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Central Food 2

14 Arkansas Food Festivals to Experience this Summer


An Arkansas summer food festival was at the top of the list of things we missed most in 2020. Celebrating unique tastes, frozen treats, and outdoor entertainment highlights many summer memories, and 2021 is bringing back some of our favorite experiences.

The lineup this summer of exceptional Arkansas Food Festivals includes our favorite flavors of peach, wine and watermelon. Still, a few unique flavors like Bloody Mary and purple hull peas sneak their way in for one-of-a-kind experiences on Arkansas backroads in all four corners.

Used with permission from The Berry Farm

June Arkansas Food Festivals

Arkansas Times Margarita Festival | Little Rock | June 18 | Purchase Tickets
An outdoor festival at the River Market Pavilion where guests can taste cocktails from 19 restaurants and bars around Little Rock all in one place.

Wilson Annual Bloody Mary Competition | Wilson | June 19 | Purchase Tickets
An inaugural experience, the competition will expose visitors to the beautiful gardens at The Grange in historic downtown Wilson. Professional and amateur mixologists will bring their best concoctions.

Dad’s BBQ Showdown and Hotrod Hangout | Norphlet | June 19 | Learn More
A day planned to honor dads with all the things they love, hanging out with friends, barbecue ribs and hotrods.

Berry Fest | Bentonville | June 19 | Purchase Tickets
A family-friendly u-pick fun night at The Berry Farm where you pick your own berries and enjoy live music and a summer Northwest Arkansas evening.

Purple Hull Pea Festival | Emerson | June 26 | Learn More 
Home to the Sawblade.com World Championship Rotary Tiller Race is a small town festival with a one-in-a-lifetime world championship sporting event.

Arkansas Food Festivals - Clarksville Peach Festival
Photo used with permission from the Johnson County Peach Festival

July Arkansas Food Festivals

Grill and Chill Festival | Paragould | July 10 | Purchase Tickets
The first year for this Greene County event will celebrate the best of small-town America with EXTREME fun, small-town entertainment and kid’s activities.

Peach Festival | Clarksville | July 22-24 | Festival Headquarters 
This longest-running outdoor festival in Arkansas includes events like a peach eating contest, peach pit spitting contest, peach cobbler bake-off, peach pie-eating contest, greased pig catch, jam and jelly cookoff, peach salsa cookoff, a Mrs. Peach pageant, frog jumping competition and a greased pig chase.

The Rock City Margarita Festival and The Great Arkansas Beer Festival | Little Rock | July 24-25 | Purchase Tickets
This year, these two festivals are teaming up with 103.7 The BUZZ to throw the biggest party of the summer!

Arkansas Food Festivals - Hope Watermelon Festival
Photo by Rodney G Steele, used with permission from the Hope Chamber of Commerce

Cave City Watermelon Food Festival | Cave City | July 29-30 | Festival Headquarters
In its 40th year, this festival celebrates the people and businesses that make the region so great. Voted the best festival in North Central Arkansas, three days of celebration highlight a kid’s wet zone, pancakes breakfast, alumni reunion and a prize melon contest

Altus Grape Festival | Altus | July 30-31 | Learn More
This two-day festival celebrates one of Arkansas’ most fantastic resources, the beautiful grapes that grow in the lush River Valley. Weideker Village and Post Familie Vineyards are in the center of all. Tastings, crafts and vineyard walks are all part of the busy schedule.

Ice Cream Social on the Square | Berryville | July 30-31 | Learn More
The 35th annual Ice Cream Social brings visitors into the Historic Bentonville Square with three museums in walking distance and live music, history and food for the family.

Photo used with permission from the Greater Berryville Chamber of Commerce

August Arkansas Food Festivals

Tontitown Grape Festival | Tontitown | August 3-7 | Festival Headquarters
Grape stomping and spaghetti dinners collide in a weekend that is all about the traditions established by Arkansas’ first Italian settlers arrived in 1897.

Hope Watermelon | Hope | August 5-7 | Festival Headquarters
This year they are ALL JUICED for festivities being back at the fairgrounds with melon contests, a kid fun one, watermelon olympics, and a headline concert by Phil Vasser.

Bentonville Whiskey Festival | Bentonville | August 14 | Purchase Tickets
An upscale tasting event featuring whiskey, bourbon, scotch, and fine spirits on the grounds of the historic Peel Mansion.

Know of other food and beverage festivals this Summer in Arkansas? Leave details in the comments below.

Cover image taken by Rodney G. Steele and used with permission from the Hope Chamber of Commerce.

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Keisha (Pittman) McKinney lives in Northwest Arkansas with her chicken man and break-dancing son. Keisha is passionate about connecting people and building community, seeking solutions to the everyday big and small things, and encouraging others through the mundane, hard, and typical that life often brings. She put her communications background to work as a former Non-profit Executive Director, college recruiter and fundraiser, small business trainer, and Digital Media Director at a large church in Northwest Arkansas. Now, she is using those experiences through McKinney Media Solutions and her blog @bigpittstop, which includes daily adventures, cooking escapades, #bigsisterchats, the social justice cases on her heart, and all that she is learning as a #boymom! Keisha loves to feed birds, read the stack on her nightstand, do dollar store crafts, cook recipes from her Pinterest boards, and chase everyday adventures on her Arkansas bucket list.

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