Category Archives: Bentonville

PUBLIC ART IN NWA: REVIVING THE ORDINARY!

Northwest Arkansas is on the verge of something big as a new urban street art movement takes hold in cities across the region! Outdoor murals, art on storm drains, utility boxes and overpasses, and giant art installations in unexpected places are transforming the day-to-day experience in our distinctive cities into something vibrant, adventurous and new.

From Fayetteville north to Bentonville, west to Siloam Springs and east to Eureka Springs and everywhere in between, new public art initiatives are giving Northwest Arkansas cities a breath of fresh air, solidifying a sense of place, and creating a year-round draw for locals, day visitors and vacationing tourists alike. There’s lots to love about public art, plus it’s free and open to everyone! So, let’s journey through the Northwest Arkansas region and look at some of the evocative examples of public art that you and your friends and family won’t want to miss!

FAYETTEVILLE

The city of Fayetteville dove head first into the public art scene this summer with its Green Candy Art Action initiative. Already known as an arts incubator city, Fayetteville partnered with global creative house JUSTKIDS to recruit artists to create a collection of street art that would engage the community and initiate conversations about waste and sustainability. A few of the new awe-inspiring Green Candy public artworks include:

Green Candy Art Action in Fayetteville

  • Eclipse, a mural by Argentinian artist Marina Zumi, at Hog Haus Brewery, on West Avenue just off Dickson Street
  • Bear-ly Legal, a mural by Lithuanian artist Ernest Zacharevic, just off the historic downtown square, on the corner of East Avenue and Mountain Street
  • Deer, Half Deer, a multimedia sculpture by Portugal-based artist Bordalo, at the historic Walker-Stone House, on Center Street
  • Fayetteberry, an oversized crochet piece by Eureka Springs artist Gina Gallina at the entrance of the Experience Fayetteville office on the downtown square
  • Fresh Air, a mural by Fayetteville artist Jason Jones, just off Center Street, along the Razorback Regional Greenway bike and walking trail

 

“Enjoy Local” & “Shop Local” murals by Jason Jones

Jones, who created Fresh Air, has also demonstrated his passion for this vibrant college town, home to the University of Arkansas, with well-known outdoor murals at two other key locations: Enjoy Local at the Fayetteville Town Center on the downtown square, and Shop Local, adjacent to Vintage Violet Boutique on Archibald Yell Boulevard.

To the east of the square, on College Avenue at the corner of Center Street, The Owl by Puerto Rican artist Alexis Diaz towers nearly 50 feet high. Created as part of The Unexpected, a street art initiative based in Fort Smith, this mural was also curated by the JUSTKIDS team.

Pigshibition, a community art project founded by the Ozark Literacy Council and the Fayetteville Advertising and Promotion Commission, truly captures the team spirt for the Arkansas Razorbacks that thrives in Fayetteville. Pigshibition is comprised of 25 six-foot-tall, painted pig statutes located around the city, each styled by a local artist with a theme of their choice. You can find these funky pigs all around town outside restaurants, on the downtown square, in front of the Clinton House Museum and other places.

Mural on the Tsa La Gi Trail by Stacy Bates

Take the Razorback Regional Greenway to the Tsa La Gi Trail in south Fayetteville to find the overpass mural Holding On and Letting Go: The Struggles and Strength of the Tsa La Gi. City officialssaw the blank slate of the overpass as a canvas and wanted to fill the space with a piece that would represent the journey of the Cherokee people along the nearby Trail of Tears. Proposals were accepted and local artist Stacy Bates was ultimately chosen. The Tsa La Gi Trail marks the site of a forced relocation route where in 1839 a group of Cherokee people formed a detachment camp. The trail is named in remembrance of the tribe.

Of course, don’t miss the variety of public art pieces including beautiful bronze sculptures, fountains and more that are peppered throughout the University of Arkansas campus. One highlight of the collection is Courage to Lead, a bronze sculpture by Native American artist Denny Haskew.

A thriving new neighborhood in northwest Fayetteville is also quickly garnering the attention of art lovers with its award-winning urban design and unique community atmosphere… Uptown Fayetteville as the area is now known features striking public art created by a diverse set of artists, including Uptown Quilt, a mural by local artist and sign painter Olivia Trimble. Trimble’s The Quilt Square Project symbolizes hard work and comfort, and includes an installation in the neighboring city of Springdale.

BENTONVILLE

As you arrive in the cultural haven that is the city of Bentonville, home to the world-class Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, it is nearly impossible to miss Big Blue, a giant mural of a big blue octopus painted on the side of the Rapid Prototypes building on Walton Boulevard. Artist Jason Jones applied his immense talent and vision to the concrete walls of this local business, creating a sense of whimsy and surprise that has fast become a local favorite.

“Sunkissed”, “Monarch and Dandelions” & “Big Blue”

Sunkissed by Nathan Pierce is a funky, geometric sculpture on the North Bentonville Trail. Located at the Y of a trail’s intersection, the bright bursting lines of Pierce’s sculpture emulate spokes rolling along intersecting trails, and make a vibrant splash clearly visible from North Walton Avenue. This sculpture acts as a striking landmark for users of the North Trail System.  

Located at Memorial Park, Monarch & Dandelion is an upcycled sculpture produced by Denver-based artist and Arkansas native Amanda Willshire. The piece was built using repurposed bike parts. Old bike wheels seem to make up the perfect geometry of a dandelion, on which a butterfly etched in bike spokes is perched. This piece underscores that the possibilities of repurposing old materials are endless!

 

Trail Installations at Crystal Bridges Museum

Bentonville’s Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art is not only home to a collection of American art masterworks, but also to a system of trails that are a sanctuary of art and nature. Dotting the Crystal Bridges trails are nearly two-dozen outdoor public art installations that ignite the imagination and tempt visitors to find more.

Some of the most prominent include artist Leo Villareal’s Buckyball, an aluminum sculpture that becomes illuminated with colorful LED lights at dusk, which can be seen upon entering the museum grounds. Three People on Four Benches by George Segal is a sculpture composed of three bronze figures sitting upon aluminum benches, located on the Art Trail near the museum’s Frank Lloyd Wright house. The newest additions include R. Buckminster Fuller’s Fly’s Eye Dome, a huge geodesic Fiberglass-reinforced polyester structure inspired by a fly’s eye located on the museum’s north lawn; and Fiori Boat by artist Dale Chihuly, an installation of many small and wildly colorful glass sculptures located on the North Forest Trail – part of a larger exhibition, Chihuly: In the Forest, which showcases the master artist’s glass and neon works. Fiori Boat will remain on the museum grounds once the Chihuly exhibition closes on Nov. 27.

Open from sunrise to sunset, the Crystal Bridges trails are gorgeous, and free for the public to explore!

SILOAM SPRINGS

The peaceful quality of life in Siloam Springs is undeniable with one short walk around the city’s beautiful historic downtown area. 

Siloam Springs Animal Paintings by Jason Jones

Artist Jason Jones, in conjunction with the 2016 Homegrown Festival, painted a series of animal murals that take meaning from the city’s harmonic connection to nature. The Sager Creek Animal Series includes paintings of an Otter, a Blue Herron, and Doug the Deer that are relatively small, placed around the downtown area in places that are a little off the beaten path. One may have to really look to find them, much like you would look for the real animals that make their homes around Sager Creek and downtown.

One painting in the series has a truly special meaning to the people of Siloam. Last year, a tame deer began approaching trail users along the Dogwood Springs Trail system near the John Brown University campus, just as a dog might, so he was affectionately nicknamed Doug the Deer by the runners and cyclists who encountered him. Unfortunately, state game officials felt that the deer could become a threat, so he was removed. Jones included a painting of Doug in the series in his honor, so that he would remain a part of the community. You can find the Doug the Dear mural on the side of the Ability Tree building on Maxwell and East Main Street.

“Librarrows” (left) and “Springs” (right)

Also in Siloam Springs, free “little libraries” that double as eye-catching, arrow-inspired geometric art installations called Librarrows have been designed by Dayton Castleman, a local artist and curator at 21c Museum Hotel in Bentonville. Installed recently, Librarrows are located in Twin Springs Park and in City Park, strategically placed so that people can grab a book and stay and read if desired.

Springs is a sculpture installation by Joel Armstrong, an artist and professor at John Brown University, which as you might have guessed, is aptly named in celebration of the many natural springs found in Siloam. The design of the sculpture represents summer storms sending rushing water flowing through natural rocks. It’s located on the grounds of the Arvest Bank building at University and Mount Olive Street.

The Postcard Mural was the first public art mural that Main Street Siloam Springs commissioned. Painted by Kirk Demarais, the mural has the nostalgic design of a vintage postcard and can be found at Broadway and East Main Street. Head over and snap a photo!

Vintage Post Card Mural in Siloam Springs

ROGERS

When visiting the city of Rogers, you get to experience the best of small town charm along with fresh, new public art. There’s artworks to be discovered along the streets downtown, from historic sites to well-worn bike trails and everywhere in between. Here are some of the popular works of street art to check out while in town:

Bold Street Art in Rogers

  • The Bleu Girl, a mural by artist William Wallace, can be found on the west side of Urban Bleu Salon at 113 W. Elm St.
  • Boldly painted wood panels by artist Steve Adair are located on the west side of the old Benchmark Building/old Elks Lodge that currently houses a makerspace called the Rogers Experimental House
  • A retro Coca Cola Mural lives on the east side of the Avenue Design Building at Second Street and Walnut Avenue
  • Sunburst, a mural on the north side of the historic Opera House at First and Walnut streets was painted by Missy Kaza
  • A custom mural now resides on the side of the rail car at The Railyard Bike Park. World-renowned artist Lucas Aoki completed the mural just in time for the International Mountain Biking Association World Summit that held events at the park in the fall of 2016
  • A mural of a cruiser bicycle toting a basket of flowers is located on the south side of the peach-colored building at Walnut and Arkansas streets

Public art doesn’t have to be only one-dimensional! We have seen multi-dimensional pieces in other cities, and that doesn’t stop in Rogers. A quirky metal installation lives in a tree downtown called Lightning Bugs. The artist, Tom Flynn, uses found metal objects to create his original pieces. This installation is located on First Street near Parkside Public restaurant and is made of old argon and CO2 containers along with salvaged fragments of reinforcing bar.

SPRINGDALE

Colorful Public Art in Springdale

NWA artist Olivia Trimble makes her mark in Springdale with her personal art initiative The Quilt Square Project. Trimble researches traditional Ozark quilt patterns, adds a contemporary color palette, and paints it onto an 8-foot by 8-foot square. You can find one of these art installations on the Shiloh Meeting Hall grounds off Huntsville Avenue near downtown.

A five-story-tall mural of a Monarch butterfly graces the Springdale Municipal Airport’s control tower as part of the Migrating Mural Project. Founded by Ink Dwell art studio in 2012, the project aims to beautify local environments while driving education toward conservation efforts to help certain species and ecosystems that are currently under threat.

EUREKA SPRINGS

You won’t have to look hard in Eureka Springs to find art. The city has been an arts village and cultural destination since the turn of the century, and once you’ve entered this quaint, craft haven, you’re immersed in it! There are more than 150 public art pieces peppered throughout the city, which is home to more than 400 talented working artists.

Juxtaposed against the city’s historic Victorian architecture is an assortment of public art works, including these quirky, original installations:

Public Art in Eureka Springs

  • Humpty Dumpty, a sculpture that watches passersby from a terrace on Main Street
  • The mystical sculpture The Goddess that overlooks Basin Park in the heart of downtown
  • The Up, a painted staircase on North Main Street just beneath the sky deck at DeVito’s restaurant
  • Experience all four seasons in the same moment in time with the Four Seasons – enormous mobiles made of powder-coated steel and copper that are suspended from the trees in Basin Park. This installation was created as part of the city’s annual May Festival of the Arts, a month-long celebration with more than 75 art showings, performances and events.
  • The Archer, a sculpture you can’t miss on the upper loop of Spring Street near the historic 1886 Crescent Hotel
  • The Louis Freund Mural, painted on the outside of the Eureka Springs Historical Museum

Eureka Springs is also home to the only music sculpture park of its kind in the United States. Located at the North Main parking lot and city park, Music Park gives visitors an interactive sound sculpture experience in a natural Ozark acoustical setting. Visitors create music with a 20-foot chime arbor, percussion sculptures paying homage to Stonehenge, a xylophone-like structure and more – all of which can be played by hand or with soft mallets provided at the park.

HOLIDAY ISLAND

Holiday Island, located north of Eureka Springs and along Table Rock Lake, has a unique take on public art that underscores the city’s relaxing environment. As visitors drive through town, they’re greeted by a series of tree carvings of animals that are native to Arkansas.  

Wood Carvings in Holiday Island

 

The carvings started appearing on Holiday Island in 2013 after a bad storm came through and damaged many of the trees. Keeping in mind the town already held a designation as a “Tree City, USA” community, city leaders pondered a way to preserve some of the damaged trees while simultaneously enhancing the natural beauty.

In a novel idea, the Holiday Island Hospitality Association partnered with a local chainsaw wood carver to create the first work of art carved into a large tree trunk – an eagle standing sentry over the island. It can be seen just after crossing the bridge over the Leatherwood Creek tributary to Table Rock Lake as you enter town on Shields Drive. Carver Jason Morton’s work was so popular with residents and visitors that the Hospitality Association decided to add more!

Now visitors can find these unique carvings including a fox, two raccoons, a hawk and more throughout Holiday Island, on its golf courses and in residential areas surrounding the lake – all of which are easily viewed from public streets. Visitors are encouraged to drive around the community and visit all of them!

NWA’s public art hotspots are growing in size and number practically by the week. We invite you to check out these amazing works on foot, by bike or by car and pair the experience with local music, our dynamic downtowns or our parks, trails and green spaces. You won’t leave disappointed!

NWA Fall Arts & Crafts Fairs Among Best in US!

 

Spanker Creek

Arts and crafts lovers rejoice as autumn brings the return of the Fall Arts and Crafts Fairs to Northwest Arkansas! 

Northwest Arkansas has long held a rich arts and maker culture, and every October it’s home to some of the premier arts and crafts fairs in the country.

With contemporary, country-styled, holiday-themed and Indie wares, too, these arts and crafts fairs are held region-wide, offering handmade, authentic items for every taste, style and budget. 

Bella Vista Arts & Crafts Festival

 

HOMEGROWN FESTIVAL – Oct. 7: Held in historic downtown Siloam Springs, this arts and crafts fair has a contemporary bent with one-of-a-kind and limited-run items such as illustrations, printmaking, clothing, music, jewelry and accessories, homemade, salvaged and repurposed goods and lots of hand-picked vintage. There’s also live music, food trucks and kayaking along Sager Creek. mainstreetsiloam.org 

 

PINE MOUNTAIN VILLAGE CRAFT FAIR, Eureka Springs – Oct. 13-14: Local and regional arts and crafts including stained glass, leather, baskets, woodworking, oil and acrylic painting, sculpture, and lots of other handmade arts and crafts are offered. Holiday theme gifts are also in abundance, as well as seasonal decorations. eurekaspringschamber.com

Homegrown Festival

 

SPANKER CREEK FARM ARTS & CRAFTS FESTIVAL – Oct. 18-22: Located on a farm setting with a true Ozark atmosphere, Spanker Creek welcomes returning and new exhibitors for this fair now in its 11th year. Just north of Bentonville, Spanker Creek runs along the entire south side of the fairgrounds and flows into Sugar Creek on the west side. spankercreekfarm.com

WAR EAGLE MILL CRAFTS FAIRS – Oct. 19-22: The picturesque War Eagle Mill east of Rogers is the site of three longtime arts and crafts fairs that draw tens of thousands of crafters each year! wareaglemill.com

 

War Eagle Mill

WAR EAGLE MILL CRAFT & CULINARY FAIR: Celebrating its 44th year and featuring hand-painted decor, country furnishings, botanical art, ceramics, watercolors, homemade soaps and jewelry. Enjoy cooking demos and samples of delicious breads and muffins made onsite. While you eat and shop, listen to live music on the front porch of the mill. nwacraftsfairs.com

WAR EAGLE FAIR: A tradition dating back to 1954, War Eagle Fair’s mission is to keep true hand-crafted arts alive and well in the Ozarks. Sift through the wares of over 250 booths sure to be filled with unique, handmade products set up along the banks of the War Eagle River. wareaglefair.com

SHARP’S SHOW OF WAR EAGLE: This fair takes place on the fields adjacent to the War Eagle Mill, with more than 250 booths, Find stained glass, leather, baskets, woodwork, paintings, sculpture and more. Holiday themed gifts and seasonal décor are prominent. nwacraftsfairs.com

Ozark Regional Arts & Crafts Show

 

BELLA VISTA ARTS & CRAFTS FESTIVAL ­– Oct. 19-21: Now in its 48th year, this premier festival attracts more than 30,000 visitors from around the world. Offering high quality arts and crafts that are always handmade, the juried event has grown to nearly 300 artisans since it began in 1969. bellavistafestival.org

OZARK REGIONAL ARTS & CRAFTS SHOW: TWO LOCATIONS

Fayetteville, Oct. 19-21 and Springdale, Oct. 20-21: Recognized as one of the top 100 craft fairs in the U.S., this fair is the largest indoor craft fair in the state! Featuring 650+ booths in two locations: the Washington County Fairgrounds in Fayetteville and the NWA Convention Center in Springdale. nwacraftsfairs.com

 

 

Frisco Station Mall

FRISCO STATION MALL CRAFTS FAIR – Oct. 19-22: Indoors at the Rogers mall, this fair sells baskets, woodworking, potpourris, candles, jewelry, clothing, wreaths, oils plus holiday gift items and seasonal décor. nwacraftsfairs.com

 

 

 

HEART OF ROGERS CRAFT FAIR – Oct. 20-21: The 3rd Annual HeART of Rogers Craft Fair held in historic downtown specializes in upscale, handcrafted items not typically found anywhere else. Held in the ballroom of what was once the Historic Lane Hotel, the fair includes the all-new Kids Rock paining venue, and a second venue now open at First United Methodist Church. godowntownrogers.com

Go Hogs! Razorbacks Kick off 2017-18 Seasons

Fall is right around the corner, and that means it’s time for everyone’s favorite: Arkansas Razorback sports!  

Don’t miss your chance to experience college sports action at its best when the Hogs kick off their 2017-18 football and basketball seasons.

Every fall, sports fans flock to the University of Arkansas to watch matchups in some of the finest collegiate athletic venues in the nation. In fact, the Donald W. Reynolds Razorback football stadium is undergoing a major $160 million renovation that will debut in fall 2018.

In the meantime, Hogs fans can indulge in brand-new concession options now when they attend games at all Razorback athletic venues. Fans can choose from new menu and food concepts reflecting local flavors at Razorback Stadium, Bud Walton Arena and Baum Stadium.

So put on your best Razorback red and head over to the U of A for the upcoming seasons’ football and basketball matchups. Tailgating, Hog calling, fan giveaways, special entertainment and much, much more – the Razorbacks have what you need!

While you’re in town, stop by the Dickson Street Entertainment District for craft brews, eclectic dining and live music! Here for the weekend? Take a short drive to the world-class Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, or visit any of our distinctive cities, destinations or attractions. Visit NorthwestArkansas.org for options. 

ARKANSAS RAZORBACK FOOTBALL, Sept. 9 thru Nov. 24, 2017

The Hogs play their season opener in Little Rock on Sept. 2, followed by the first home game of 2017 on Sept. 9 against Texas Christian University in Fayetteville. Arkansas’ 2017 home schedule includes five more games including SEC showdowns with Auburn on Oct. 21, Mississippi State on Nov. 18, and Missouri on Nov. 25. Arkansas also hosts two other non-conference matchups: New Mexico State on Sept. 30 and Coastal Carolina Nov. 4, which is Homecoming. 

What can Razorback Nation expect from the football Hogs this year? Head Coach Bret Bielema returns for his fifth season leading Arkansas. Senior receiver Jared Cornelius will be a major passing target for senior quarterback Austin Allen, who last season lead the SEC in passing yardage.

Football single game tickets, including club and premium seating, are available for all six home games at Razorback Stadium. Visit arkansasrazorbacks.com for tickets, schedules and more.

RAZORBACK BASKETBALL

The men’s and women’s basketball teams have what it takes to bring fans to Bud Walton Arena in Fayetteville, make it come alive with team spirit! Known as the Basketball Palace of Mid-America, the state-of-the-art Bud Walton has a deluxe museum that pays tribute to the best moments in Hogs sports history.

WOMEN’S BASKETBALL, Nov. 2 thru Dec. 28

The women’s basketball team welcomes new head coach and Arkansas alum Mike Neighbors this season, which opens Nov. 10 at home with the Hogs hosting Sam Houston State. In addition to the team’s usual conference matchups, the lady Hogs will host a total of seven non-conference teams in Fayetteville, and face seven others on the road. Visit arkansasrazorbacks.com for more.

 

MEN’S BASKETBALL, Nov. 10 thru Jan. 27

Fans can expect another great season of Coach Mike Anderson’s “Fastest 40 Minutes” in basketball, and have high hopes with returning seniors Daryl Macon, Jaylen Barford and Anton Beard leading on the court.

The men’s basketball team starts its season Nov. 10 against Samford at Bud Walton Arena. Seventeen of this season’s games will be played home in Fayetteville. 

Last year, the men’s basketball Hogs went 25-9 in the regular season and claimed a spot in the Sweet 16. Falling inches short of a victory over North Carolina in the second-round game of the tournament, it was the closest the Razorback team had been to the trophy since its last Sweet 16 appearance in 1996.

For tickets, schedules and info visit arkansasrazorbacks.com.

 

 

 

 

 

“In Full Swing” Exhibition Joins Chihuly at Crystal Bridges This Fall

An exciting new exhibition opens at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art this month, highlighting the colorful, jazz-infused works of Stuart Davis, a preeminent figure in American modern art.

Stuart Davis: In Full Swing debuts on Sept. 16 in conjunction with this summer’s blockbuster exhibition: Chihuly: In the Forest. The outdoor exhibition features the works of master glass artist Chihuly on display in the wooded natural forest of the museum through Nov. 13

COME SEE BOTH EXHIBITIONS!

STUART DAVIS: IN FULL SWING, Sept. 16 – Jan. 1, 2018

In Full Swing is a major retrospective of 80+ paintings described as “a universe of jazzy patterns and blazing colors” by The New York Times. This exhibition focuses on specific phases of Davis’ work, in which he applied the forms of Cubism to still-lifes and landscapes, and invented a new abstract language that merged the aesthetics of advertising and jazz with language.

Over his career, Davis forged a union of international Modernism and uniquely American imagery that continues to influence art being made today. In his work, he captured an element of cool that proves he’s truly an American original.

 

CHIHULY: IN THE FOREST: THROUGH NOV. 13

Dale Chihuly has been an innovator for more than 40 years, working in many media including glass, paint, and neon, and always pushing their boundaries to carry out his distinctive vision.

Crystal Bridges debuted Chihuly’s dual exhibition — In the Gallery and In the Forest — this summer, drawing prestigious visitors and praise from around the world.

In the Forest is on display on the museum’s new North Forest Trail, which accommodates wheelchairs, strollers and scooters. When illuminated at dusk, dozens of works in a glorious fusion of size, shape and color, turn the trail into something magical!

Now, until Nov. 13, visitors can see both exhibitions for only $12.

A visit to the world-renowned Crystal Bridges reveals more than the stunning collection of masterworks inside. Designed by architect Moshe Safdie, the architecture is a work of art in and of itself. Nestled in a natural wooded ravine, the museum’s bridge structures span two spring-fed ponds that are surrounded by pavilions that house the art galleries and studios.

Museum restaurant Eleven serves award-winning High South Cuisine, and the gift store has all the unique items to help commemorate your trip!

For tickets and more information, visit crystalbridges.org.

(Photo captions: from top of page, Davis, Landscape with Garage Lights, 1931–32, oil on canvas; Davis, American Painting, 1932/1942–54, oil on canvas; Chihuly, Red Reeds, 2014)

 

 

 

 

Autumn Outdoor Fun and Adventure

The sky’s the limit when it comes to outdoor fun and adventure in NWA! Between mountain bike festivals, eagle watching on Beaver Lake, scenic motorcycle trails and byways, world-class bike trails, and our many lakes, rivers and parks – the opportunities are endless!

BIKE FESTIVALS:

Back 40 Fall for All Trail Festival, Sept. 2: Choose your passion along Bella Vista’s Back 40 trails: hiking, running, bike riding, or all three! Group rides led by Ozark Off-Road Cyclists and GPP Cycling start at 9 a.m. and include a skills course offered by the Friends of Arkansas Singletrack. Afterward, hang out at the festival area for music, food, face painting and more!

29th Annual NW Arkansas Mountain Bike Championships, Sept. 16: Bring your best off-road cycling skills to this annual mountain biking event at Devil’s Den State Park where rowdy XC riders are all in for a day of racing on courses designed for various skill levels. All races include laps on Racers Hill, while the Ride the Dam skilled course has tricky jumps over natural and manmade objects. Stick around for the awards ceremony and cookout with prizes, swag and food!

Coler Enduro Hosted by Oz Trails, Sept. 17: Presented by Bike Bentonville, this race combines the endurance of cross country and the technical features of a downhill race. Coler Trails are about a mile west of Bentonville on land designated as a mountain bike preserve. Technical sections include the Rock Solid line where you’ll blast through rock gardens and tight rock berms, while the Cease and Desist — the big boy jump line — will take you all the way down the mountain.

Slaughter Pen

Slaughter Pen Jam Mountain Bike Festival, Oct. 6-8: This annual festival is this largest XC race in Arkansas! The fun kicks off Friday evening on the Bentonville Square with a kids ride and a Monster Stunt Show, and moves over to Compton Gardens for a pre-race party, with more fun, music and food. It’s about bikes on Saturday morning as the festival opens at the bike park, followed by an archery biathalon. On Sunday, it’s the Arkansas Mountain Bike Championship Series Race.

MOUNTAIN BIKE TRAILS:

Coler Preserve Trails in Bentonville: Coler Trails are about a mile west of downtown Bentonville on land designated as a mountain bike preserve. Features include flowy jump lines and challenging technical rocky sections that culminate near the top of a mountain. More at oztrailsnwa.com.

Slaughter Pen Bike Park in Bentonville: Slaughter Pen is the ideal urban off-road bike park. You get clean flow, major downhills and plenty of berms while cruising near Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art and other local hot spots. Visit oztrailsnwa.com.

Coler Trails

Lincoln Lake: Seven miles of hand-cut singletrack around Lake Lincoln and rocky tech will hone your skills with plenty of scenic overlooks and rock formations. Visit oztrailsnwa.com.

Mount Kessler Greenways in Fayetteville: These trails wind around rock formations and hillsides with expansive views of the Fayetteville city skyline. Visit mtkesslergreenways.com or oztrailsnwa.com.

Back 40 Trails in Bella Vista: Trails wind through wooded areas, past bluffs, caves and waterfalls, and down to the shore of Bella Vista’s Lake Ann. More at oztrailsnwa.com.

Blowing Springs Park in Bella Vista: The six-mile loop features bluff faces and streams trickling down rocks. Connects to Slaughter Pen trail in Bentonville. More at oztrailsnwa.com.

The Railyard Bike Park in Rogers: One of the only parks of its kind in this part of the country, The Railyard is fully equipped with world-class dirt jumps, wooden ramps and a ride-thru railroad car. Visit rogersar.com or oztrailsnwa.com.

Trails at Lake Atalanta in Rogers: Ten miles of easy, intermediate and expert bike trails include fast singletrack with swooping bridges and gravity cavities. Visit rogersar.gov or oztrailsnwa.com.

Lake Leatherwood Trails in Eureka Springs: Make your way through miles of rock gardens and up the climb to Minor’s Rock, then descend through downhill switchbacks. More at eurekaspringstrails.com or oztrailsnwa.com.

Thunder Chicken Trail in Springdale: Features singletrack, flow, jumps, rollers, berms and drops, with a convenient location off Interstate 49. Visit nwatrails.org.

Thunder Chicken

Sager Creek Mountain Bike Trail in Siloam Springs: This new, five-mile trail runs along Sager Creek, opening into two different trail systems on the north and west sides of the John Brown University campus. Visit jbu.edu.

Lake Fayetteville Trails: A local favorite for beginners, Lake Fayetteville features seven miles of mostly flat trails around the lake in urban Fayetteville. Visit oztrailsnwa.com.

Hobbs State Park Trails: Nestled in a thick patch of pine trees this system provides some of the smoothest riding in the state and is your best bet if the weather is wet. Make sure to stop at the Beaver Lake overlook. Visit oztrailsnwa.com

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MOTORCYCLE TRAILS AND SCENIC BYWAYS:

NWA is home to some of the best trails and byways in this part of the country – perfect to take in the dazzling fall colors from the back of a motorcycle or the passenger seat of your car!

Top Motorcycle Trails: Eureka Springs is a hub for great the state’s top motorcycle rides, as is Rogers, and Fayetteville as host to the annual Bikes, Blues & BBQ motorcycle rally on Sept. 20-23. Our bike-friendly region has numerous routes worthy of a ride, including Ark. 21, the Pig Trail (Ark. Hwy. 23), Beaver Town Bridge (Ark. Hwy. 187), and more. Visit arkansas.com.

Pig Trail

Scenic Byways: Nearby routes include the Pig Trail (Ark. Hwy. 23), Ozark Highlands Scenic Byway (Ark. Hwy. 21), Scenic 7 Byway, Scenic 71 Loop, and I-49 Scenic Byway. Others are Scenic Hwy. 12, U.S. 62, and Ark. Hwys. 123, 59, 43, and 74. Visit arkansas.com.

LAKES AND RIVERS:

Beaver Lake: NWA’s largest lake has key access points in or near Rogers, Eureka Springs and Springdale. There are 28,000 acres of clear water surrounded by beautiful forests, bluffs and meadows. Campgrounds, resorts, marinas, restaurants and outfitters are available.

Lake Wedington: Regularly stocked with fish, the 102-acre lake has a swim beach, air-conditioned cabins, playgrounds, volleyball courts, trails, a boat ramp and horseshoes.

Bella Vista Lakes: Bella Vista offers seven stunning lakes for fishing and water sports. Use of the lakes and facilities is available to all Bella Vista Village property owners and their guests.

White River: The White is home to a string of pools and shoals with overhanging trees, tight turns, and gravel bottoms among bluffs and forests. Below Beaver Dam, it’s a prime cold-water trout fishery with guides and outfitters available.

Kings River

Kings River: A top pick for canoeists and kayakers with about 50 miles of easy floating water. Deep pools provide first-rate fishing for smallmouth bass, channel catfish, rock bass and other fish.

Illinois River: This spring-fed, scenic-designated river starts in the northwest corner of Arkansas and streams into northeast Oklahoma. Near Siloam Springs, the Siloam Springs Kayak Park is a popular Class II play spot for kayakers year-round. Canoe and kayak outfitters, campsites, hiking and horseback riding trails and cabin rentals are available.

Holiday Island Marina & Campground: The campground overlooks the impressive Table Rock Lake straddling the Arkansas/Missouri border, and hosts 31 campsites with full water, sewer and electric hookups.

STATE AND NATIONAL PARKS:

Devil’s Den State Park: With 2,500 unspoiled acres adjoining the Ozark National Forest, Devil’s Den is a favorite for camping, hiking and horseback riding.

Devil’s Den

Hobbs State Park and Conservation AreaA massive park with more than 12,000 acres and 35 miles of hiking trails. Includes ADA accommodating routes.

Withrow Springs State Park: Hiking trails offer views of and access to War Eagle Creek, and canoeing includes a shuttle service for canoe rentals.

Prairie Grove Battlefield State ParkThe site of the last major Civil War battle in Northwest Arkansas on Dec. 7, 1862. Features a museum, visitor center, the one-mile Battlefield Trail and a five-mile driving tour.

Pea Ridge National Military Park: The site of the Battle of Pea Ridge on March 7-8, 1862. Spanning 4,300 acres, includes a visitor center and museum, a driving tour, and approximately 2.5 miles of the Trail of Tears.

EAGLE WATCH TOURS ON BEAVER LAKE:

It’s a bird… It’s a plane… It’s a bald eagle! In October, Belle of the Ozarks Beaver Lake Cruises offers expert guided tours for visitors to spot migrating osprey, great blue herons, king fishers, deer, red-tailed hawks and of course, the impressive bald eagle. Bring the family on this adventure to take in all the beautiful flora, fauna and wildlife the Northwest Arkansas Ozarks has to offer! 

Fayetteville Roots Fest: Recipe of Music and Culinary Keeps Festival Goers Coming Back

Fayetteville and the NWA region are gearing up for the 8th Annual Fayetteville Roots Festival, a five-day urban music and food festival on August 23-27, 2017 in Northwest Arkansas!

Inspired by the sounds of folk and Americana music, the Fayetteville Roots Festival features some of the best music acts in the nation, while spotlighting the rich culture of the region and serving up the perfect combination of food, music and community.

What began in 2009 as a humble mountain town festival in a one-venue restaurant, the Roots Festival has surged in popularity, gaining momentum each year by adding new venues and experiences, and picking up national music acts in new genres along the way.

Held in one of the most hip and vibrant cities in the region, the five-day Fayetteville Roots Fest draws festival goers from more than 25 states and countries. The festival features a musical style that is diverse and rooted in many uniquely American musical styles such as Folk, Blues, Bluegrass, Jazz, Country, and more.

Chef Cook Off

This year’s festival’s extensive culinary program also features nationally known chefs and restaurateurs hosting special culinary events and tastings utilizing only locally grown produce, locally raised meats and locally produced products from the Ozarks.

The Roots Festival also highlights local art and artists, as well as film screenings, live radio broadcasts, workshops, a kids/family concert and other entertainment on stages in both Fayetteville and Bentonville.

Reflecting the region’s love of diversity in music, people and food, Roots Fest wants the community to be engaged, so nearly half of the events and experiences are part of a free community programming initiative.

Festival goers can spend the entire weekend at music workshops, screenings, cooking demonstrations and a Chef Cook Off at the Fayetteville Farmers Market – all without spending a dime!

Some festival events require pre-registration. Make plans to arrive at events early. See the festival’s full schedule of events for more details.

MAIN MUSIC STAGE 

The Roots Festival’s Main Music Stage is at the Fayetteville Town Center on the historic downtown square. A carefully curated music lineup, including headlining acts as well as undiscovered regional and local talent, will take the Main Stage for dozens of performances during the five-day festival.

This year’s main stage lineup features The Wood Brothers, Iron & Wine, John Paul White, Rodney Crowell, Nick Offerman, John Fullbright, River Whyless, Elephant Revival, The Stray Birds, Smokey & the Mirror, Dead Man Winter, Dana Louise & the Glorious Birds, Joe Purdy, Mandolin Orange and more. 

LATE NIGHT STAGES

No need to worry if you don’t have tickets for a Main Stage act. The Roots Festival also features happy hour and late night music at multiple venues in the downtown entertainment district.

Hop from bar to bar on and off Dickson Street where Late Night Stages host live music at low cost or no cover.

The iconic George’s Majestic Lounge will have live music from local favorites as well as festival headliners performing second sets while they are in town. Also catch no-cover late night shows at local hot spots Kingfish, Maxine’s Tap Room and Stage 18.

DIG IN CULINARY: The Roots Fest pays special tribute to regional farmers by working with almost entirely locally sourced food. Award-winning guest chefs will prepare festival cuisine from seasonal, locally sourced produce, meat and artisanal products.

TV host and garden designer P. Allen Smith and foodie/home chef Joe Kwon of the Avett Brothers band are among the dozens of culinary guests who will be cooking up deliciousness and sharing their talents at special culinary events. 

Special culinary events include:

Feed Communities Luncheon, August 24 – An afternoon of food, drink and conversation about the local food movement with host P. Allen Smith at Fayetteville’s Pratt Place Inn.

Master Classes, August 25 – The Brightwater Institute of Culinary in Bentonville hosts live music, craft brew, cider and food tastings, and the opportunity to learn with some of the country’s best chefs.

Taste & Talk Series, August 26 – Join chefs, farmers, brewers and makers for an elevated conversion around food, sourcing and styles. Followed by a “taste the lesson” sesh.

Chef Cook Off, August 26 – A Saturday morning at the Farmers Market with eight chefs, five judges, one dish and 45 minutes. Using only locally sourced farmers market ingredients. Come cheer on your favorites!

Roots Pop Up Bistro and more!

For more information about the Fayetteville Roots Festival, visit therootsfest.org.

Photos courtesy Fayetteville Roots Festival

Blockbuster Exhibition: Chihuly at Crystal Bridges!

Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville is debuting a blockbuster exhibition of breathtaking works by master glass sculptor Dale Chihuly!

Neodymium Reeds and Seal Pups, D. Chihuly

Chihuly’s creations showcasing the translucence and transparency of glass, ice, water and neon, are celebrated around the world. An innovator for more than 40 years, he works in many media including glass, paint, plastics, neon and ice, always pushing their boundaries to carry out his distinctive vision.

Chihuly: In the Gallery and In the Forest opens June 3 and will be on view in Crystal Bridges’ temporary exhibition gallery and North Forest through August 14. Once the gallery portion closes, Chihuly: In the Forest will remain on view in the museum’s North Forest from August 16 to Nov. 13. Museum members can partake of a special week-long member preview May 27 through June 2.

Chihuly: In the Gallery and In the Forest showcases over 300 objects comprised of 14 bodies of work in the gallery and 10 large-scale outdoor installations. The works are featured both in the gallery and along the museum’s newly enhanced North Forest Trail. The exhibition highlights Chihuly’s signature works and newest projects in a museum-wide experience of light, color, and masterful forms.

Boathouse 7 Neon (detail), D. Chihuly, 2016

Crystal Bridges has opened a new entrance and the enhanced North Forest to host the outdoor Chihuly exhibition. The new entrance, elevator tower and a pedestrian bridge on the north side of the museum are designed to increase access to the museum’s north lawn and trail system.

Chihuly is globally renowned for his ambitious site-specific installations in public spaces, as well as exhibitions presented in museums and gardens. His largest sculpture to date, Fiori di Como, is a colorful glass ceiling made of more than 2,000 pieces on display at the Bellagio Hotel lobby in Las Vegas.

Azure Icicle Chandelier (detail), D. Chihuly, 2016

 

Born in 1941 in Tacoma, Washington, Chihuly established the glass program at the Rhode Island School of Design and co-founded Pilchuck Glass School in Washington.

He pioneered irregular, asymmetrical forms by allowing the molten glass to bend, fold and move according to its own rhythm and gravity. Experimenting with size, weight and thinness to create new shapes, he expanded the scope and scale of art glass, with sculptural and architectural installations. His stunning creations are familiar to art lovers and glass enthusiasts alike. From the first small glass bubble he blew as an art student in 1965, Chihuly has marveled at the mysteries of glass.

“To this day I have not gotten over the excitement of molten glass,” the artist Chihuly said. “The process is so wonderfully simple, yet so mystifying. I’m still amazed to see the first breath of air enter the hot gather of glass at the end of a blowpipe.”

Marigold Persian Installation (detail), 2017

At Crystal Bridges, the extensive indoor and outdoor installations will feature new works by Chihuly, as well as iconic works spanning the breadth of his career.

Non-member admission for this ticketed exhibition is $20 for adults and includes both the indoor and outdoor venues. Once the gallery portion closes, the cost will be $10 for Chihuly: In the Forest. There is no cost for museum members and youth ages 18 and under.

For tickets and more click here. 

 

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NWA Summer Festivals

Summertime in Northwest Arkansas is packed with a full range of community events and festivals – from art, music and diversity, to classic cars, cycling and even man’s best friend! Make the most of your summer during this busiest of busy seasons!

Eureka Springs Mustang Show, June 1-4: Take the scenic route through Ozark byways for this inaugural event presented by the Midwest Blue Oval Club. The only such show of its kind in the region, the festival includes a Mustang Mardi Gras parade, a Country Cruise and more.

Eureka Springs Blues Weekend

Eureka Springs Blues Weekend, June 15-18: Award-winning musicians, including Blues Hall of Fame artists, will perform at venues all around historic Eureka Springs during the city’s annual Blues Weekend.

Bentonville Art and Culinary Festival, Month of June: During the month of June, this festival is carried out across downtown Bentonville through culinary events, demonstrations, talks and tastings, as well as interactive crafts and activities for the kiddos.

Highberry Music Festival – June 29-July 2: The 8th Annual Highberry Music Festival at The Farm Campground in Eureka Springs boasts rockin’ tunes and beautiful scenery amidst the 160-acre site that backs up to the Mark Twain National Forest. Beaver Lake, Table Rock Lake and the White River are all within 5 miles of the venue. This four-day music and camping festival features dozens of bands on multiple stages and performance spaces – including The Floozies, Dark Star Orchestra, Funky Meters, Dopapod, Perpetual Groove, The Marcus King Band, Pink Talking Fish and Horseshoes & Hand Grenades, just to name a few. 

19th Annual Eureka Springs Fat Tire Festival, July 14-16: Attracting riders, spectators and party-goers from several states, this three-day cycling festival is packed with downhill, short track and cross country racing…glued together with group rides, social gatherings, live music, craft beer and all-around good vibes! 

Fat Tire Festival

Summer Diversity Weekend in Eureka Springs, August 4-6: Four times a year, Eureka Springs dedicates a weekend to celebrating love and diversity. Spend an afternoon strolling the city’s downtown, the entirety of which is on the national historic register. There are dozens of art galleries, local pubs, scrumptious restaurants and eclectic shops, too.

Dog Days at the Farmers Market in Siloam Springs, August 5: You and your four-legged friend will be nothing short of spoiled at this celebration of pets and their people. Enjoy activities and pet-themed vendors in downtown Siloam Springs.

Dog Days of Summer

Tontitown Grape Festival, August 1-5: A Northwest Arkansas summer staple, this unique festival in its 119th year knows how to draw a crowd. The Italian community of Tontitown is full of tradition and its annual festival is famous for the made-from-scratch spaghetti and fried chicken dinners and grape stomping events.

Eurekan Multisport Festival, August 11-13: Do you have what it takes to complete the ultimate challenge? To earn the title of The Eurekan you must complete a triathlon, 100-mile bike ride and 10K run. If you’re a bit less ambitious, give the Half Eurekan a try with a triathlon, 58-mile bike ride and 5K run.

Fayetteville Roots Fest

Fayetteville Roots Festival, August 24-27: With four days of music, food and community, the Fayetteville Roots Festival keeps it funky. Check out the music that gives the Ozarks its soul while showing your support of locally sourced cuisine.

25th Annual Eureka Springs VW Festival, August 25-27: Enjoy a weekend dedicated to one of most recognizable car brands of our time! Not only will you find classic Volkswagen Bugs, vans and all models in between, but there is the giant swap meet, a tourcade and live entertainment, too.

Rogers Frisco Festival, August 25-26: This family friendly, end-of-summer festival has been delighting people from all over for more than two decades now. With live entertainment, cook-offs and contests, a car show and vendors, it’s another great reason to visit beautiful downtown Rogers.

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NWA Top Summer Picks

Summer is (almost) here! People are active, cold beverages are flowing and special summer events and activities are heating up. Optimize your fun this summer with our list of some fun and unique NWA must-dos this season!

PUBLIC ART TOUR: Northwest Arkansas, Fayetteville in particular, has a vibrant public art scene…from eclectic outdoor sculptures to large art murals, painted utility boxes and storm drains, and more. Snap pictures of these public art favorites while you explore the city on foot or by bike.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RIDE WITH US: Bentonville’s cycling culture is second to none! With local community rides for cyclists every Monday through Sunday, it’s always a good day to bike in Bentonville. Bonus: The greater NWA region’s 200+ miles of bike trails!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CELEBRATION OF THE SENSES: The Art of Wine Festival on June 8-10 at Walton Arts Center in Fayetteville is a chance to sample some of the world’s finest wines and an array of artfully crafted local cuisine! (Must be 21 or older to purchase tickets.)

 

BANG, POW, BOOM: NWA’s first Art Pop Comic Expo is coming to the Jones Center in Springdale on June 9-10. Pick up prints, original art and signed comics by top industry talent from Marvel, DC, IDW, Dark Horse and more!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PADDLE-UP YOGA: Combine the natural beauty of Beaver Lake east of Rogers with stand-up paddle boarding and yoga, and you’ll get a fun, healing workout with a few laughs, too!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LOCALLY GROWN: Take advantage of Northwest Arkansas’ summer farmers market with seasonal harvests, arts and crafts, and community activities for the whole family! Check out markets in Fayetteville, Springdale, Rogers, Bentonville, Holiday Island, Siloam Springs, Eureka Springs, Bella Vista and Huntsville.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

YEE-HAW! The 73rd Annual Rodeo of the Ozarks coming to Springdale on June 21-24 is one of the leading outdoor rodeos in the nation, bringing more than 500 of the best cowboys and rough stock for four nights of rodeo action!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ZIPPIN IN THE OZARKS: Ozark Mountain Ziplines in Eureka Springs will take you on a Costa Rican-style zipline canopy tour in the heart of the Ozarks. With ten cables and one awesome swinging bridge!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SIP & LEARN: Try a flight from new wineries every first Thursday of the month at Brick Street Brews in Rogers! Sip & Learn includes hand-picked styles from a variety of boutique wineries, followed by guided tasting in a casual atmosphere. Also check out tastings at Keels Creek Winery in Eureka Springs, Sassafras Springs Vineyards and Winery in Springdale, and Tontitown Winery.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DIVE IN: When the warm, sunny days of summer come calling, Northwest Arkansas has plenty of splash zones to keep you cool! Check out The Fountains at Lawrence Plaza in Bentonville, the Rogers Aquatic Center, The Jones Center in Springdale and The Family Aquatic Center in Siloam Springs, just to name a few!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LOCAL FLAVORS: With everything from street food to fine dining, eclectic to mainstream and locally sourced to international, a mouthwatering array of choices and culinary experiences are ripe for the taking in Bentonville, Eureka Springs, Fayetteville, Rogers, Springdale and Siloam Springs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BRAVO! Opera in the Ozarks‘ summer season kicks off June 23 thru July 21 at its mountainside (and air conditioned!) venue, Inspiration Point in Eureka Springs. Catch the country’s top opera up-and-comers in 22 performances of The Marriage of Figaro, Carmen and Susannah. Sunday shows at Arend Arts Center in Bentonville.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MOTOWN THE MUSICAL: Experience the story behind the music when the record-breaking smash Broadway hit Motown The Musical comes to Walton Arts Center June 27 – July 2!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FIREWORKS SPECTACULAR: Celebrate the 4th of July with NWA Naturals Baseball at Arvest Ballpark in Springdale with the largest Independence Day Fireworks Spectacular in all of Northwest Arkansas!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CRIT SERIES: The Natural State Criterium Series brings pro and amateur cyclists to downtown Bentonville, Rogers and Springdale on July 7-9. Free and fun for all ages, cyclists will wow spectators as they zoom along city streets during the competition.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FIREFLY FLING: The Botanical Garden of the Ozarks will transform into a magical world for the 2017 Firefly Fling on July 15 with live music and tales from storytellers, and after dark there will be glowing games, performances and fire dancing!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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BITE NW Arkansas Food Festival

Returning for its third year, the BITE NW Arkansas culinary fest in Bentonville just keeps getting bigger and better – and 2017 promises to be the best year yet!

BITE NW Arkansas is a premier two-night food festival that is part of the Walmart NWA LPGA Championship.

The festival celebrates the best cuisine, ingredients, restaurants, beverages and chefs that Northwest Arkansas has to offer. Two nights. One world-class event!

BITE Night One, Thursday, June 22: Mix, mingle and enjoy an abundance of sample-sized menu items prepared by restaurants and chefs from throughout the region. 6-9 p.m.

BITE Night Two, Friday, June 23: Sample signature burgers from the best Northwest Arkansas restaurants, and sip local libations while enjoying a fun and relaxed atmosphere at this festival style event. 6-9 p.m.

This year, BITE is relocating to the 8th Street Market in Bentonville as the new market’s inaugural signature event.

One of Bentonville’s newest culinary destinations, the 8th Street Market encompasses 10 acres along 8th Street in the Bentonville Market District near the Bentonville Square. Already home to Brightwater: A Center for the Study of Food, the market will ultimately showcase culinary education, music and the arts, new restaurant and hospitality venues, and other specialized food and drink concepts.

 

Don’t miss your chance to taste, sip, sample and discover the best of our region and beyond at BITE NW Arkansas! For tickets and info visit bitenwa.com.

 

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