Fall is right around the corner, and that always brings about one of the busiest times of the year in and around Fayetteville. The weather begins to cool, the students come back to town, and with the nicer weather plus 27,000 extra residents in the city, it’s kind of an ideal time to host an event or festival in the region.
As a result, that’s exactly what everyone does.
Here’s a rundown of some of the bigger events that we know about coming up this fall so you can get them on your calendar. We’ll likely add to this list, and as always, feel free to let us know what we missed in the comments.
Photo Courtesy of Andy Shupe
Washington County Fair
Date: Aug. 21-25
Location: Washington County Fairgrounds
Description: The annual Washington County Fair is happening a little earlier this year. The event has moved up a week, but will still include all the same attractions locals have come to expect over the years, including the carnival, animal judging, music, pageants, petting zoo, bull riding and more.
New this year, a Lumberjack Show has also been added to the festivities.
More information about the fair, including a schedule, is available at mywashcofair.com.
Fayetteville Roots Festival
Date: Aug. 22-26
Location: Various locations around Fayetteville and surrounding area
Description: What started as a small music festival in a restaurant parking lot has grown into much, much more. Fayetteville Roots Festival has expanded to become a multi-day, multi-venue, multi-city music, food, and folk culture festival that is now one of the signature events each fall in Fayetteville.
This year’s festival includes music by headliners like Gillian Welch, Turnpike Troubadours, Josh Ritter, Mavis Staples, Gregory Alan Isakov, Booker T. Jones, and John Fullbright, along with a host of chef dinners, food and spirits tastings, songwriting workshops, art installations, and tons more.
Many of the events at the festival will sell out, but a full schedule of events, including ticket information is available at therootsfest.org.
Date: Sept. 8
Location: Tri Cycle Farms
Description: The biggest fundraiser of the year for the local nonprofit farm, Tri Cycle Farms, is a celebration of the delicious creation known as pesto.
The 7th annual Pesto Fest is coming up this fall and will include a pesto-making competition judged by local celebrity chefs, live music, kids activities, and more.
The music lineup this year includes Arkansauce, Ashtyn Barbaree and Nick Caffrey, The Home School Dropouts, and Warren Dietzel.
Advance tickets are $30, and proceeds benefit the farm. For more information, tickets, or to register for the event, visit tricyclefarms.org.
Date: Saturday, Sept. 8
Location: Walmart AMP
Description: For the third year, the folks at Walton Arts Center are organizing an annual celebration of live music, craft beer, and technology at the Walmart AMP.
The third annual AMP Fest is set for Saturday, Sept. 8 this year. The event will include live music by Dazz & Brie, Goose and Mixtapes, craft beer from 20 local, regional, and national breweries, technology demonstrations, and more.
Tickets are $44, on sale now at waltonartscenter.org.
Chefs in the Garden
Date: Sept. 11
Location: Botanical Garden of the Ozarks
Description: Chefs in the Garden is a fundraiser for Botanical Garden in the Ozarks featuring food created by a host of local chefs. Guests can stroll through the garden and sample from a diverse selection of sweet and savory culinary creations.
This year’s Honorary Chef is Mario Valdovino, Corporate Executive Chef and Senior Director of Culinary Innovations in the Research & Development Department at Tyson Foods.
Ticket prices are $50 for garden members and $75 for non-members. Visit bgozarks.org for more info.
Date: Sept. 15
Location: Winslow, AR
Description: A live music, arts and crafts, and family festival in Winslow, Arkansas.
This year’s event will include live music by Oreo Blue, Crescent City Combo, Randall Shreve, Greenland Station Bluegrass Band, Dylan Earl and the Reasons Why, The Creek Rocks, the Outliers, and Sugar Creek.
For a bit more info, visit winfestmusicfestival.com.
Cane Hill Harvest Festival
Date: Sept. 15-16
Location: Cane Hill College, 14219 College Rd (WC4762), Cane Hill, AR
Description: Cane Hill Harvest Festival includes live music, food, arts & crafts, quilt show, tractor show, children’s games and a petting zoo. There will also be demonstrations on making sorghum molasses, lye soap and hominy, and other attractions.
The music lineup for this year’s event hasn’t been released just yet, but last year’s was pretty great.
For a bit more info, visit the Facebook event.
NWA CX Series
Date: Sept. 29-30, Oct. 13, Oct. 21, Nov. 10-11, Nov. 18, Dec. 1.
Location: Fayetteville, Johnson, Springdale, Lowell, and Avoca
Description: A new group is hosting a series of Cyclecross races throughout the NWA Region this fall. The NWA CX Series is a six-race series intended for elite riders and newcomers. For those who aren’t familiar, Cyclocross is the fastest-growing discipline in bike racing and is a highly spectator-friendly cross between criterium racing and mountain biking.
Events are scheduled in Lowell (Sept. 29-30), Bentonville (Oct. 13), Johnson (Oct. 21), Fayetteville (Nov. 10-11), Springdale (Nov. 18), with the Arkansas State Championship scheduled for Dec. 1 in Avoca.
For a bit more info, visit ozarkcross.cx.
Oz Cross, part of the NWA CX Series
Red Bull Pump Track World Championships
Date: Oct. 13
Location: Downtown Springdale
Description: The Jones Center is currently in the process of building a world-class mountain bike park and pump track, and as soon as it’s complete, it is set to host the Red Bull Pump Track World Championships this fall.
Qualifying rounds for the final began in March in Indonesia. Other events have since been held in the Philippines, New Zealand, India, South Africa, Chile, Thailand, Scotland and France. In all, 21 qualifying events will have taken place around the world ahead of the championship final.
More information about the event is available at redbullpumptrackworldchampionship.com/.
Fayetteville Film Fest
Date: Sept. 20-22
Location: Downtown Fayetteville
Description: Fayetteville Film Festival will take place at various locations around downtown Fayetteville, though most of the screenings occur in the Global Campus Theater on the square. The festival includes feature films, shorts, documentaries, experimental films, along with workshops, filmmaker Q/As, a red carpet kickoff party, and other film-related events.
More information, including tickets, are available at fayettevillefilmfest.org.
Square to Square
Date: Sept. 22
Location: Bentonville Square to Fayetteville Square
Description: The semi-annual Square to Square bike ride and festival is set for Sept. 22 this year.
The Square 2 Square Bike Ride follows the Razorback Greenway, and in the fall, will begin on the Bentonville square and finish in downtown Fayetteville. It’s a 30-mile ride in all, though riders can choose to start anywhere along the trail system to participate. In addition to the ride, there are festive pit stops along the way, refreshments, and more.
A mini-festival will take place on the Fayetteville square at the finish line.
The ride is $25 for adults, and $15. More information is available at the city of Fayetteville’s website.
Square to Square
Frank Stanford Literary Festival
Date: Sept. 21-23
Location: Various locations around Fayetteville
Description: Ten years ago, a gathering of more than 100 poets from across the country assembled in Fayetteville, Arkansas to read the poems of Frank Stanford and celebrate the vibrant work of other outsider artists.
This fall, the folks from Open Mouth Readings and Typo Magazine will honor Stanford’s legacy and creative work with another installment of the Frank Stanford Literary Festival.
The event will also celebrate the work of fellow Arkansas-born poet and Lost Roads co-founder, the late C.D. Wright, the continuing work of Lost Roads Publishers, and the array of poets influenced by Stanford and Wright who continue to work, as Stanford charged, to “reclaim the landscape of American poetry.”
The festival will include tribute readings, readings by active poets, panels and conversations, film screenings, special guests, and a marathon reading of Stanford and Wright’s work.
For more information, visit the event website.