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Festivals

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The Greater Fort Smith Region almost always has a festival or an event to honor and celebrate the rich culture and colorful residents of the area. From blues to spinach to cowboys and Indians, Fort Smith and the surrounding communities are never short on having a good time.

The St. Patrick’s Day celebration in downtown Fort Smith includes a breakfast, parade and downtown Leprechaun Hunt and Pub Crawl.

The Annual Spinach Festival is held every April to celebrate Alma’s spinach history and Spinach Capital of the World name. Food, arts and crafts, and entertainment booths line the town with a spinach recipe contest, car show and more.

June boasts the Fort Smith Classic – a nationwide golf tournament and the only PGA event held in Arkansas – as well as the Celebrity Classic. Every other year, the 188th Fighter Wing, the Community Council and the Fort Smith Regional Airport host the Regional Air Show that attracts more than 200,000 visitors to see show-stopping acts like the USAF Thunderbirds.

Memorial Day in Fort Smith means historical and educational guided tours of Oak Cemetery and the Old Fort Days Rodeo. The rodeo holds nightly performances at Kay Rodgers Park and is one of the best stops on the rodeo circuit with the nation’s top cowboys competing for more than $700,000 in prize money.

Van Buren holds the Annual Old Timers Day Arts and Crafts Fair every May in the Main Street Historic District, drawing more than 200 vendors from states across the country.

Find butterflies in Paris every June at the Mount Magazine International Butterfly Festival. Held at Mount Magazine State Park, the event features educational seminars, walks, hikes, arts and crafts, and live entertainment.

Fort Smith in June is a time for good blues and good food at the annual Riverfront Blues Festival. The three-day affair helps raise money to maintain the Barry Ratliff Memorial fund, which provides educational funds to young musicians through college scholarships and maintains the "Blues in the Schools" educational program with local schools.

The annual July 4th Freedom Fest in Greenwood is a daylong celebration of Independence Day held every year to celebrate America. The fest includes a popular 5K run, carnival rides and fireworks.

Late July means grape stomping at the annual Altus Grape Festival with grape stomp competitions, free wine and juice tastings, free winery tours, amateur wine-making competitions, a craft show, food vendors, and more.

Every year, thousands of visitors drive to the downtown Harry Kelley Park for the Blues, Cars and BBQ festival. The two-day event has been hailed as the “best little blues festival in America.”

The Annual Arkansas-Oklahoma State Fair held the third Friday after Labor Day at Kay Rodgers Park has a history of bringing in the best talent in country and western music while offering fun, food and rides for the entire family.

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Area wineries open their doors every September for the Annual Wiederkeher Village Weinfest celebrating more than 40 years in the region. The event includes tours of the historic wine cellars, wine tastings, tours of the vineyards, and arts and crafts exhibits.

October is a busy time for small-town culture with the Annual Old-Fashioned Square Gathering in Ozark and the Frontier Days Celebration in Paris. Both feature live entertainment, pageants, arts and crafts, food, and old-fashioned fun.

December is an exciting month for the region, with all communities joining together to light the night. The annual Christmas on the Frontier festival includes lighting ceremonies and other festivities that bring a special glow to cities throughout the area. Highlights include Christmas in the Park, a drive-through Christmas display in Alma, and a Christmas parade and lighting ceremony with more than 100,000 lights in Paris.

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