As the summer slowly (or not so slowly) slips away, there are still great opportunities to enjoy the fun. We have festivals galore this weekend. Are you hungry for watermelons or grapes? Ready to ride your bike or race a cardboard boat? How about music or an antique military vehicle show? There’s history, art, and so much more this weekend only in Arkansas. What are your plans?
38th Annual Cave City Watermelon Festival
After its debut in 1980, the Watermelon Festival has evolved into a summer celebration, bringing Grammy winning artists, emerging talent and local favorites along with thousands of people from Cave City, the surrounding area and around the United States together each year for free entertainment and an unforgettable homecoming experience. This year’s festival features a kids’ fishing derby, a car show, Melon Dash 5K, a wet zone for kids, watermelon games, and a free watermelon feast featuring the “World’s Sweetest Watermelons.”
July 27, 2017 – July 29, 2017, 5:00 p.m. – 10:30 p.m.
Cave City Park
W. South St.
Cave City, AR 72521
Ironclads, Cotton and Corn: The Civil War in the Mississippi Delta – Lake Village
Today, many people associate the Mississippi Delta as the birthplace of the Blues. Tourists from across the globe visit the Delta each year to, as one travel writer put it, “soak up the raw authenticity,” of the region. Steeped in agriculture (and specially cotton), the Mississippi Delta is indeed a unique place and the stories of Blues legends and Civil Rights heroes deserve to told and retold. But there is another legacy of the Mississippi Delta which is often overlooked, and that is the important role the region played in the Civil War. Seen by many historians as a sideshow to more significant campaigns, the reality is that the Delta was vital to Confederate interests and was the target of repeated Union attempts to utilize the region’s waterways as an avenue of invasion. A native of Meridian, Mississippi, Jim Woodrick serves as Director of the Historic Preservation Division at the Mississippi Department of Archives and History, where he worked for a number of years as the Civil War Sites Historian. In that capacity, he managed the Mississippi Civil War Trails program, participated in a number of battlefield and campaign studies with the National Park Service, and worked closely with the Civil War Trust and the American Battlefield Protection Program to identify Civil War battlefield properties in Mississippi for acquisition and preservation. Jim is a graduate of Millsaps College in Jackson, Mississippi. He is the author of The Civil War Siege of Jackson Mississippi, published by The History Press (2016).
July 27, 2017, 5:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
601 Highway 142
Lake Village, AR 71653
Peacemaker Music & Arts Festival – Fort Smith
The Peacemaker Music & Arts Festival is a unique live entertainment experience that features a very diverse lineup of local, regional, and national touring musicians representing multiple genres, such as country, rock, bluegrass, gospel, and blues.
July 28, 2017 – July 29, 2017, 4:00 p.m. – 11:45 p.m.
Riverfront Park Amphitheater
Fort Smith, AR 72901
Admission: Tickets start at $39
Rogers Cycling Festival
The festival consists of several road cycling and mountain bike events held in downtown Rogers, Arkansas. The festival brings cycling enthusiasts from across the central United States and has something for everyone; from highly skilled and competitive races to family friendly rides. This year we are happy to host the 2017 Arkansas State Road Race Championships! Proceeds from the festival benefit several nonprofit cycling causes in Northwest Arkansas.
July 28, 2017 – July 30, 2017
299 E. Cherry St.
Rogers, AR 72756
Admission: Entry fees vary per event.
34th Annual Altus Grape Festival
Come join the fun in Altus, the Arkansas Wine Capital! Enter the grape stomp competitions both days and amateur wine competition Saturday. Great food, juried arts & crafts show, games, contests, prizes, entertainment & more!
Friday, July 28, 5:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. & Saturday, July 29, 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Altus City Park
(South of I-40, Exit 41, at the junction of State Highway 186 & 64)
31st Annual World Championship Cardboard Boat Races – Heber Springs
Races begin at 10 a.m. Cardboard boats of all shapes and sizes compete for speed and design. Best design wins the Pride of the Fleet. A family event with good food, watermelon eating contest, treasure dig, and Lucky Duck Races for kids.
July 29, 2017, 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Sandy Beach on Greers Ferry Lake
Heber Springs, AR 72543
Admission: $5 parking
Chalk it Up! – Fort Smith
Come and create your own chalk art on the RAM patio during the citywide UNEXPECTED Mural Project weekend in downtown Fort Smith! Guests are also welcome to create a make and take work of chalk art in the RAM studio along with our RAM Saturday crowd. You can also participate in a collaborative mural that will be on display at RAM through the month of July! Bring the whole family downtown to have fun and chalk it up!
July 29, 2017, 12:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Fort Smith Regional Art Museum
1601 Rogers Ave.
Fort Smith, AR 72901
5th Annual Vintage Military Vehicle Show – Little Rock
Join us for the annual vintage military vehicle show on the museum’s front lawn, featuring Jeeps and other vehicles from members of the Arkansas Military Vehicle Preservation Association and the West Tennessee Military Vehicle Collectors Club. If you are interested in bringing a vintage Military Vehicle to the show, please check the website.
July 29, 2017, 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
503 E. 9th St.
Little Rock, AR 72202
Tontitown Grape Festival
One of Arkansas’s oldest festivals, we offer free entertainment, carnival rides, arts and crafts. The Queen Concordia ceremony is Friday night and homemade spaghetti dinner is Thursday, Friday and Saturday, 4:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m. There are also to win a brand new pick up truck.
August 1, 2017 – August 5, 2017, 5:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m.
154 E. Henri De Tonti Blvd.
Tontitown, AR 72770