Category Archives: News

Ring in the New Year Right

Celebrate New Year’s Eve how you like with festivals, bashes and daytime options for kids and families, too. At night, head to one of Northwest Arkansas’ vibrant downtowns to celebrate at a variety of pubs, nightclubs and live-music venues offering special entertainment, libations and fun!

Famous “Hog” Drop at Last Night Fayetteville

Last Night Fayetteville – Arkansas’ largest New Year’s Eve festival delivers a full evening of arts and live music for revelers of all ages. Held on the Fayetteville square, Last Night features a spectacular fireworks display and performances on multiple stages by Randall Shreve and The DeVilles, The 1 oz. Jig, National Park Radio, The Lark and the Loon, Trumann Rail Boys, Willi Carlisle, Foggy Bobcat, comedians and more! Early bird tickets on sale now! 

Noon Year’s Eve Kids and Family Celebration, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art  Ring in the New Year (without staying up late!) at this third annual family celebration with games, art projects, dancing and more. From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Admission is free!

Noon Year’s Eve at Crystal Bridges

NEW 365 – Dance into the new year at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art where the Great Hall is transformed into a glowing disco party headlined by Jack Novak mixing her chart-topping electronic hits. Let loose in the Eleven jazzy swing room with Matt Stansberry & The Romance. Between dances, visit jazz musicians in the Stuart Davis exhibition In Full Swing, grab a drink at the bar, and experience a hallway of street performers until midnight! Members ages 21 and up.

DOWNTOWN COUNTDOWN! Bar hop and mingle with other partygoers, or settle in at a restaurant or coffee house with friends. Our vibrant downtowns have a variety of venues to help you ring in 2018!

Dickson Street Entertainment District, FayettevilleAn eclectic mix of bars, live music stages, restaurants, wine bars and breweries in the heart of the city. On New Year’s Eve, check out George’s Majestic Lounge for their New Years Eve Bash with Arkansauce, The Too’s and more!

NEW 365

Downtown Bentonville: The live music scene is young and vibrant here, amidst upscale wine bars, coffee shops and a burgeoning brewery scene. On New Year’s Eve, come to Meteor Guitar Gallery for New Year’s Eve with 90LB Wrench and Special Guest Throwback Jack

Downtown Eureka Springs: With more than 20 bars, restaurants and clubs within walking district, downtown Eureka is where you can dance your way into 2018. Check out Chelsea’s Corner Café & Bar for New Year’s Eve: Opal Agafia & The Sweet Nothings, plus Blue Dream Blue

 

Razorbacks Turn Up the Heat this Season

In NWA, we call the Hogs year-round! With back-to-back basketball and baseball, plus women’s gymnastics, too, it’s always game day in Razorback country!

Bud Walton Arena

RAZORBACK BASKETBALL

Basketball season is underway and Hog fans have what it takes to make Bud Walton Arena at the University of Arkansas campus come alive! Known as the Basketball Palace of Mid-America, Bud Walton is charged with excitement from tip-off to the final buzzer. With both the men’s and women’s teams in play through March 2018, there’s plenty of time for you to get in on the action!

Men’s Basketball

Razorback fans can expect more of Coach Mike Anderson’s “fastest 40 minutes in basketball” during the 2017-18 season with returning seniors Daryl Macon, Jaylen Barford and Anton Beard leading on the court. After the team made it to the NCAA’s Sweet Sixteen tournament last season, fans are ready to cheer their beloved team on to more wins! For season info, visit arkansasrazorbacks.com.

Women’s Basketball

New head coach and UA alum Mike Neighbors started the 2017-18 season with an 82-74 win over Northeastern State University on Nov. 2. The lady Hogs are fired up to face 16 opponents at home this season, eight of which are in the Southeastern Conference. For season details, visit arkansasrazorbacks.com.

 

Diamond Hogs Celebrate at Baum Stadium

RAZORBACK BASEBALL

The Diamond Hogs face an action-packed 2018 season with 33 games at Fayetteville’s Baum Stadium, home of the largest video scoreboard in collegiate baseball. With Coach Dave Van Horn at the helm for his 16th season, the men’s baseball team hopes to carry over the momentum from last year’s 45-19 season for the Feb. 16-18, 2018, opening weekend against Bucknell University. For season details, visit arkansasrazorbacks.com.

 

Gymbacks at Barnhill Arena

RAZORBACK GYMNASTICS

The women’s gymnastics team will give fans a special treat on Dec. 17 when it hosts a Holidays with the Hogs Intrasquad meet at UA’s Barnhill Arena. The squad’s 2018 season kicks off on Jan. 5 in Baton Rouge before the Gymbacks return to Barnhill to host a total of five home meets, including SEC matchups against Kentucky, Georgia and Auburn. For the 2018 gymnastics schedule, visit arkansasrazorbacks.com.

All photos courtesy of Walt Beazley, University of Arkansas

2018 Eureka Springs Mardi Gras Extravaganza

Celebrate Mardi Gras Eureka Springs-style during this annual month-long festival, the largest of its kind in Arkansas! The 2018 Eureka Springs Mardi Gras Extravaganza promises fun and revelry with costume balls, parades, Cajun food, coffee and beignets, umbrella decorating and more. The theme for this year’s festival is Pirates of the Caribbean, so break out your colorful swashbuckling attire and get ready for an amazingly good time. Laissez les bon temps rouler à Eureka Springs!

Mardi Gras Parade

Kings Day Kickoff at the Rowdy Beaver, Jan. 6, 2018­ – Wear your colorful costumes and blinged-out masks and come meet the King, Queen and the rest of the Royal Court at this festival opener. Free food and music, too.

Taste of N’Awlins, Jan. 20 – Gather for the taste of the French Quarter with hot beignets, café au lait and gumbo shooters. Socialize with the Royal Court and enjoy lots of 2nd lining to the swinging sounds of a jazz trio.

Umbrella Decorating, Jan. 10, 17, 24 – Wear your beads and boas for these casual, creative gatherings where everyone gets a chance to decorate his or her own umbrella. Supplies will be provided.

Coronation Ball, Feb. 2 – A grand royal procession at the Eureka Springs Convention Center is followed by dinner and dancing to the sounds of the Doghouse Daddies band.

Krewe of Barkus

Eureka Gras Night Parade, Feb. 3 – Themed floats, walkers and dancers will light up the night as they parade through downtown to traditional Mardi Gras tunes. Followed by 2nd line street dancing.

Black Light Ball, Feb. 3 – Let a body artist paint you with glow-in-the-dark paint, don a glow necklace, and then celebrate to flashing lights and spinning tunes!

Joker’s Masquerade Ball, Feb. 9 – This fabulous costume ball at the Eureka Springs Convention Center includes the Royal Mini Parade, a buffet, dancing and a costume contest.

Costume Day Parade, Feb. 10 – This themed parade, led by the Krewe of Barkus, winds through downtown with floats, walkers, bands, dancers and — the best of all — animals!

Mayor’s Ball: Red Carpet Masquerade, Feb. 10 – Held at the historic 1905 Basin Park Hotel, this ball features live music, beads, appetizers and a cash bar. Bring your decorated umbrellas for 2nd line revelry!

Night Parade

Jazz Champagne Brunch, Feb. 11 – Enjoy a fine-dining brunch inside the Crystal Dining Room at the renowned 1886 Crescent Hotel and Spa. Join in on the 2nd line dance with music by Crescent City Combo.

St. Liz Cajun King Cake Ball, Feb. 13 – Wrapping up the festival, this celebration features the largest king cake in Arkansas! Feast on a Louisiana dinner served by costumed wait staff, and dance to the sounds of the Naturally Brass jazz combo. Costumes are encouraged.

For more info, visit eurekaspringsmardigras.org.

Get Ready to Rumble at Bikes, Blues and BBQ!

The 18th annual Bikes Blues and BBQ motorcycle rally is right around the corner, when tens of thousands of riders, spectators and partygoers roll into town to experience one of the most action-packed weekends that Northwest Arkansas has to offer!

Bikes, Blues and BBQ is one of the largest motorcycle rallies in the nation! From Sept. 20-23, downtown Fayetteville and across the region is revving and rocking with poker runs, charity and VIP rides, live blues, contests, cook-offs and the Dickson Street Entertainment District — there’s all sorts of cool stuff to do!

Even if you don’t ride, don’t miss the spectacle of the festival: Harleys, crotch rockets, tricked-out custom jobs, metric bikes, cruisers, vintage stock and sport bikes — it’s a sight like no other!

Downtown Fayetteville’ Dickson Street Entertainment District is the heart of the festival with live bands, beer gardens, tons of vendors and some of the best people watching around!

Want to slip under the radar? Ease onto one of the winding roads out of town and throw open the throttle along a stretch of scenic highway. Bikes, Blues and BBQ takes place in the Northwest Arkansas Ozark Mountains, giving motorcyclists the chance to experience some of the finest rides in the state.

Bike’s Blues and BBQ draws some 400,000 people from all over the country. Hotels, campgrounds and private homes for rent all fill up fast. Be sure to book your lodging now.

HEART OF THE RALLY

This year, there are four primary venues for live music and events: the Dickson Street Beer Garden, the Baum Motorcycle Village, the Blues Alley Saloon at the Washington County Fairgrounds, and the Monster Experience Venue at Arvest Ballpark in Springdale. 

Love all kinds of music? In addition to legendary blues entertainment, the rally offers everything from Americana to Bluegrass, ’80s hairbands, country, funk and classic rock. 

MAIN EVENTS

Live Music: Don’t forget, all the live music at Bikes, Blues and BBQ is free! See full music lineup below.

Firefighters Poker Runs: Supporting Camp Sunshine for young burn victims.

Stokes Air Battle of the Bikes: See how your ride stacks up against the others!

Kansas City BBQ Society/Arkansas State BBQ Competition: Contestants put their best meat forward to win thousands in prize money.

Miss BBB Contest: Ladies compete for cash prizes totaling $2,000.

Classic Car Show: Because hundreds of thousands of motorcycles is not enough!

Parade of Power: Dickson Street is smokin’ with everything from standard stock bikes to street rods and outrageous customized jobs. Spectators fill up downtown parking lots along as along the route as thousands of riders rumble by.

 

RALLY MUSIC LINEUP

MAIN STAGE ON DICKSON STREET

Wednesday, Sept. 20:

5:30 p.m.- 7:00 p.m. – The Squarshers

7:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. – Arkansauce

9:30 p.m. – 11:00 p.m. – Mountain Sprout

Thursday, Sept. 21:

4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. – Gary Hutchison

5:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. – Funk Factory

7:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. – Oreo Blue

9:30 p.m. – 11:00 p.m. – Earl and Them

Friday, Sept. 22:

3:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. – Leah & the Mojo Doctors

5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. – Vintage Pistol

6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. – The Uncrowned Kings

8:30 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. – Hot Lix

10:30 p.m. – 12:00 a.m. – Jason D Williams

Saturday, Sept. 23

2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. – Mister Lucky

4:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. – Divas On Fire

6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. – Arkansauce

8:30 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. – The Mixtapes

10:30 p.m. – 12:30 a.m. – Dead Metal Society

BLUES ALLEY SALOON AT WASHINGTON COUNTY FAIRGROUNDS

Wednesday, Sept. 20:

7:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m. – Blew Reed and the Flatheads

Thursday, Sept. 21:

6:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m. – Brickfields

Friday, Sept. 22:

6:00 p.m. – 12:00 a.m. – Boston Mountain Playboys

Saturday, Sept. 24:

5:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. – Brody Buster 

9:00 p.m. – 12:00 a.m. – Dr. NOLA and the Soul Shakers

For more info, visit bikesbluesandbbq.org.

 

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 FARK 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

Music Destination: Northwest Arkansas

From multi-day music festivals to live performances in the state’s largest outdoor amphitheater, plus a strong local live scene, classical symphony performances and more, NWA has you covered in the tunes department!

FALL MUSIC FESTIVALS

Set in the serene beauty of the Ozark Mountains, fall music festivals in NWA are a truly unique concert experience!

Terra Studios Music & Art Fest

Cool Water Music Fest, Sept: 8-9: A new music fest makes its debut in Gravette this fall. Cool Water Music Fest brings 15+ talented bands from the Red Dirt genre to the region for a unique festival experience with primitive camping near the fresh springs of Spavinaw Creek, one of the freshest springs of water in all of Northwest Arkansas. Take a cool dip while waiting on your favorite band to play and then relax in the serene country setting while southern sounds flow from two stages!

Terra Studios Fall Music and Art FestivalSept. 10: Home of the famous Bluebird of Happiness®, Terra Studios hosts its Fall Music and Art Festival with upwards of 80 musicians, artists demonstrating flame and glass work, flow-artists and fire-spinners! The festival’s beloved “song circles” are formed by musicians who play all genres of music throughout Terra Studio’s six-acre Art Park.

Jazz Eureka, Sept. 14-16: Eureka Springs celebrates its 32nd annual jazz festival in lively downtown with a stellar lineup of outstanding acts, free jazz in Basin Springs Park and performances by headliner Victoria Swift, Block Street Hot Club, Fourscore, Charged Particles featuring Paul McCandless, and the Richard Bruton Quartet.

Hillberry, Courtesy Jamie Seed

Hillberry The Harvest Moon Festival, Oct. 15-16: All of the action of this multi-day music festival in the mountains takes place far away from the city lights. Come out to The Farm Campground in Eureka Springs for primitive camping and an earthy music experience with acts including Handmade Moments, Arkansauce, Greensky Bluegrass and Yonder Mountain String Band.

WALMART AMP IN ROGERS

The Walmart Arkansas Music Pavillion — known by locals as the AMP — still has concert dates left in its rockin’ 2017 season of headlining shows!

Brad Paisley, Sept. 1: The preeminent male country artist to emerge in the 2000’s, Paisley blends the past with the present, paying constant tribute to his forefathers but pushing the music forward. His brings special guests Dustin Lynch, Chase Bryand and Lindsay Ell.

Zac Brown Band, Sept. 14: Following a record-breaking year for the multi-platinum group, Zac Brown Band brings its Welcome Home Tour to Northwest Arkansas. Rolling Stone said the band’s live shows reach far behind the boundaries of country music “roping in everything from Metallica covers to EDM-inspired light displays.”

Sublime with Rome, Sept. 19: This Long Beach, Calif., band delivers an irresistible blend of ska, reggae, punk, surf rock and hip hop. Hits including “What I Got,” “Santeria” and “Wrong Way,” remain radio staples across music channells today.

Walmart AMP

KISS, Sept. 28: More than 40 years of record-breaking global tours have brought KISS to their fans and now is your chance to experience the legacy right here in NWA. As America’s #1 Gold Record award winners, KISS is clearly one of rock’s most influential bands of all time.

SPECIAL AMP PERFORMANCE: 

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone in Concert Featuring the Symphony of Northwest Arkansas (SoNA), Oct. 7: Don’t miss this first installment of the Harry Potter™ Film Concert Series at the AMP! As momentous scenes from the film “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” are projected on the big screen, audiences will be enchanted by the memorable score performed by symphony musicians and written by celebrated composer John Williams. It’s sure to be a magical evening!

AMPFEST, Oct. 14: Now in its second year, this beer, music and tech festival features unlimited free samples of more than 60 local, regional and craft beers, cutting edge games and technology demonstrations, and great live music!

LIVE LOCAL MUSIC

Dickson Street Entertainment District, Fayetteville: When in Fayetteville, do as the locals do: go to Dickson Street! The heartbeat of downtown is home to some of the best live music venues in the region, plus unique shops and boutiques, art galleries and diverse restaurants. From dancing to shooting pool, shopping and people watching, there’s something for everyone on Dickson Street. 

George’s

George’s Majestic Lounge, Fayetteville: The oldest and longest-running club/live music venue in the state of Arkansas has hosted some of the hottest names in the city’s robust live local music scene to its stages. Located steps from the University of Arkansas campus, George’s dates back to the 1930s and was the first bar in the state to integrate in the ’50s. Come for happy hour on the patio or late night when the dance floor inside is packed.

Meteor Guitar Gallery, Bentonville: A restored movie theater that dates back to the 1920’s has been given a new life as an live music/entertainment venue that doubles as a guitar store and art gallery that displays the work of local artists alongside iconic pieces of music history. Hosting a variety of live entertainment, The Meteor radiates a vintage vibe that will take you back to the good ole’ days!

Chelsea’s Corner Café, Eureka Springs: For 25 years and counting, Chelsea’s has been the place where the misfits fit! With live music five nights a week, this is where you can dance your cares away late-night. If in town in the afternoon drop by for happy hour and chat with the locals, while enjoying amazing view from the double deck patio. 

SYMPHONIES AND ORCHESTRAS

Our region is known for its diversity and that doesn’t stop with the music. Two regional, professional orchestras of the highest caliber call Northwest Arkansas home.

Symphony of Northwest Arkansas (SoNA)The Symphony of Northwest Arkansas (SoNA) presents its 2017-18 Season with a bold and exciting lineup of six mainstage concerts performed by Northwest Arkansas’ very own professional orchestra, with special guest soloists, talented choral and opera singers, and even the sounds of a big-band jazz collective. Under the direction of Maestro Paul Haas, the season features the return of the distinguished Masterworks series as well as the holiday family favorite, The Snowman. For season tickets and show information, visit sonamusic.org.

SoNA

Arkansas Phiharmonic Orchestra (APO)Under the direction of Maestro Steven Byess, APO is an integral part of the community by employing local, professional musicians to bring concerts not only to the community, but into area classrooms. Through its partnership with Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute, APO supports local music programs through Carnegie Hall’s Link Up, the APYO, and by offering free tickets to music students in our area. For season tickets and show information, visit arphil.org.

 

 

“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! 

Bentonville Film Festival Brings Movie Industry to NWA

The Bentonville Film Festival returns to Northwest Arkansas on May 2-7, 2017 with an exciting lineup of film screenings, documentaries, studio premieres, panels, parties and more. Be sure to watch for celebrity sightings, too!

Founded by Academy Award-winning actress Geena Davis and entrepreneur/filmmaker Trevor Drinkwater, the Bentonville Film Festival’s mission is to create exciting opportunities for women and minorities in film and other aspects of entertainment media.

It’s the only competition in the world that guarantees its winning films distribution to a theatrical release with AMC Theaters, television in partnership with STARZ and LIFETIME, and digital and retail home entertainment with Walmart.

Each year, the festival kicks off a series of events to engage the public in downtown Bentonville and other locations in the region. The events include Family Film Night, a Cinco de Mayo concert, a regional bike ride/movie adventure, and the festival’s signature “A League of Their Own” softball game, which has featured Rosie O’Donnell and Davis in the past.

Last year, the festival drew an impressive 63,000 attendees, and that number is expected to increase this year, too! For more info, visit bentonvillefilmfestival.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Razorback Regional Greenway Grand Opening May 2

nwa_razorback_regional_greenwayExcitement for the grand opening on May 2 of the Northwest Arkansas Razorback Regional Greenway is palpable, almost like a University of Arkansas football game day. Hundreds of people are expected to turn out and take part in the many activities planned on and along the route, which touches six cities and provides recreational and transportation opportunities for a half million residents of the area.

The Greenway is a 36-mile-long, shared-use trail that extends from the Bella Vista Trail in Bentonville to the Frisco Trail in Fayetteville. The paved trail contains impressive bridges, follows along several creeks, runs through farmland and wooded areas, and connects to other trails, lakes, and parks. While the greenway offers plenty of scenic beauty, it also links dozens of popular community destinations, including six downtown areas, arts and entertainment venues, restaurants, historic sites, playgrounds, and residential communities.

Whether you like to bike, walk, or run on the Greenway, there are numerous activities to take part in during the grand opening. Plus, the Ozark Regional Transit and the Arkansas & Missouri Railroad are offering free transportation along the Greenway throughout the day. Hop on the bus or the train for a ride to various activities. Bikes are even allowed on both modes of transportation.

The main festivities, consisting of the ribbon cutting and speeches, take place at noon at the Shiloh Square in Springdale. Downtown Springdale will also have bike demonstrations, family-friendly rides, a bike rodeo, food vendors, a taco competition, and hikes.

NWARazorbackGreenway_mapAt 7 a.m., the first official end-to-end Greenway ride takes place starting at Bella Vista Lake. Ride the whole 36 miles and you receive a commemorative t-shirt. Throughout the day, shorter rides also take place at central locations of each city located on the Greenway.

Fayetteville’s kick-off starts at 9:45 a.m. at Dickson Street Crossing, where you can also catch the train to downtown Springdale. Ozark Regional Transit offers bus rides to Springdale from Mercy Medical Center in Rogers, or bike the trail with a group beginning at 9:30 a.m. at the Mercy Trailhead. Bentonville’s kick-off is at 9 a.m. at its downtown activity center, located at 215 SW A St.

Mountain bikers as well as road cyclists can enjoy various rides. The Ozark Off-Road Cyclists will lead a beginner-friendly mountain bike ride around Rogers’ Lake Atalanta at 9 a.m. and then ride up to the Rogers Depot before riding the train to the main festivities in Springdale.

History walks take place all along the route at 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. Join Master Gardeners for horticulture walks too. The walks are all about one mile in length, except for Fayetteville’s, which is about two miles. The Shiloh Museum in Springdale offers a concert from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m.

Find event details for the grand opening at www.RazorbackGreenway.com. Visit www.NWATrails.org for an online map of the entire trail and more information about the grand opening event.

Photos available, courtesy of the Northwest Arkansas Council: www.ArkansasMediaRoom.com/press-releases/northwest-arkansas-razorback-regional-greenway-grand-opening-is-may-2

Looking for new attractions to cover in Arkansas? Check out updated story ideas, attraction lists, and “What’s New for 2015” at www.ArkansasMediaRoom.com.

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