Get Out in October

Oct 1, 2014 | Travel

[title subtitle=”words marla cantrell
images courtesy spencer doyle”][/title]

Fall is a great time for celebrations, from craft fairs to corn mazes to music festivals. After the heat of summer, we’re all ready to get outdoors and enjoy the cooler weather. An added bonus is that we get to see the leaves changing, making the drive to these events even more special. We’ve gathered some of the best outings in the state for you to consider and organized them by date. All that’s left to do is plan your outing!


Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays (except week of Halloween when The Ranch will be open every weeknight until 11pm). Also open in November.
10 Carter Street, Central City  |

COST: See Website

Come visit the area’s newest family-fun venue. The Ranch, located a mile and a half east of Central City on Highway 22 (just a ten-minute drive from Fort Smith), offers something for everyone, from  pumpkin chunking, a pumpkin patch, a daytime corn maze, a nighttime haunted corn maze, hay rides, haunted hay rides, marshmallow patch and s’more roasting, to concessions including roasted corn. The Ranch can also be reserved for private parties, school/church field trips, and group outings.


Fort Smith Oktoberfest

October 3 – 4
10203 Columbus Acres Road

COST:  Free Admission
(donations for the Kistler Center accepted at the gate)

Some of the best German food you’ll ever eat is served at Fort Smith’s Oktoberfest that’s been sponsored by the Knights of
Columbus since 1984. You’ll also hear authentic German music, as well as great local bands like Oreo Blue. There will be games for children, dancing, arts and crafts, a raffle, and a Biergarten. Bonus: Happy Brat Hour with half-price brats takes place from 2:00pm – 4:30pm each day.


Ozark Folk Festival

October 7 – 11
Downtown Eureka Springs  |

COST: See Website

The annual Ozark Folk Festival is one of the oldest of its kind, and features performances by national, regional, and local musicians. The main stage is in Eureka Springs’  historic 1929 auditorium. Headliners will be the Ozark Mountain Daredevils. There will be a Barefoot Ball on October 9, with the Cindy Woolf Band; free folk music on October 10 at Basin Spring Park; and a singer/songwriter contest.


King Biscuit Blues Festival

October 8 – 11
Historic Downtown Helena, Arkansas 

COST: Single Day, $30, Three Day Pass, $50

The King Biscuit Blues Festival is one of the nation’s best gatherings of Blues musicians, drawing thousands from across the world. Good food and drink will be had by all, and attendees will have the chance to hear greats like Roy Rogers & the Delta Rhythm Kings with special guest Sonny Landreth (Thursday); Delbert McClinton and the legendary Bobby Rush (Friday); and Jimmy Vivino and the Black Italians, and the W.C. Clark Band (Saturday). 


Van Buren Fall Festival

October 11 – 12
Main Street, Downtown Van Buren

COST: Free Admission

Live entertainment, arts, crafts, antiques, collectibles, and a whole lot of food. That’s what you can expect from Van Buren’s Fall Festival on its historic Main Street. More than 200 exhibitors will be on hand. (Please note that Friday evening will feature entertainment only.) Saturday and Sunday there will be arts and crafts, along with live music.


Wiederkehr Weinfest

October 11
Wiederkehr Village, Altus

COST: Free Admission

This is the fifty-first year for the Wiederkehr Weinfest, which celebrates the grape harvest. There will be tours of the wine cellars, arts and crafts, a grape stomp, free wine tasting for adults, concessions with international cuisine, dining at Weinkeller Restaurant, tram rides through the vineyards, kids carnival, a stone toss, a log toss, barrel rolling, and live music.


Bella Vista Arts & Crafts Festival

October 16 – 17
Arkansas Highway 279, just south of the intersection with Arkansas Highway 340
COST: Free Admission

This juried arts and crafts festival has been around since 1969, and  grows each year. There will be more than 300 artists and craftspeople, five circus-sized tents, free parking, free admission, and trams to take you to and from the exhibit area. Great food is available, and you’ll have the opportunity to sample much of it before you buy. Hundreds of volunteers make this festival run smoothly, and thousands are expected to attend. Profits from the event are used to promote art and provide art scholarships. 


Harvest Music Festival

October 16 – 18
Mulberry Mountain |

COST: See Website 

This ninth annual festival, held on Mulberry Mountain near Ozark, is being called one of the premier acoustic music events in the country. The lineup includes Yonder Mountain String Band, Trampled By Turtles, Carolina Chocolate Drops, The Jayhawks, Railroad Earth, and the Jerry Douglas Band. There will be a Fiddlin’ and Pickin’ contest, a songwriter contest, workshops, and camping — all in some of the prettiest country in Arkansas.


War Eagle Fair

October 16 – 19
11037 High Sky Inn Road, Hindsville

COST: Free Admission – Parking $3 per car

War Eagle Fair is called the “granddaddy” of them all, and it should be since approximately 180,000 people visit during this event. The fair, located on the banks of the War Eagle River, near War Eagle Mill, began in 1954. There are hundreds of vendors, artists and craftspeople, selling everything from oil paintings to hand woven baskets, to seasonal decorations. There’s also lots of food and drink available, and live entertainment. 


War Eagle Mill Crafts Fair

October 16 – 19
11045 War Eagle Road, Rogers

COST: Free Admission

To get to the War Eagle Fair, you’ll pass by War Eagle Mill (that’s been around since 1832), where there’s also a craft fair taking place. Professional craftspeople will be on hand with original, handmade work, including folk art, pottery, watercolor and oil painting, quilts, stoneware country furniture, and collectibles. While there, you can eat at the War Eagle Mill Bean Palace Restaurant on the third floor of the mill, or eat at one of the many concessions set up at the fair. 


Old Fashioned Ozark Square Gathering

October 18
Ozark Square
COST: Free Admission

See Ozark in all its glory during the Old Fashioned Square Gathering. There will be live bluegrass music, barbershop quartets, a chili cook-off, rides, a pet pageant, food, games, Little Mister and Miss Pageant, and a baby photo contest.


Van Buren’s Tales of the Crypt

October 18 -19
Just east of the Downtown train station at Cane Hill and Main St.

COST: Adults, $3. Kids, $1

Step back in time in one of the most beautiful antebellum cemeteries in the South. There you’ll see students from the UA-Fort Smith dressed in period costumes, telling the stories of six historic figures with ties to Van Buren, while standing near their graves. You’ll learn a good deal of history, see the Victorian-era monuments that Tales of the Crypt raises money to preserve, and feel an even deeper connection to your community. Saturday’s twilight edition is from 6:30 – 8:30 at night. Sunday’s daytime edition is from 2:00 – 4:00 in the afternoon. Parking and shuttle service is in the parking lot just east of the train depot at Cane Hill and Main Street.


23rd Annual Downtown Russellville Festival

October 25
Downtown Russellville |

COST: Free Admission

Russellville’s Downtown Fall Festival and Chili Cook-off is a day-long celebration that starts at 6:30 in the morning with a breakfast buffet hosted by the Knights of Columbus. Breakfast ends at 11:00. Throughout the day, there will be food available from vendors, as well as the chili cook-off, a pie and cake contest, arts and crafts, the “Tour de Pumpkin” bike ride, 5K & 1 mile fun run, car and truck show, dog show, kids costume contest, along with games and rides.


Arkansas Cornbread Festival

November 8
South Main Street, Little Rock |

COST: (At the gate) Adults, $10. Kids 6-up, $5

Live music, a cornbread competition, and a chance to sample some of the best cornbread recipes on the planet. That’s just part of the reason this festival has grown so rapidly since it started in 2011. This is a great family event, open from 11:00 – 4:00, and you can vote for the cornbread recipe you think is best. There are amateur and professional categories.

Do South Magazine

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