Fall in Arkansas is often short-lived, but the few days we are allotted are typically glorious! The brutal summer heat dies down, the leaves of Northwest Arkansas glow in a cornucopia of vibrant reds, yellows, and oranges, and best of all, it’s festival time! Fall festivals in Arkansas celebrate the new season in a variety of ways from pumpkin patches to chili cook-offs, to beer fests! In this guide, we’ve gathered all our favorite unique fall festivals in the Natural State for you to peruse. Whether you’re a local looking for a weekend activity, or a tourist coming to leaf-peep in the Ozarks, this list of awesome Arkansas festivals is one to save for your autumn itinerary!
Spend Fall on the Farm
Here at Arkansas Frontier, we live for fall. Give us all things pumpkins, scarecrows, and cooler weather! If you’re looking for awesome fall family events, come join us on the farm for gem mining, train rides, or duck races. Tour our educational Native American Village, visit the farm animals, or pick your own pumpkin from our patch! We’ve designed fun fall games and activities that the whole family will love. Set your GPS towards Quitman, and come celebrate fall with us!
The Best Arkansas Fall Festivals
Here they are, in no particular order, the best annual fall events in the state of Arkansas! We’ll do our best to give you up-to-date information on dates and hours, but always double-check the event details on the appropriate websites before you make your plans. We’ve gathered events from all over the state. No matter where you live in Arkansas, there’s a fun fall festival on the list that’s just a stone’s throw away from home!
1. Hillberry: The Harvest Moon Festival-Eureka Springs
One of the best Arkansas fall festivals for families who love live music is The Harvest Moon Festival in artsy Eureka Springs. The five-day festival includes multiple stages featuring Americana, Funk, and Bluegrass bands. RV and primitive camping sites are provided on the festival grounds so you can enjoy the shows all week long. The event is suitable for people of all ages. In fact, children under 12 get in free! Aside from the concerts, the festival includes a multitude of workshops. For children, they have “Lil’ Berries,” a curriculum of workshops including dress-up tents, libraries, sensory stations, and giant lawn games.
2023 Dates: October 4th-8th.
Location: The Farm (just outside Eureka Springs)
Tickets and Schedule: Hillberry: The Harvest Moon Festival
2. King Biscuit Blues Festival- Helena
Arkansas in fall is synonymous with Delta Blues, and so is the town of Helena. Located along the Mississippi River, Helena has been hosting the King Biscuit Blues Festival since 1986. It’s one of the largest annual events in the state and draws music lovers from all over the country. The festival takes its name from the longest-running radio show of all time, King Biscuit Time. The festival includes excellent live music productions, as well as BBQ cooking contests, a 5K run, arts and crafts vendors, and a fun “Tent City” sleeping environment. Tent City is first come, first serve, and has a $100 camping fee.
2023 Dates: October 4th-7th
Location: Historic Downtown Helena
Tickets and Schedule: King Biscuit Blues Festival -Purchase before September 8th for early bird prices.
3. Mountain View Bluegrass Festival-Mountain View
In 2023, the Mountain View Bluegrass Festival celebrates its 22nd year. It’s a simple festival consisting of the best regional bluegrass bands. If spending a few days eating good food, surrounded by the twang of the banjo, sounds good to you, then this is your place!
2023 Dates: November 9th-11th
Location: Ozark Folk Center Auditorium & Grounds
Tickets and Schedule: Mountain View Bluegrass Festival– Tickets go on sale after Labor Day.
4. Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival-Hot Springs
Did you know the historic town of Hot Springs Arkansas hosts one of the most renowned non-fiction film festivals in the country? In fact, the film festival is a qualifier for the Academy Awards in the category of “Documentary Short Subject.” While the HSDFI puts on events year-round in an effort to give a platform to educational storytellers, their fall festival is the biggest and best. Celebrating its 32nd year in 2023, it’s the longest-running festival of its kind in North America.
Fun Facts: Hot Springs was also designated as the first federal reservation, 40 years before Yellowstone became the first national park. It’s also home to the shortest St. Patrick’s Day parade in the world!
2023 Dates: October 6th-14th
Location: Arlington Resort Hotel & Spa
Tickets and Schedule: HSDFF –Get your all-inclusive pass before Labor Day to snag the early-bird price!
5. Arkansas Apple Festival-Lincoln
For a unique annual fall event in Arkansas, head for Lincoln and the Arkansas Apple Festival! The event takes place the first weekend of October each year and includes activities for the whole family. A huge array of arts and crafts vendors will be present. The festival includes wholesome music acts, gospel groups, fun harvest games for kids, and traditional dancing! Unfortunately, the Apple Festival has been canceled for the year 2023 due to a venue conflict, but they plan to resume in 2024. Keep an eye on their website for further information.
6. Annual Frontier Day Festival-Paris
Paris is a lovely town located near the base of Mount Magazine, Arkansas’s tallest peak. It boasts a stunning city square with a large courthouse and some fun vintage shops. The Downtown Square is also home to one of the best Arkansas fall festivals, the Annual Frontier’s Day, which celebrates its 43rd year in 2023. This Arkansas fall festival brings the Old West to the South with costumed volunteers performing Wild West reenactments. It includes turtle races, costume contests, a car show, a parade, live music, bounce houses, and much more.
2023 Dates: October 7th
Location: Downtown Paris Town Square
Tickets and Schedule: No tickets necessary, find more information on their Facebook page.
7. Arkansas Goat Festival-Perryville
That’s right folks! In Arkansas in the fall, we find every reason to celebrate, and that includes our furry farm friends. The Arkansas Goat Festival is one of the weirdest and most wonderful fall family activities, and it has free admission! There will be live music, a costumed goat parade, kid’s races, food trucks, and a raunchy goat lingerie contest. You can’t bring your dog, but you can bring the rest of the family, including your own goat, should you have one. We assure you, no fall festival in Arkansas will fill your camera roll with more amusing shots than this one!
2023 Date: October 7th
Location: Recreation Drive, Perryville, AR, United States, 72126
Tickets and Schedule: No tickets necessary, but please pre-register if you’re bringing a goat!
8. Bikes, Blues, and BBQ-Rogers
The winding roads of Northwest Arkansas, are the prime destination for fall foliage watchers in Arkansas. Nestled within the vibrant hues, Rogers is home to one of the most famous fall festivals in Arkansas. Bikes, Blues, and BBQ is a huge motorcycle rally that has raised millions of dollars for charity since 2000. Unlike most biker events, they pride themselves on being very family-friendly. There’s an incredible food and shopping court, Harley-Davidson demo rides, and a live music stage featuring Country and Southern Rock bands.
2023 Date: September 20th-23rd
Location: Multiple spots in Rogers and Eureka Springs including the Rogers Convention Center.
Tickets and Schedule: Grab your VIP Pass today!
Bonus Festival: Another Rogers entry, War Eagle Fair is one of the largest fall festivals in Arkansas. War Eagle boasts more than 250 arts and crafts vendors showcasing their wares and takes place from October 19th-22nd in 2023.
On the first weekend of October, lumberjacks across the state sharpen their axes for a unique fall festival in Sheridan. TimberFest includes a lumberjack competition that is fascinating to watch. There’s also a 5K run, parades, carnival games, a car show, and live entertainment. You can even put your name in the hat for the Baggo tournament!
2023 Date: October 6th-7th
Location: Downtown Sheridan
Tickets and Schedule: Grant County Chamber of Commerce
11. Arkansas Rice Festival-Weiner
Yes, non-Arkansans, we do in fact have a town called Weiner. Located in Northeaster Arkansas, Weiner is in the heart of Arkansas’s massive rice production region. The Arkansas Rice Festival celebrates the primary export of the area in style! The festival is held annually on the second Saturday of October. In 2023, it will celebrate its 47th year! The festival includes family-friendly activities such as an antique car show, street dancers, a rice cook-off, a fishing rodeo, a parade, rice threshing demonstrations, and kids’ games.
Fun Fact: Arkansas is the top rice-producing state, responsible for more than 40% of the nation’s rice production.
2023 Date: October 14th
Tickets and Schedule: All rides and shows are free and funded by donations. Find more information on their website!
12. Arkansas Scottish Festival-Batesville
The oldest city in Arkansas, Batesville, hosts one of the largest Scottish festivals in the nation. Hosted in conjunction with Lyon College, Experience Independence puts on an incredible show. There will be plaid-clad pipers and drummers, a Jacobite reenactment, traditional Celtic dancers, a presentation of the Scottish clans, a cocktail hour and traditional ceilidh, and traditional Highland games for kids. There’s even a kilted run, should wish to take a sprint. This festival is not only tons of fun, but it’s a true experience in the rich heritage of Scotland.
2023 Date: October 27th-29th
Location: Lyon College
Tickets and Schedule: General admission is free. Check out the full schedule of events.
13. Bean Fest and Championship Outhouse Races-Mountain View
Apparently, Mountain View is the place to be for fall in Arkansas! Our second Mountain View entry celebrates an unlikely hero, the bean. The 41st Annual Bean Fest is your chance to show off your best batch of baked beans by entering the cook-off. You can enjoy free samples, complete with cornbread, and peruse handmade crafts, but the star of the show is the ridiculously redneck outhouse race. Homemade “people-powered potties” line up for a race like no other while bystanders cheer on their favorite! From bean-cookin’ to potty racin’, it’s the fiercest competition in town!
2023 Date: October 27th-28th
Location: Mountain View
Tickets and Schedule: Mountain View Area Chamber of Commerce
14. Hillcrest HarvestFest-Little Rock
Voted one of the best Arkansas fall festivals by the Arkansas Democrat Gazette and the Arkansas Times, the HarvestFest is a blast for the whole family. This one-day event takes place in the historic Little Rock neighborhood of Hillcrest. It includes a host of local vendors, food trucks, and live music. There’s also a dog show, a Baggo tournament, a beer garden, and a pancake breakfast.
2023 Date: October 8th
Location: Along Kavanaugh Blvd from Walnut to Monroe Streets.
Tickets and Schedule: Full schedule of events coming soon!
15. Original Ozark Folk Festival-Eureka Springs
The Ozark Folk Festival is America’s longest-running folk event, celebrating its 76th year in 2023. The Hedgehoppers (local 3rd-graders) will perform a traditional song and dance. There will be a Barefoot Ball, a singer/songwriter contest, and free live music shows. For a taste of the traditional folk culture of the Ozarks, this historic festival is a no-brainer!
2023 Date: November 9th-11th
Location: The Auditorium and Basin Park Hotel in Eureka Springs
Tickets and Schedule: Watch for updates on their Facebook page.
More Fantastic Fall Activities in Arkansas
One of the best fall activities for families in Arkansas is to escape to a farm near you and explore a pumpkin patch. Fit with corn mazes, carnival games, hay rides, farmer’s markets, and petting zoos, Arkansas’s pumpkin patches are chalked full of fall fun! Check out our picks for the “5 Must Visit Pumpkin Patches in Arkansas” for a little inspiration!
Farmer’s markets flourish in the fall with gourds, sunflowers, and homemade honey. Take a look at our list of “The Best Farmer’s Markets in America” and find a fabulous market near you!
Fall Family Baking
Autumn means all things pumpkin! From lattes to baked goods, the sweater crowd can’t get enough of this tasty treat. Turn your craving into a Saturday morning family activity with this “Recipe for Pumpkin Pesto Pinwheels.” Yum!
Closing Thoughts on Fall Festivals in Arkansas
After an absolutely brutal summer this year, we are all looking forward to cooler days! Fall in Arkansas is full of campfires, county fairs, corn mazes, bluegrass, and pumpkin-everything, and we can’t get enough! If you’re a local, or are visiting our great state this year, don’t miss out on some of the best events the state has to offer. Add a few of these Arkansas fall festivals to your itinerary, and get out and explore the Natural State. You won’t regret it!
Happy fall folks!