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Festivals 1

Save the Dates for 2019 NWA Events


It is January, which this time of year, always has us looking forward a little bit to the warmer days ahead.

To the days when the grass is greener, and the trees are in bloom, and when everything is a little less…brown.

Along those lines, here’s a list of fun food, drink, film, and other types of festivals coming up in the next several months to look forward to and to help keep our spirits up in these dog days of winter.

Frost Fest

When: Feb. 2
Where: 2463 N McConnell Ave (next to the Washington County Fairgrounds)
What: Fossil Cove’s annual Winter craft beer festival is returning for the fourth year this winter.

The event features dozens of breweries from Arkansas and the surrounding region sampling their craft brews and was attended by more than 2,500 folks in 2018.

Frost Fest debuted in 2016 and became a hit with beer lovers due to its practice of bringing in brewers and representatives from the actual participating breweries (as opposed to volunteers) to pour the beer and interact with festival attendees.

In addition to the beer, the festival will include food from local food trucks, live music by Monk Is King, Vintage Pistol and Groovement, and other festivities.

Tickets are $60 and include a sampling glass, plus all the samples you can drink. Beer Enthusiast tickets are also available for $70 and include early access to the festival, a larger sampling glass, and a few other perks.

A portion of the proceeds from the event will benefit Apple Seeds, Inc.

For more information or to purchase tickets, visit frostfest2019.eventbrite.com, or visit the Fossil Cove tasting room, located at 1946 N Birch Ave. in Fayetteville.


When: Feb. 16
Where: Washington County Fairgrounds
What: The local chili cook-off and fundraiser for Alzheimers Arkansas with a kinda gross-sounding name is back for a 14th year in 2019.

Chilirhea is set for Saturday, Feb. 16 this year. The event, which began in 2004 as a way for close friends to reunite after college has grown into a huge annual fundraising event for Alzheimer’s-related causes in the state of Arkansas. The event has raised more than $450,000 since its inception for Alzheimer’s Arkansas, UAMS Reynolds Institute on Aging, and the Broyles Academy. Last year alone, they raised more than $107,000 (their largest amount yet).

Tickets to the event are $35-40, on sale now at chilirhea.com.

Fayetteville Gumbo Cookoff

When: March 9
Where: Washington County Fairgrounds
What: The folks behind the popular Fayetteville Foam Fest and Ales & Tails festivals are bringing back their annual Gumbo Cookoff event for a fourth year this spring.

The event will feature several teams creating their best batch of the classic New Orleans dish. In addition, there will be live music, and local craft beer available.

Proceeds from the event will benefit the Lib Horne Fayetteville Animal Shelter, The Ranger’s Pantry Pet Food Bank & The Washington County Humane Society.

Nutty Runner

When: March 16
Where: Columbus House Brewery
What: Featuring its namesake beer at every mile, this 5K race caters to those that want the chance to exercise outdoors, enjoy craft beer, and give back to a local nonprofit all at the same time.

Starting and finishing at Columbus House Brewery, this 5K course will weave through Fayetteville’s historic downtown and Wilson Park neighborhood.

Cost to participate is $40, and that price will go up on Jan. 15. For more info, visit the event website.

Wizard Way of the Ozarks

When: March 23-24
Where: Fayetteville Town Center
What: The unofficial fan convention dedicated to your favorite world of witchcraft and wizardry that debuted in Fayetteville last year will return with a new name in 2019.

Wizard Way of the Ozarks (formerly DiaCON Alley of the Ozarks) is set for March 23-24, 2018 at the Fayetteville Town Center.

The event will include a host of activities related to the classic books by J.K. Rowling, including panel discussions, a sorting hat, a scavenger hunt, raffles, photo ops, headmasters army recruitment, costume contest, an escape room and lots more.

The event, which sold out pretty quickly last year, has expanded to include two days of fun this year.

Wizard Way of the Ozarks / Courtesy

Beer and Bagel Run

When: March 23
Where: Hazel Valley Ranch
What: The Beer and Bagel Run is a 4(ish) mile fun run and party featuring local craft beer, bagels, tailgate games, and other festivities.

Hogeye Marathon

When: April 6
Where: Springdale, AR
What: The annual Hogeye Marathon includes a full marathon, a half marathon, a 5k run, and other festivities.

The races make their way through Springdale, with a start and finish in the downtown area on Emma Avenue.

Joe Martin Stage Race

When: April 4-7
Where: Downtown Fayetteville
What: The Joe Martin Stage Race is a 4-day, 4-stage professional men and women’s cycling race along with a 2-day, 2-stage amateur stage race held in early spring each year in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

2018 will mark the 41st anniversary of the amateur races; 16th anniversary on the USA Cycling Pro Racing Tour (PRT) and 4th year to be on the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) America Tour calendar.

The Joe Martin Stage Race is part of both the USAC Pro Racing Tour (PRT) which is the pro and elite amateur cycling tour of USA Cycling and the UCI America Tour.

Over 750 athletes and teams from 27 countries and all 50 states will be attending the race.

Ales & Tails – Fayetteville

When: April 6
Where: Washington County Fairgrounds
What: Ales & Tails is a boiled crawfish and craft beer festival that started a couple of years ago in Fayetteville.

In addition to thousands of pounds of boiled crawfish, the event will feature live music and beer by local and regional craft breweries.

The event is also a benefit for the Lib Horne Fayetteville Animal Shelter, The Ranger’s Pantry Pet Food Bank & The Washington County Humane Society.

More details about this year’s event will be released in the coming weeks at alesandtails.org.

Cow Paddy Run

When: April 13
Where: Gulley Park
What: The 2019 Cow Paddy Run is set for Saturday, April 13 at Gulley Park in Fayetteville.

The annual event, which includes a 5K race and a 1K Fun Run, is hosted by The Spark Foundation and supports health and fitness education in local schools while providing funds for the Fayetteville Public Education Foundation.

Local schools receive prize money for having the highest overall participation rate for students, families, teachers and alumni. This year both elementary and middle schools are eligible for cash prizes. The school with the most participation will receive $2,500, second place will get $1,000 and third place will receive $500.

Cow Paddy Run / Courtesy

Ales & Tails – Bentonville

When: Saturday, April 13
Where: 8th Street Market
What: In addition to the Fayetteville event, a second Ales & Tails event is also in the works in Bentonville this year.

Ales & Tales north will feature a lot of the same features of the Fayetteville event, including music, local brews, and of course, plenty of tasty, tasty crawdaddies.

More info will be released soon at alesandtails.org.

Springtime of Youth Festival

When: April 27
Where: Washington County Fairgrounds
What: The University of Arkansas’ Headliners Concert Committee recently announced that their Springtime of Youth music festival will return for a fifth year.

The event debuted in 2015 and was introduced as an alternative to of the once-per-semester concerts held in the past at Barnhill Arena.

The lineup for the event will likely be released sometime in March. Past performers include Diplo, Børns, Wiz Khalifa, Mutemath, MisterWives, Moon Taxi, Big Sean, and Young the Giant.

Fayetteville Yoga Fest

When: May 3-5
Where: Mount Sequoyah
What: A three-day yoga festival is coming up in May.

The event, called Fayetteville Yoga Fest, is set for May 3-5 on Mount Sequoyah, and is “a celebration of movement, music, and mindful living.”

The event will feature more than 60 indoor and outdoor yoga classes, meditation classes, live music, group hikes, and more.

More info is available on their website.

Arkansas Brewgrass Festival

When: Saturday, May 4
Where: Washington County Fairgrounds
What: The Arkansas Brewers Guild’s annual craft beer and bluegrass festival is set to return to Fayetteville this spring.

The event will include local and regional bluegrass music, local arts & crafts, and of course, plenty of Arkansas craft beer as well.

It’s set to be a family-friendly event with plenty of activities for the kids. There will also be a market featuring handmade items from local makers and artists.

The music lineup this year is expected to be announced very soon.

A full lineup of participating breweries, ticket info, and more will also be announced at a later date.

Fayetteville Foam Fest

When: May 4
Where: Fayetteville Downtown square
What: The largest of Fayetteville beer festivals will return for year eight in 2019.

The event was the first local beer festival of its kind in Fayetteville and is set for Saturday, May 4 on the Fayetteville square.

Fayetteville Foam Festival always includes live music, local food trucks, and of course, hundreds of craft beers from craft breweries from all over. A VIP experience at the event includes heavy hors d’oevres and local homebrew from local club FLOPS (Fayetteville Lovers of Pure Suds).

Proceeds from the event will benefit the Lib Horn Animal Shelter, Ranger’s Pantry, and the Breakaway Cycling Team.

Springtime of Youth Festival / Courtesy, UA Headliners Committee

Bentonville Film Festival

When: May 7-11
Where: Downtown Bentonville
What: Bentonville Film Festival is set to return to Downtown Bentonville once again this spring.

The event, created by movie star Geena Davis and sponsored by Walmart, is set for May 7-11 at various locations around downtown Bentonville.

The week-long event will feature film screenings, panel discussions, and other events. The festival was created to celebrate diversity in films and is entering its fifth year in 2019.

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Dustin Bartholomew is the co-founder of Fayetteville Flyer, an online publication covering all things news, art and life in Fayetteville, Arkansas since 2007. A graduate of the Department of English at the University of Arkansas and a lifelong resident of the area, he still lives in east Fayetteville with his son Hudson, daughter Evelyn, his wife Brandy, and his two dogs Lily and Steve. On occasion, he tickles the ivories in a local band called The Good Fear.

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