First Ever Hats in Hot Springs Festival


Got a hat? Any kind will do. And a perfect chance to wear it is at the First Ever Hats in Hot Springs Festival May 31-June 2.

 “If you’ve got a hat you’re going to want to be in Hot Springs for the Hats in Hot Springs,” said Steve Arrison, CEO of Visit Hot Springs via a news release. “It’s all in good fun, and there’s something for the whole family.”

Beginning with a fund-raising gala ( called No Hat, No Cocktail,) for the Garland County Historical Society on Thursday, May 31, the festival continues with contests and concerts and ends Saturday, June 2, with the crowning of the TOP Hat of Hot Springs at 8:30 p.m.

The fund-raiser is at 7 at the Hot Springs Convention Center. Tickets are $25 and you can get them from the Convention Center administrative offices or at the Historical Society, 328 Quapaw Avenue. “As the name says, you must wear a hat to get in,”Arrison added.

A highlight of the festival will be the Arkansas State Simon Sez Championship at 2:45 p.m. on June 2. Steve Max, known as the world’s foremost Simon Says game caller, will put folks through fast-paced elimination rounds of the game in Hill Wheatley Plaza at the south end of Bathhouse Row.

There is also going to be lots of (free) live music. This starts at 6:30 Friday, June 1, with Memphis Soul Revue. The Hot Springs Concert Band performs at 1 p.m. Saturday, June 2 and Boom Kinectic plays at 7:30 p.m.

There will also be vendors on site. “Vendors will be on hand to sell hats to those unfortunate souls who do not have a topper,” said Chrissy Egleston of Visit Hot Springs via the media release. 

All the events in Hill Wheatley Plaza are free to anyone wearing a hat. No seating will be provided, so folks are encouraged to bring lawn chairs for the concerts and contests. Also a heads up that food and drink vendors will be present, so no coolers are allowed.

For further information on the festival call Chrissy Egleston at 501-321-2027 or e-mail her at  [email protected].