folk festival
April 20-21 (third full weekend): Arkansas Folk Festival, Mountain View (Court
Square, Ozark Folk Center State Park)
* dates  2018

Region: North Central

Annual Spring celebration featuring handmade crafts, frontier life demonstrations, parade, folk, and bluegrass music, dancing on the Courthouse Square, and window decorating contest. A great fun family festival. Ozark Folk Center opens for the season. Free admission to the Crafts Village during this weekend. Free shuttle from downtown to the Folk Center.
CONTACT: Mountain View Area Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center, 870-269-8068, www.YourPlaceInTheMountains.com.
( Last Saturday of July): Annual World Championship Cardboard Boat Races, Heber Springs (Greers Ferry Lake)
Put your creative talents – and boat building skills – to the test at this event. There are three divisions of competition in both adult and children’s races including one or two people team and mechanical. All participants race a 200-yard-course. Past entries have been USS battleships, planes, trains and even the Starship Enterprise. Trophies awarded include the Pride of the Fleet, the Titanic Award, plus first, second and third places in each division for speed. Other activities include a tug of war, a watermelon eating contest, a treasure dig for kids, sand sculpting and the Cardboard Boat Demolition Derby.
CONTACT: Heber Springs Chamber of Commerce, 501-362-2444, [email protected], www.Heber-Springs.com.
Aug. 25-Sept. 2 (Labor Day Weekend): Annual National Championship Chuck Wagon Races, Clinton
Region: North Central
Chuck wagon races, Snowy River Race, bronc fanning, Western music and dances, trail rides, non-denominational church services on Sunday morning, barn dances, Western trade show, music, food. Admission is $25 for adults.
CONTACT: Dan and Peggy Eoff, 501-745-8407, www.ChuckwagonRaces.com.

Region: Northwest

May (TBA): Old Fort Days Rodeo, Fort Smith
The annual Old Fort Days Rodeo in Fort Smith has been entertaining rodeo enthusiasts with talented cowboys, high prize money, and quality rodeo livestock for more than 80 years. The fast-paced action includes calf roping, barrel racing, wild horse racing, bareback riding, steer wrestling, saddle bronc riding, the Old Fort Days Dandies, and bull riding. It is held at Kay Rodgers Park.
CONTACT: Kay Rodgers Park, 479-783-2393, www.OldFortDaysRodeo.com.
May 1-6: Bentonville Film Festival, Bentonville
Harnessing plenty of star power, the festival is a one-of-a-kind event designed to champion women and diversity in film. Hosted by ARC Entertainment, Walmart, Coca-Cola and AMC Theatres and chaired by Academy Award-winning Actress Geena Davis, the festival screens approximately 75 films in competition, ranging from studio premieres to independent features and documentaries. The Festival’s Advisory Board is comprised of entertainment industry leaders and artists including Angela Bassett, Bruce Dern, Samuel L. Jackson, Randy Jackson, Eva Longoria, Julianne Moore, Paula Patton, Natalie Portman, Nina Tassler and Shailene Woodley. During and after the festival, each advisory board member will lead activities ranging from mentoring, film selection advising, and to jury participation.
The festival is the first and only film competition in the world to offer guaranteed theatrical, television, digital and retail home entertainment distribution for its winners. Films that receive the Audience, Jury Selection and Best Family Film awards at the Bentonville Film Festival will receive a distribution agreement with a guaranteed traditional theatrical release on a minimum of 25 screens from AMC Theatres. AMC Theatres will also participate in the film submission and jury selection process.
June 27-30: Annual Rodeo of the Ozarks, Springdale (Parsons Stadium)
Authentic stagecoach rides, good food, and entertainment at the Stagecoach Inn one week prior to the rodeo; two rodeo parades; over 500 contestants and professional athletes will compete in six PRCA and WPRA sanctioned events — Calf Roping, Steer Wrestling, Barrel Racing, Bareback Riding, Saddle Bronco Riding and the popular Bull Riding.
CONTACT: 1-877-92-RODEO, www.RodeoOfTheOzarks.org.
July 19-22: Johnson County Peach Festival, Clarksville
Terrapin derby, frog jump, peach pit spitting contest, parade, bicycle obstacle course, egg toss, barbershop quartet music, gospel sing, craft booths, concessions, banana split contest, street dance, greased pig chase, peach cobbler/jam & jelly bake-off, 4-mile run, water balloon toss, bass tournament, Miss Arkansas preliminary pageants, Princess Elberta pageant.
CONTACT: Johnson County Peach Festival Association, 479-754-9152, [email protected], www.facebook.com/JohnsonCountyPeachFestival.
August (TBA): Annual Tontitown Grape Festival, Tontitown
More than 6,000 lbs. of homemade pasta and sauce will be served at the Italian spaghetti dinners, more than 100 crafts exhibitors, biathlon, entertainment, Queen Concordia pageant, plus nightly carnival.
CONTACT: Tontitown Grape Festival, 479-361-2615, www.TontitownGrapeFestival.com.

Region: Central

May 4-6: Toad Suck Daze, Conway
Festivalgoers gather for food-on-a-stick, local and national entertainment, arts & crafts, activities for kids, and of course, the World-Famous Championship Toad Races. Several festival-sanctioned events sponsored by local nonprofit organizations take place throughout the weekend as well, including a 5K/10K race and the Tour de Toad bicycle race.
CONTACT: 501-327-7788
May 12: Territorial Fair, Little Rock
With a new theme each year, the Historic Arkansas Museum’s Territorial Fair is always one of Little Rock’s favorite family events. Enjoy living history performances, hands-on activities for children, 19th-century dancing, frontier demonstrations, pioneer games and more.
CONTACT: 501-324-9351
June (TBA): Big Bass Bonanza, North Little Rock
The Simmons Bank Big Bass Bonanza is the state’s largest amateur fishing tournament that spans about 300 miles of the Arkansas River, with pools and official check-in stations at Fort Smith, Dardanelle, Little Rock/North Little Rock, Pine Bluff, and the Pendleton Bridge near Dumas.
CONTACT: Arkansas Hospitality Association, 501-376-2323.
June 12-16: Petit Jean Show & Swap Meet, Morrilton
More than 100 antique and classic cars compete for awards in various categories, from the turn of the 19th century to 25–year-old models, on the grounds of the Museum of Automobiles on Petit Jean Mountain near Morrilton. Also, an open car show for modified cars will be held, about 800 collectible cars will be for sale, and more than 1,000 vendor spaces filled with antique car parts and related items. Food vendors will be available on the museum grounds.
CONTACT: 501-727-5427, [email protected], www.MOTAA.com.

Region: Southwest

May 18-19: 30th annual Magnolia Blossom Festival & 29th annual World Championship Steak Cook-Off, Magnolia
This event has arts and crafts, a sidewalk art show and sale, a 5K run, a fishing tournament, food booths, live entertainment, a championship steak cook-off and more.
CONTACT: 870 234-4352, www.BlossomFestival.org.
June 3-16: Hot Springs Music Festival, Hot Springs
This festival brings together over 250 international musicians. Over the course of the festival, 20 concerts and over 250 open rehearsals are available to enjoy. The festival takes place in a variety of non-traditional venues including historic buildings, art galleries, and open-air spaces.
CONTACT: 501-623-4763, www.HotMusic.org.
June 29-30: PurpleHull Pea Festival & World Championship Rotary Tiller Race, Emerson
This is a rotary tiller race highlighted by “souped up” tillers. There is also a pea shelling contest, a purple hull pea cook-off, a pea dinner, a purple hull pea booth, arts, crafts and entertainment, children’s events, a parade and more.
CONTACT: 870 547-3500, www.PurpleHull.com.
August (TBA): Annual Tontitown Grape Festival, Tontitown
More than 6,000 lbs. of homemade pasta and sauce will be served at the Italian spaghetti dinners, more than 100 crafts exhibitors, biathlon, entertainment, Queen Concordia pageant, plus nightly carnival.
CONTACT: Tontitown Grape Festival, 479-361-2615, www.TontitownGrapeFestival.com.

Region: Upper Delta

June 8-9: 36th annual Portfest, Newport (Jacksonport State Park)
Start summer with a bang at Portfest in Newport. The family-friendly event offers music and activities for all ages. Held along the banks of the White River at Jacksonport State Park.
CONTACT: Newport Area Chamber of Commerce, 870-523-3618, www.Portfest.org.

Joan McCray

Joan McCray is a travel writer living in NYC. Her work has appeared in the NewYorker,Travel & Leisure, Town & Country, Condé Nast Traveller, Food & Wine,and many local publications.She has published travel anthologies in Salon.com and Lonely Planet.

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https://imgsub.familiesonlinemagazine.com/uploads/2018/03/mtview_folkfestival_001.jpghttps://imgsub.familiesonlinemagazine.com/uploads/2018/03/mtview_folkfestival_001-150x150.jpgJoan McCrayGetawaysFamily TravelApril 20-21 (third full weekend): Arkansas Folk Festival, Mountain View (Court Square, Ozark Folk Center State Park)* dates  2018 Region: North Central Annual Spring celebration featuring handmade crafts, frontier life demonstrations, parade, folk, and bluegrass music, dancing on the Courthouse Square, and window decorating contest. A great fun family festival. Ozark...Parenting Advice| Family Fun Activities for Kids