I Know It’s August When…

Aside from the heat, I know it’s August when I see certain events pop up on the Arkansas Calendar of Events.

Since I was a child, the Tontitown Grape Festival has meant summer fun. We went every year as a family, and then later in my teenage years I ran around the festival with groups of my peers. This year the festival, celebrating 115 years, takes place Aug. 7-11 in Tontitown. You can enjoy free nightly concerts by some of Nashville’s brightest stars, carnival rides for all ages, arts and crafts fair, grape stomp, grape ice cream, and the not-to-be-missed homemade spaghetti dinners. Admission is free. Call 479-927-2295 for details.

The 33rd annual Cave City Watermelon Festival is set for Aug. 9-11. Here you’ll find crafts, food vendors, entertainment and more. Bring your own lawn chair. All the fun takes place at the city park. Admission is free. Call 870-283-5959 for more information.

Harrison hosts its 41st annual Bluegrass Festival on Aug. 16-18. This three-day music festival includes jam sessions, as well as performances by great musicians. You can even bring your own acoustic instrument and join in the jam session fun. There are full concessions, and the event takes place at Beacon Park located five miles north of Harrison. Admission is $8 on Thursday, $10 on Friday, $12 on Saturday or $25 for a three-day pass. Call 870-426-3477 for more information.

A fun event for the entire family is the Underwater Treasure Hunt hosted by Jordan Marina on Aug. 18 in Jordan. Divers search underwater for tokens and return them for prizes. They go no deeper than 40 feet deep. Proceeds go to charity and all participants receive a commemorative T-shirt. There are activities for non-scuba divers while the contest is going on. The event is held on Sand Island on Norfork Lake. It’s free to spectators and a $30 charity donation for divers to be eligible for prizes. Call 870-499-7348 for more information.

And then there’s the End of Summer Fly-In, held this year on Aug. 25-26 in Dardanelle. In its 18th year, the event is all about taking flight from the edge of Mount Nebo State Park. Join the Central Arkansas Mountain Pilots on this weekend to watch and learn about hang gliding. In the mornings, you can watch them set up and talk to the pilots as well. Then in the afternoon, watch them soar through the air. Due to the sport’s high dependence on weather and wind, no flight times are announced. However, weather permitting, the pilots will fly Saturday and Sunday afternoon.  Admission is free. Call 479-229-3655 for more information.

And just like that, summer’s over.

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