By Brittany Smith
Fairs, Festivals, Fun. Northwest Arkansas has plenty of each. From motorcycles to antiques to films to salsa, there is no limit to the impressive number of fairs and festivals that are featured in the NWA area.
Bikes, Blues & BBQ – Perhaps one of the loudest events in Northwest Arkansas, Bikes, Blues & BBQ welcomes thousands of riders and visitors each year. This family friendly event is also the world’s largest charity motorcycle rally. There is music, food, contests, parades, demo rides, BBQ cook-off, and so much more that somehow fits into just four days. See more about this even on page 38.
Bentonville Film Festival – The Bentonville Film Festival has partnered with the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media and is a unique event that promotes inclusion in all forms of media. The festival lasts for six days and is focused on promoting underrepresented voices in entertainment. The festival has multiple events including panel discussions, music events, and of course, plenty of movies.
Arkansas Apple Festival – The Arkansas Apple Festival is a highlight for the city of Lincoln, AKA the Apple Capitol of Arkansas, every year. The festival has an arts and crafts fair with more than 60 booths that feature handmade pottery, carvings, paintings, quilts, and more. There is also different live music each day, a talent show, parade, apple core throwing contest, and all visitors are welcomed with free apple slices and apple cider. In addition to the arts and crafts booths, there were also offerings of fried apple pie, dumplings, and of course, bags of apples.
Fayetteville Roots Festival – This four-day long festival has quickly become one of the most popular music festivals in the area. The festival has two primary focuses; urban music and food. The majority of the food at the festival is locally grown or from local restaurants. In addition, visitors are also treated to a variety of local vendors, shops, and plenty of local folks. There are multiple event venues for the various music acts that are set to perform each year, which allows visitors to see more of the beautiful area and music scene.
War Eagle Mill Arts & Crafts Fair – Every fall, War Eagle Mill puts on an amazing craft fair that lasts for four days, and is a one-of-a-kind arts and crafts experience. There are more than 250 vendors that feature original, handmade work, that range from clothing, pottery, painting, quilts, to bird houses, collectables, candles, and handmade soaps. The Bean Palace Café is also located at the mill to make sure everyone walks away with a full stomach to match their full shopping bags.
ArkanSalsa Fest – The ArkanSalsa Fest is hosted by OneCommunity and is located in downtown Springdale. The festival features a car show, salsa tasting contest, music, activities for kids, musical and dance performers, as well as Salsa and Zumba lessons. This festival is a fun way for families to experience culture while also spending the day together doing something new and exciting.
Dogwood Festival – The Dogwood festival is in downtown Siloam Springs and draws in thousands of people every year and exhibits vendors from all over the country. The festival lasts through a weekend and aims to provide a small-town family friendly atmosphere for all. There are more than 200 booths that provide food, handmade items, gifts, and arts and crafts. There is also a KidZone that features an inflatable obstacle course, mechanical bull, helicopter rides, and more.
Rodeo of the Ozarks – Rodeo of the Ozarks is exactly as it states, a rodeo. The rodeo was started in 1944 and has grown to be one of the five largest outdoor rodeos in the country. There are multiple rodeo events like steer wrestling, roping, bareback riding, barrel racing, bull riding, and more. Rodeo of the Ozarks will be celebrating its 75th year this year and if you ever wanted to see an authentic, family-fun, exciting rodeo, look no further.
Arts and crafts, food, film, local town celebrations, holidays, music, heritage, history, and more, there is an event for all. Northwest Arkansas has so much to offer when it comes to events, and they are guaranteed to have something for every interest. Regardless of the reason, location, time of year, one common thread runs through these fairs and festivals: their sole purpose is to provide a great, fun time for everyone in attendance.