (starts on Aug. 9th)

Frisco Festival
Last weekend in August
Rogers: Historic Downtown District
• This event includes the Great Cardboard Train Races, the Chilisalsapeno Competition, Kids Connection and more.

Eureka Springs Family Bluegrass Weekend
August 16-19, 2013
Eureka Springs: The Auditorium and Basin Spring Park
• A free festival that has featured such bluegrass luminaries as Ralph Stanley, Mike Snyder and Doc Watson alongside local talents like the Eureka Springs Bluegrass Band.

Madison County Fair
August 18, 2013
Huntsville: Sky High Rodeo Arena
• Carnival rides, lawnmower races, a parade, arts and crafts and livestock are part of this county fair.

September

Washington County Fair
August 27-September 1
Fayetteville: Washington County Fairgrounds
• The fair includes a carnival food, livestock shows and entertainment.

Clothesline Fair
Labor Day weekend
Prairie Grove: Prairie Grove Battlefield State Park
• Includes an Ozard craft show, antique farm equipment, walks through historic buildings and Civil War artifacts.

Arkansas Hot Air Balloon Championships
September 7-9, 2013
Harrison: Soccer Complex
• Residents can come ouit to watch hot air balloonists compete or just take in the balloon glow.

Pinnacle Hills Art and Food Festival
Second weekend in September
Rogers: Pinnacle Hills Promenade
• Live music, art, food and the annual “Living It Green” expo are part of this art sale.

Cane Hill Harvest Festival
Third weekend of September
Cane Hill: Historic Cane Hill College Building
• Sorghum and apple butter making, dulcimer players, entertainment, a tractor parade and demonstrations offered.

Benton County Fair
August 15-19
Vaughn: New Benton County Fairgrounds
• Old fashioned county fair with beauty pageants, a talent show, horse shows, a junior livestock sale and amusement rides.

Bikes, Blues and BBQ
Late September
Fayetteville: Dickson Street; Tyson Track Complex
• One of the largest motorcycle rallies in the country, featuring a barbecue contest and live blues performances.

Arkansas-Oklahoma State Fair
Late September
Fort Smith: Kay Rodgers Park
• One of Arkansas’ largest fairs, featuring beauty pageants, livestock shows, food and a carnival midway.

October

Eagle Watch Weekend
October
Eureka Springs: Belle of the Ozarks at Starkey Marina, Beaver Lake
• Passengers learn about bald eagles.

Arkansas Apple Festival
First weekend in October
Lincoln: Lincoln Town Square
• An arts and crafts fair, beauty pageant and music festival that celebrates the legend of Johnny Appleseed.

Yonder Mountain String Band’s Harvest Festival
Mid-October
Ozark: Mulberry Mountain
• This music festival has featured national Americana acts such as Leftover Salmon, the Avett Brothers and the Wailers.

Ozark Regional Arts and Crafts Festival
Third weekend in October
Rogers and Springdale: John Q. Hammons Center and the Northwest Arkansas Convention Center
• The largest indoor arts and crafts fair in Arkansas, this festival was named one of the top 100 craft fairs in the country.

Bella Vista Arts and Crafts Festival
Third weekend in October
Bella Vista: South of Arkansas 340 and 279
• More than 350 exhibitors, live entertainment, food, singers and dancers will be on hand.

War Eagle Fall Arts and Crafts Fair
October 18-21, 2013
Rogers: War Eagle Mill
• Activities include craft exhibits, cooking and corn meal-grinding demonstrations.

Jones Center Fall Arts and Crafts Festival
Third weekend in October
Springdale: Jones Center for Families
• A juried arts and crafts show featuring more than 100 exhibitors and access to the center’s recreational facilities.

November

Original Ozark Folk
Festival
October 31-November 3, 2013
Eureka Springs: The Auditorium and Basin Spring Park
• The oldest, continually-running folk festival in the country.

Lights of the Ozarks
Saturday before Thanksgiving through December 31, 2013
Fayetteville: Fayetteville Square
• The annual lighting of the Square, parade, Christmas songs and pony rides are featured.

Springdale Rodeo of the Ozarks Christmas Parade
Saturday after Thanksgiving
Springdale: Begins at rodeo grounds and travels down Emma Avenue
• The annual Springdale Christmas parade.

Festival of Trees
December 1, 2013
Bella Vista: Various locations throughout the village
• Golf courses, shopping centers and the Veterans Wall of Honor participate in this yearly Christmas tree showcase.

December

Rogers Christmas Parade
December 3, 2013
Rogers: Downtown Rogers
• Parade includes floats, marching bands and Santa Claus.

Eureka Springs Christmas Parade
November 30, 2013
• Evening parade features floats, Santa and thousands of lights.

Light Up Siloam Springs Christmas Parade
First Saturday in December
Siloam Springs: Downtown
• A traditional, family Christmas parade sponsored by the Heritage League of Siloam Springs.

Prairie Grove Battle Re-enactment
First weekend in December each even-numbered year
Prairie Grove: Prairie Grove Battlefield State Park
• More than 1,000 Civil War re-enactors participate in the anniversary.

Winter Wonderland Parade
Early December
Bentonville: Town Square
• Christmas parade winds through downtown Bentonville.

Fayetteville Christmas Parade
Second weekend in December
Fayetteville: Dickson Street and the Square
• Parade includes decorated cars, Christmas lights and carols.

Last Night Fayetteville
New Year’s Even
Fayetteville: Various locations in town
• The New Year’s celebration features local artists and fun for all ages.

 
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