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Statewide Bentonville Camden El Dorado Hazen Hot Springs Mountain View Searcy
Statewide Events 0

Eat Your Way Through the Weekend – Oct. 25-28


Nothing seems to warm your belly better than savory beans and cornbread, a steaming bowl of chili or tender slow-cooked barbecue.  You have the opportunity to eat your way through the weekend and try all three! Head to Bean Fest in Mountain View where they will light fires under 30 large cast-iron cauldrons and feed the crowds fresh beans and cornbread. If that’s not your favorite dish, then you can head to the chili championship in Camden or the barbecue contest in El Dorado. You can’t go wrong with any of those fall foods in Arkansas! Around the state, there will also be a Blues contest,  a film festival and an adventure ride through Springdale. There is something for everyone to enjoy this weekend in the Natural State. 

37th Annual Bean Fest and Championship Outhouse Races (Mountain View)

Now in its 37th year, the festival has proved itself one of the most exciting and outrageous around, drawing thousands to the small Ozarks town for music, pinto beans and cornbread, and the spectacle created by the outhouse racing teams. There will be live music on the courthouse square that offers a mix of folk, bluegrass, Cajun and gospel styles, a tradition that has distinguished Mountain View for decades. Early Saturday morning, the fires will be lit under 30 large cast-iron pots loaded down with 2,000 lbs. of pinto beans on the west side of the court square. By mid-morning, the aroma from the simmering beans fills the air, and visitors are drawn to the cooking area to await the noon dinner bell when cups of beans are served. Things then step up a notch with the Parade of Outhouses around 1 p.m. The crowd gathers to cheer for their favorite “people-powered potty” team of drivers and pushers. The wheeled outhouses are outfitted with a steering device for the driver (while sitting on a potty seat), with power provided by two pushers. So don’t miss out on a weekend of fun with beans and cornbread, music, dancing on Courthouse Square, handmade crafts and outrageous outhouse races.

Venue: Downtown Mountain View
Date: October 25-26
Time: Friday: 11 a.m.- 6 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Admission: Free
Contact: Click Here

Lewis and Clark Urban Adventure Ride (Springdale)

Race day registration is available for the Urban Adventure Ride. You can pick one of three ride destinations. The Kids Fun Ride and Scavenger Routes include stops along the way to explore businesses and attractions along the trail or to look for clues/games along the way! The longest route will allow you to enjoy the trail system and all the unique views along the way. After the ride, you can enjoy a pancake breakfast, and everyone is entered into a drawing for great prizes!

Venue: 4915 S. Thompson, Springdale
Date: October 26
Time: Rides start at 8 a.m.
Admission: Registration Required- Race Day registration is available. Click Here for details.
Contact: Click Here

Smoke on the Square Fall Festival (El Dorado)

Who’s the best backyard griller in Arkansas?  The Murphy USA Backyard Barbecue Battle will be held in historic downtown El Dorado this weekend. Bragging rights and prize money are on the line as competitors put their chicken and ribs to the test. You can be sure that you will sample some excellent barbecue since $20,000 worth of prize money is on the line with 100% certified judges. There will be some serious competition going on! Besides the competition, the barbecue festival offers many activities for the entire family, including an amateur rib cook-off, outdoor expo, grilling demonstrations, free product sampling, live entertainment, world champion barbecue vendors and much more. So if you are looking for a fun time with family and friends, head to the Murphy USA Smoke on the Square Barbecue Festival.

Venue: Downtown El Dorado
Date: October 26
Time: 9 a.m. – 11 p.m.
Admission: Free to enter
Contact: Click Here

3rd Annual Great Camden Chili Festival (Camden)

This Saturday, the Camden Connections Foundation will be hosting the 3rd Annual Great Camden Chili Festival in downtown Camden. Admission is FREE, and there will be lots of bouncy houses for kids! You are invited to head to Camden and enjoy not only great Chili, but desserts, all the sides, cornbread, and a few surprises! Each year this event continues to grow as a family-friendly event where attendees can find a large children’s area with multiple activities on the Farmer’s Bank parking lot, as well as live entertainment starting at 4 PM on the Postmaster’s Grill Stage. Teams will set up on Washington Street early that morning to begin cooking their best chili recipes. The public tasting will start at 2:00 pm.  Admission is free. Tasting tickets will be sold starting at $1.00 each to purchase chili and beverages at a central area. Takeout chili purchases will also be available. The winners will be announced at 6:00 p.m. Prizes will be award to 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place overall, a People’s Choice award, and a Showmanship Award for best booth presentation.

Venue: 133 Washington, Camden
Date: October 26
Time:10 a.m.- 6 p.m.
Admission: Free (Admission is free, tasting tickets will be sold starting at $1.00 each to purchase chili and beverages)
Contact: Click Here

43rd Grand Prairie Rice Festival (Hazen)

The Grand Prairie Rice Festival is this weekend and worth checking out! There will be an antique tractor and vehicle parade and show,  vendors, entertainment and children’s activities.  

Click Here for an article about a past rice festival in Hazen.

Venue: Downtown Hazen
Date: October 26
Time: 10 a.m.- 2 p.m.
Admission: Free
Contact: (870) 255-3042

28th Annual Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival (Hot Springs)

The Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival is wrapping up this weekend and you still have time to check it out. All the film screenings and parties are held within easy walking distance. This weekend film-lovers and filmmakers will get together to immerse themselves some of the best international features and shorts the documentary world has to offer.

Venue: Arlington Resort Hotel & Spa
Date: October 24-26
Time: Click Here for Event Schedule
Admission: Click Here for Tickets
Contact: Click Here

2019 Blues Challenge (Bentonville)

The Ozark Blues Society of Northwest Arkansas will host its Annual Blues Challenge at The Meteor Guitar Gallery in downtown Bentonville, Arkansas this weekend. The contestants entered in the challenge will each perform a 20-minute set in a randomly chosen order.  The winners of the challenge will be announced at the conclusion of the evening event — one band and one solo/duo act will go on to compete at the Blues Foundation’s 36th International Blues Challenge on Beale Street in Memphis. The competition will be judged by professionals in the blues music business, such as professional musicians, music media writers, music promoters, blues radio show hosts, and officers from other blues societies surrounding Northwest Arkansas. If you love Blues, then you need to grab some tickets and check out this competition.

Venue: 128 W Central Ave, Bentonville, AR 72712
Date: October 25
Time: 6 p.m. – 11:30 p.m.
Admission: $15 General Seating, $20 Table Seating
Contact: Click Here

Bonus Event on Monday:

Liz Murray at Harding University (Searcy)

Harding University’s American Studies Institute will feature Liz Murray, co-founder and executive director of The Arthur Project, to kick off the Distinguished Lecture Series. Liz Murray’s life is a story of triumph over adversity. By the age of 15, Murray was living on the streets, riding the subway all night, and eating from dumpsters. Amidst the pain, Murray believed her life could be greater. The lecture titled “From Homeless to Harvard” serves as the institute’s third annual Educator Appreciation Night. Murray’s lecture highlights the transformative power of education and the importance of teachers, counselors and administrators in that transformation. All educators are invited to attend as honored guests and will receive priority seating for the presentation, a special identification badge and recognition during the event. As in previous years, a drawing will be held for educator participants for a special prize for their school. Last year’s winning school was University of Arkansas Community College at Batesville, which received “A day with Dr. Christine Darden.”  Darden, one of NASA’s “Hidden Figures,” who became the subject of a popular book and movie, visited the school and conducted lectures, held Q&A sessions, and had lunch with students, teachers, and administrators. This year’s prize and a winner will be announced at the end of the evening’s program.

 Venue: Harding University Benson Auditorium
Date: October 28
Time: 7:30 p.m.
Admission: Free
Contact: Click Here

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There's a lot to celebrate in Arkansas. It's unique. Southern. Delightfully eccentric. Which is why we love every nook, cranny, cave and corner. In fact, some of our favorite things can't be found anywhere else. They're only in Arkansas. So we love them even more. The attractions we visit, the food we crave, the festivals we attend, the mountains we hike, the rivers we float, the stories we tell and the company we keep – it all adds up to one incredible state. And that familiar, meandering silhouette? Looks like home to us.

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