The 20th annual Dinosaur Festival starts this weekend (May 28) in Nashville, Arkansas. If you miss it the first time around, another opportunity takes place on June 4. The event is held at
Nashville City Park.
This weekend features hot air balloon rides, a Pebbles & Bam Bam contest, and from 10-2 a chance to view the Nashville Dinosaur Track with Dr. Jeff Pittman. Also on tap for the day is a softball tournament and the Elberta Arts and Crafts tent. The next weekend features a Kid’s Fishing Derby, the Elberta Arts and Crafts tent, Dinosaur Art Mural, and a Dino Dig. The entry fee to enter the
festival each weekend is $2 per person at the gate.
An interesting connection that people might not know is that one of the largest dinosaur trackways in the world was discovered a few miles from Nashville. The town is located at the base of the Ouachita foothills and around 130 miles from Little Rock. The large find of dinosaur trackways (a path of preserved footprints) was discovered in 1983 by an archeology grad student in a mine a few miles from town. The tracks were of sauropods.
The trackway, which may be the largest in the world, held between 5,000 and 10,000 assorted tracks and scientists believe the footprints may have been made as long as 100 million years ago in the early Cretaceous period. Reproductions of molds of the footprints are still at several museums in Arkansas. The original trackway is gone and only a few individual tracks were removed and preserved. The trackway is now considered a landmark discovery that influenced both the scientific study of sauropods and other dinosaur trackways.
Around town there are many spots for visitors to enjoy. The Howard County Courthouse was built in 1938 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Nashville City Park offers trails to walk. The Elberta Arts Center exhibits the works of local artists as well as artists from all over the state. The city is also located around 20 miles from Crater of Diamonds State Park. It is also near Historic Washington State Park. For more details on the festival call Nashville City Park at 870-845-7405.