Jill M. Rohrbach
It begins with an art and photography walk at various downtown businesses on Friday the 23rd. Grab a program card and have it punched at each participating business for an opportunity to win a door prize at the end of the evening. Friday night also brings the Taste of Heber event. Held at the First General Baptist Church Activity Center, you can sample the cuisine of local restaurants for the cost of $5 for adults and teenagers. It’s free for children 12 and under.
Live music will play throughout the downtown. Kids can enjoy art and music activities, sidewalk chalk painting, and music and movement programs. Adults can bid on chair art at 7:30 p.m. on the courthouse steps during the Chair Auction.
Festivities on Saturday, April 24 begin in historic Spring Park at 9 a.m. with the Mountaintop Volkswagen Car Show. At 10 a.m. festival-goers can peruse arts and crafts booths, a Butterfly Pavilion, and a petting zoo. There will also be Bungy jumps and slides, live entertainment, a Miss Springfest pageant, and lots of food vendors. On the courthouse lawn you can see an antique car and bike show. At 11 a.m. a parade rolls down Main Street. A pizza eating contest begins at noon. The Take the Lake 5K begins at 6 p.m. at the Dam Site Recreational Area. Also at 6, this year’s fun includes an Old Time Political Stumping and Pie Auction on the courthouse square, where you can hear what candidates have to say and bid on pie.
The last day of Springfest, Sunday, April 25, starts at noon and is a continuation of the activities held at Spring Park. Click here for more details on the event.
Heber Springs, founded as a health resort and first called Sugar Loaf in the mid-19th century, now serves as a gateway to Greers Ferry Lake and the Little Red River. The U.S. Corps of Engineers completed the 31,500-acre lake in 1963, and President John F. Kennedy came to Heber Springs in October of that year for the dedication. The historic downtown district includes a stately county courthouse with traditional square, a museum, antique shops, restored theater and Spring Park, with its mineral springs that attracted the original settlers. Greers Ferry Lake is known for great fishing and water recreation. Camping, cabins and world-class resorts overlook one of the state’s most popular lakes. Below the massive Corps of Engineers dam, the Little Red River is internationally known as the home of a once world-record (40-pound, four-ounce) brown trout. Trout resorts and outfitters are available. The lake and river have served as national models for environmental cleanliness.