Events & Festivals

Events & Festivals

In cities and towns across Arkansas’ Western Mountain Frontier, there are festivals and annual events celebrating seasons, crafts, wine, miners and more. People of all ages and interests can find something to their liking. Fort Smith hosts Old Fort Days Rodeo in late May at Kay Rodgers Park. In Waldron, the Turkey Track Bluegrass Festivals celebrate bluegrass and gospel music as well as arts and crafts. The festivals take place in mid-June and mid-October. The annual Altus Grape Festival in late July features grape stomping competitions and free wine and juice tastings. Mountain Fest is an Arts & Crafts Festival held near Mena in mid-September. The Arkansas-Oklahoma State Fair takes place in Fort Smith from late-September through early-October. For event updates and cancellations check city websites.

Click here for a complete calendar of events.

March 2021

All Month Arkansas & Missouri Railroad offers roundtrip excursions from Van Buren select Saturdays mid-Jan.-March and select Wed./Fri./Sat. April-Nov.

Every Saturday Fort Smith Farmers Market, 2nd & Garrison Ave., 7 a.m.-Noon

First Saturday Tradin' Days, Waldron

Early Community Strikes Back Bowling Tournament, Bowling World, Fort Smith

Early Sweet Treats Trolley; Ride the trolley and enjoy ice cream for $5, Fort Smith Trolley Museum

Early Western Arkansas Ballet Production, ArcBest Performing Arts Center, downtown Fort Smith

Early Ouachita Challenge Bike Race, Mena

Mid AR River Valley Lawn & Garden Show, Kay Rodgers Park, 4400 Midland Blvd. Mid Fort Smith Trolley Museum & rides, Summer hours begin: Mon.-Sat., 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sunday, 1 p.m.-5 p.m.

Late Western Cherokee Spring Festival, Mena

Late Sell It Again on Highway 10, Booneville, Greenwood

APRIL 2021

All Month Arkansas & Missouri Railroad offers roundtrip excursions from Van Buren select Wed./Fri./Sat. April-Nov.

Every Tues., Thurs., Sat. Mena Farmers Market

Every Fri., Sat. Season opening of Park at West End, unique pocket park, downtown Fort Smith

Every Saturday Fort Smith Farmers Market, 2nd & Garrison Ave., 7 a.m.-Noon

Early Sell It Again on Highway 10, Booneville

First Saturday Tradin’ Days, Waldron

9-11 The Dance Effect Dance Competition at ArcBest Performing Arts Center, Fort Smith

10 Ronnie Milsap Concert at Temple Live, Fort Smith

15 Tech N9ne Concert at Temple Live, Fort Smith

16-18 Talent on Parade Dance Competition at ArcBest Performing Arts Center, Fort Smith

17 Fee Free Day at Fort Smith National Historic Site to celebrate the first day of National Park Week

17 Depot Dash 5K, KCS Historic Depot, Mena

Mid 5K Earth Day Celebration Race, Van Buren

21 Stevin Curtis Chapman at ArcBest Performing Arts Center, Fort Smith

Late Girls Inc., Annual Crawfish Boil, Fort Smith

24 Fort Smith Symphony presents Classic Hits at ArcBest Performing Arts Center, Fort Smith, 5 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

30 Synergy Performing Arts Competition

MAY 2021

All Month Arkansas & Missouri Railroad offers roundtrip excursions from Van Buren select Wed./Fri./Sat. April-Nov.

Every Tues., Sat. Fort Smith Farmers Market, 2nd & Garrison Ave., 7 a.m.-Noon

Every Tues., Thurs., Sat. Mena Farmers Market

Every Fri., Sat. Park at West End, unique pocket park, downtown Fort Smith

First Saturday Spring Time in Paris Festival, Paris

First Saturday Tradin’ Days, Waldron

First Weekend Airing of the Quilts, Ed Wilkinson Pavilion, Bell Park, Greenwood

Early Day at The Derby, The Clayton House, Fort Smith

Early Annual IC Spring Festival, Fort Smith

Early Annual Used Book Sale, Fort Smith Public Library, Rogers Ave.

1-2 Gypsy Soul Holistic Fair at Fort Smith Convention Center

1-2 Synergy Performing Arts Competition

2 River Valley Dualthon 5K Run/11.8 Mile Bike Race, 7308 Ellis St., Chaffee Crossing, Fort Smith

7-8 The Steel Horse Rally motorcycle rally, downtown Fort Smith

7-9 The Old Timers Day Steam Punk Festival, Van Buren

9 Mothers Day Free trolley rides for mothers, Fort Smith Trolley Museum

Second Weekend Altus Springtime Gala, City Park location featuring a 5K race, arts and crafts, live entertainment, Prince and Princess contest, art sale and more.

Mid Ale on the Border festival, Chaffee Crossing, Fort Smith

Mid National Train Day, Fort Smith Trolley Museum, free trolley rides, Old West re-enactments by Indian Territory pistoliers, free refreshments and more

Mid Rockin’ Robin’s Annual Car Show, Booneville

17-22 Old Fort Days Futurity & Super Derby, Kay Rodgers Park, Fort Smith

22 Fort Smith Symphony Performance: Film Score Festival, ArcBest Performing Arts Center, Fort Smith

23 Miss Arkansas USA/Miss Teen USA, ArcBest Performing Arts Center, Fort Smith

29 Pioneer Day Parade, Van Buren

29-30 Memorial Day Weekend Events, Queen Wilhelmina State Park, Mena

Memorial Day Weekend Season opening, Parrot Island Waterpark, Ben Geren Regional Park, Fort Smith

Memorial Day Old Fort Days Parade, Garrison Ave., Fort Smith

Memorial Day Old Fort Days Rodeo, Kay Rodgers Park, continuing through June 5, Fort Smith

Late Fort Smith Little Theatre Production

JUNE 2021

All Month Arkansas & Missouri Railroad offers roundtrip excursions from Van Buren select Wed./Fri./Sat. April-Nov.

All Month Children’s Summer Art Classes, Center for Art & Education, Van Buren

Every Tues., Sat. Fort Smith Farmers Market, 2nd & Garrison Ave., 7 a.m.-Noon

Every Tues., Thurs., Sat. Mena Farmers Market

Every Fri., Sat. Park at West End, unique pocket park, downtown Fort Smith

Every Saturday Free Living History Programs, National Historic Site, Fort Smith

First Saturday Tradin’ Days, Waldron

Early Fort Smith Little Theatre Production

Early Honor & Duty 5K Run/Walk, Chaffee Crossing Historic District, 7313 Terry St., Fort Smith

1-5 Old Fort Days Rodeo, Kay Rodgers Park, Fort Smith

4 Rivervalley Artisan Market, Ross Pendergraft Park, downtown Fort Smith, 9 a.m.-1 p.m.

4-5 Lum & Abner Music & Arts Festival, Mena

18-19 True Grit Ride 105 and Mountain Bike Ride offer a challenge for road cyclists of any skill level in 10, 30, 45, 62 and 105-mile courses, and a guided 18-mile mountain bike tour, Chaffee Crossing Historic District, Fort Smith

Mid Fun In The Sun Kids Day Camp, Queen Wilhelmina State Park, Mena

20 Fathers Day Free trolley rides for dads, Fort Smith Trolley Museum

Late R & K Gun Show, Fort Smith Convention Center

Late Riverfront Blues Festival, two-day event that has been called “the best little blues festival in America,” Fort Smith

JULY 2021

All Month Arkansas & Missouri Railroad offers roundtrip excursions from Van Buren select Wed./Fri./Sat. April-Nov.

All Month Children’s Summer Art Classes, Center for Art & Education, Van Buren

Every Tues., Sat. Fort Smith Farmers Market, 2nd & Garrison Ave., 7 a.m.-Noon

Every Tues.-Sat. Park at West End, unique pocket park, downtown Fort Smith

Every Saturday Free Living History Programs, National Historic Site, Fort Smith

Early 23rd Annual Butterfly Count, Queen Wilhelmina State Park, Mena

2 Fireworks Over Paris, Paris

3 Freedom Fest on the Square and Chamber 5K, live music, free games, arts and craft vendors, big top tents and River Valley’s largest fireworks display, Greenwood

4 Fourth of July Celebration, Altus City Park, food, music, games, fireworks at dark.

4 Fireworks Festival, Tapley Park, Mena

4 Mayor’s Annual 4th of July Celebration, the largest fireworks show in region, food trucks, live music, giveaways, free public transportation, downtown Fort Smith

9 Old Timers Day Steampunk Festival, Main St., Van Buren

11 Rivervalley Artisan Market, Ross Pendergraft Park, downtown Fort Smith, 9 a.m.-1 p.m.

Mid Art on the Border, largest fine arts show/sale in the region, The Blue Lion, downtown Fort Smith

Mid Fun In The Sun Kids Day Camp, Queen Wilhelmina State Park, Mena

Mid-Late Movies in the Park, Fort Smith

Late Christmas in July, Mena

Late Peacemaker Music & Arts Festival, Riverfront Park, downtown Fort Smith

Last Weekend Altus Grape/Wine Festival

AUGUST 2021

All Month Arkansas & Missouri Railroad offers roundtrip excursions from Van Buren select Wed./Fri./Sat. April-Nov.

All Month Movies in the Park, Fort Smith

Every Tues., Sat. Fort Smith Farmers Market, 2nd & Garrison Ave., 7 a.m.-Noon

Every Fri., Sat. Park at West End, unique pocket park, downtown Fort Smith

Early Polk County Rodeo, Mena

Every Saturday Free Living History Programs, National Historic Site, Fort Smith

First Saturday Tradin’ Days, Waldron

Early Fort Smith Little Theatre Production

4 Fee Free Day at Fort Smith National Historic Site to celebrate the one-year anniversary of the Great American Outdoors Act

Mid Bargains Galore on Hwy. 64, vendors in abundance for this 160-mile-long yard sale along Hwy. 64 from Conway to Fort Smith, including Alma, Altus, Ozark and Van Buren

Mid Ales for Trails, craft beer festival featuring more than 400 unique brews, live entertainment, beer fun run, Baggo tournament, food trucks and outdoor lifestyle vendors 

Mid Slamily Reunion Car Show, Fort Smith

25 Fee Free Day at Fort Smith National Historic Site to celebrate the birthday of the National Park Service

27-28 46th Annual Queen Wilhelmina Rod Run, downtown Mena and Queen Wilhelmina State Park, Mena

Late Polk County Fair, Mena

Late Hamfest, Queen Wilhelmina State Park, Mena

SEPTEMBER 2021

All Month Arkansas & Missouri Railroad offers roundtrip excursions from Van Buren select Wed./Fri./Sat. April-Nov.

Every Tues., Sat. Fort Smith Farmers Market, 2nd & Garrison Ave., 7 a.m.-Noon

Every Fri., Sat. Park at West End, unique pocket park, downtown Fort Smith

First Saturday Tradin’ Days, Waldron

3 The Cadillac Three, Temple Live, Fort Smith

4-5 Downtown Junkfest, Van Buren

11-12 Gypsy Soul Holistic Fair, Fort Smith Convention Center

Mid Wheel A’ Mena Tour to the Top Bicycle Tour, Mena

Mid Rich Mountain Rendezvous, Mena

Mid-Late Fort Smith Little Theatre Production

25 Fee Free Day at Fort Smith National Historic site to celebrate National Public Lands Day

Late Arkansas/Oklahoma State Fair, nine-day event brings thousands of people to enjoy top regional and national entertainment and fun, Kay Rodgers Park, Fort Smith

Late Downtown Fort Smith Fall Festival

OCTOBER 2021

All Month Arkansas & Missouri Railroad offers roundtrip excursions from Van Buren select Wed./Fri./Sat. April-Nov.

Every Tues., Sat. Fort Smith Farmers Market, 2nd & Garrison Ave., 7 a.m.-Noon

Every Fri., Sat. Park at West End, unique pocket park, downtown Fort Smith

First Saturday Tradin’ Days, Waldron

First Saturday Frontier Day Festival, Paris

Early AKC All-Breed Dog Show, Fort Smith

Early Fort Smith Symphony

1-2 Belle Point Quilters Guild Quilt Show, Fort Smith Convention Center

2 58th Annual Wiederkehr Village Weinfest

2 Fall Fest, Bell Park, free admission, Greenwood

Second Weekend Parade of Homes, Fort Smith

8-9 Fall Festival, Van Buren

Mid The Unexpected, week-long Urban Contemporary Art Festival featuring world renowned, international artists, downtown Fort Smith

Mid CRRA Rodeo Finals, Fort Smith

Mid Arkansas River Valley Master Gardeners Fall Plant Sale, Learning Fields at Chaffee Crossing, Fort Smith

Mid Judge Isaac C. Parker’s Birthday Party, Fort Smith Museum of History, Fort Smith

Mid Pollinator Arts & Craft Festival, 7300 Gardener Ave., Fort Smith

Mid Fort Smith Marathon, USATF-Certified course includes downtown Fort Smith, historic districts, paved trails and rolling terrain with steep climbs and descents, begins/ends at 100 N. B St.

17 Lights Out Salon Exhibition, Center for Art & Education, Van Buren

Mid-Late Fall Foliage, Talimena Scenic Byway, Mena

Late Cossatot River 13.1 Half-Marathon Trail Run, Mena

Late Changing of the Colors Rally, Christian Motorcyclists Association, Mena

Late Murder & Mayhem Haunted Trolley Tours, Fort Smith Museum of History

Late Taste of Fort Smith, Fort Smith Convention Center

Late Ouachita Expressions Art Show, Mena

30 Halloween on Main Street, Van Buren

31 Ghouls on Garrison, trick-or-treating along Garrison Avenue, adjacent streets and Brunswick Place, downtown Fort Smith.

31 Halloween on the Trail, Greenwood

31 Candy Land, downtown Fort Smith trickor-treaters of all ages are invited to enter a world of sweet adventure and travel along the rainbow path collecting yummy treats and visiting characters from the timeless board game Candy Land, Propak (1st floor), 1100 Garrison Ave., 5-8 p.m.

31 Fall Festival, Paris

NOVEMBER 2021

All Month Arkansas & Missouri Railroad offers roundtrip excursions from Van Buren select Wed./Fri./Sat. April-Nov.

Every Saturday Fort Smith Farmers Market, 2nd & Garrison Ave., 7 a.m.-Noon

First Saturday Tradin’ Days, Waldron

Early-Mid Fall Foliage, Talimena Scenic Byway, Mena

Early-Mid Veteran’s Day Parade, Van Buren

6 Ouachita Arts Celebration, downtown Mena

11 Fee Free Day at Fort Smith National Historic Site to celebrate Veterans Day

Mid Veterans Day Parade, Chaffee Crossing, Fort Smith

27 Christmas Parade, Paris

27 Small Business Saturday in downtown Fort Smith, extended business hours and holiday shopping deals

Late Christmas at The Parks, Van Buren

Late Mercy Turkey Run 5K/10K, Chaffee Crossing Historic District, Fort Smith, 8-9:30 a.m.

Late Small Business Saturday, Van Buren

Late Nov.-Early Dec. Holiday Open House, UAFS DrennenScott Historic Site 

DECEMBER 2021

All Month Christmas at The Parks, Van Buren

All Month Holiday Trail of Lights: Altus, Booneville, Fort Smith, Greenwood, Ozark, Paris and Van Buren

All Month Garrison Ave. window displays, 27-foot Christmas tree, Mr. & Mrs. Clause, Holiday Express ride, Creekmore Park, downtown Fort Smith

Every Mon., Tues., Thurs., Fri., and Sun., Santa on the Square, Paris

Every Saturday Fort Smith Farmers Market, 2nd & Garrison Ave., 7 a.m.-Noon

First Saturday Tradin’ Days, Waldron

Early Christmas Honors, U.S. National Cemetery, Fort Smith

Early Christmas parades in Alma, Altus, Booneville, Charleston, Fort Smith, Magazine, Mansfield and Mulberry

Early Teddy Bear Tea with Santa, Fort Smith

Early Festival of Trees, Central Mall, Fort Smith

Early UAFS Season’s Greetings Concert, Fort Smith

Early Carols by candlelight, Fort Smith

Early Fort Smith Symphony’s Christmas Production, ArcBest Performing Arts Center, downtown Fort Smith

Early Holiday Express Pajama Train, Van Buren Depot

Early-Mid “The Nutcracker,” ArcBest Performing Arts Center, Fort Smith

4 Jingle & Mingle on Main, Living Window Displays, Lighting of the Courthouse, Festival of Trees, Main Street, Van Buren

4 Parade of Lights Christmas Parade and Festival, Mena

6 Bean Feed and Chamber of Commerce Christmas Parade, Greenwood

11 Christmas Parade, Van Buren

11 Annual 5K Yule Run, Greenwood

Mid Fort Smith Trolley Museum’s Annual Polar Express

31 Downtown Fort Smith New Year’s Eve Ball Drop, live music, food trucks, Kid Zone games, activities, optional VIP Party (tix req’d) starts 9 p.m., ball drop, fireworks at midnight, 6th and Garrison Ave.

JANUARY 2022

1 First Day Hikes, Queen Wilhelmina State Park, Mena, and Mount Magazine State Park, Paris

Every Saturday Fort Smith Farmers Market, 2nd & Garrison Ave., 7 a.m.-Noon

First Saturday Tradin’ Days, Waldron

Mid Tutu Run 5K & ¼ Marathon, Ben Geren Regional Park, Fort Smith

Late Martin Luther King Jr. Parade, Fort Smith

Late Symphony Concert, Fort Smith

30-31 Battle at the Fort Volleyball Tournament, Fort Smith Convention Center, Fort Smith

FEBRUARY 2022

Every Saturday Fort Smith Farmers Market, 2nd & Garrison Ave., 7 a.m.-Noon

5-6 Battle at the Fort Volleyball Tournament, Fort Smith Convention Center, Fort Smith

First Saturday Tradin’ Days, Waldron

Mid Fort Smith Home Show, Kay Rodgers Park, 4400 Midland Blvd.

Late Fort Smith Symphony presents Awesome Classix (5 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.), ArcBest Performing Arts Center, Fort Smith

Late Pardi Gras, Fort Smith Museum of History

MARCH 2022

Every Saturday Fort Smith Farmers Market, 2nd & Garrison Ave., 7 a.m.-Noon

First Saturday Tradin’ Days, Waldron

Early Community Strikes Back Bowling Tournament, Bowling World, Fort Smith

Early Ouachita Challenge Bike Race, Mena

Early Sweet Treats Trolley, ride the trolley and enjoy ice cream for $5, Fort Smith Trolley Museum

Early Western Arkansas Ballet presents Alice in Wonderland, ArcBest Performing Arts Center, Fort Smith

Mid Fort Smith Trolley Museum and rides, summer hours begin: Mon.-Sat., 10 a.m.- 5 p.m.; Sunday, 1 p.m.-5 p.m.

Late Arkansas River Valley Lawn & Garden Show at Kay Rodgers Park, Fort Smith

Late Western Cherokee Spring Festival, Mena