4 Reasons to Travel to North Central Arkansas in September


September activities in North Central Arkansas let you experience food, music and art amid scenic beauty.

1.       Chili

They’re in it for the money and prestige at the 19th annual Arkansas State Championship Hillbilly Chili Cook-Off. The foodie fun takes place on Saturday, Sept. 6 at Bull Shoals White River State Park in Lakeview. Prize money is given for the International Chili Society sanctioned champion and People’s choice winner. You can also enjoy live music, arts and crafts vendors, boat show, car show, chili tastings, raffle, food vendors and games for kids. Admission: $3 Adults, children under 12 free. www.hillbillychilicookoff.com


2.     Hardyfest

There’s fun for everyone with festivities such as live music, gallery of arts, juried craft vendors, antiques, vintage collectibles, and a variety of family dining and eclectic shopping on Main Street. Hardy holds its festival on Saturday, Sept. 27 on Main Street. www.mainstreetofhardy.org

3.       Standing Up for Hope

Take part in some meaningful fun from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 20 in Cotter. The event starts on the historic R.M. Ruthven Cotter Bridge with participants Standing Up for Hope. State Representatives, community leaders , musical artists, and participants gather together to help provide more than 500,000 meals to food insecure residents of north central Arkansas. After the ceremony guests are invited to the Big Spring Park for an all day celebration that includes music, food, vendors, meal packaging, artists, and much more. Admission: Free.  www.foodbanknca.org

4.       Art Tours

Cruise some back roads and see small town living while discovering fine arts and crafts and artists at artist studio tours in Jasper and Mountain View. Each of these towns offers spectacular events Friday, Sept. 19 through Sunday, Sept. 21. More than 25 artists are on the 8th annual Ozark Mountain Art Tour in Jasper. www.ozarkmountainartists.com

Get a glimpse into the private creative spaces where artists create baskets, paintings, brooms, pottery, stained glass, turned wooden bowls, candles, weaving, photographs and more on the free self-guided Off the Beaten path Studio Art Tour showcasing artists in and around Mountain View, Calico Rock, Pineville and Fox. www.stonecountytouristguide.com