Some Top Reasons to Visit Northern Arkansas in September

September brings optimum weather for enjoying the outdoors and the numerous festivals found in Northern Arkansas this time of year. Here are some that are worthy of your time:

  1. 23rd Annual Tired Iron Tractor & Engine Show
    Check out exhibitions of old-time sawmilling and blacksmithing, kiddie tractor pulls, plowing, home-related antiques, and more on Friday, Sept. 5 through Sunday, Sept. 7 at 13344 Taylor Orchard Road in Gentry. Admission is free. 
  2. Wood Carvers Jamboree
    See demonstrations of woodworking, craft items for sale and vote for best of show in the People’s Choice category. The carving craze takes place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 5 through Saturday, Sept. 6 at Pine Mountain Theater in Eureka Springs. Admission is free. Contact Bill Payne for more information at 918-251-8734.
  3. 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. 


  4. Bacon Bowl by Petit Jean Meats
    The 2nd annual Bacon Bowl presented by Petit Jean Meats takes place from 9 a.m. until noon at Lawrence Plaza in Bentonville on Saturday, Sept. 13. Teams consisting of chefs and amateur cooks compete in Entrée and Dessert Divisions as they create innovative bacon dishes. The public gets to sample and vote for their favorites. Admission: $8 in advance, $10 at the gate, ages 6 and under free. 
  5. 34th Cowie Wine Fest
    Blessing of the wine, grape stomping, live music, amateur wine competition, food, games, tours of the historic wine museum, ringing of the largest bell in Arkansas, touring of the Chapel of St. Ann of the Bells and a talk on the history of wine making in Arkansas. Whew! That’s a lot to do on Saturday, Sept. 13 at Cowie Wine Cellars in Paris.


  6. 7th Annual Fall Music Festival
    Catch a variety of genres on Sunday, Sept. 14 at Terra Studios, located at 12103 Hazel Valley Road in Fayetteville. The Fall Music Festival brings together an amazing variety of regional musical talent performing Celtic, Folk, Rock-a-billy, Bluegrass, Blues, and Indie in intimate song circles located throughout the beautiful Art Park. Admission: Free – Suggested Donation: $10/adult 
  7. Hawk Watch
    Many animals migrate southward over Mount Magazine in September. Birds, butterflies, even spiders have been seen passing overhead. During Hawk Watch on from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. on Thursday, Sept. 18 at Mount Magazine State Park near Paris, watch for birds of prey flying by, sometimes at eye level, from high cliffs of Cameron Bluff. Help identify and tally hawks, falcons, eagles and watch for surprises. Meet at the third parking area on Overlook Drive. Admission: Free. 
  8. 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.

    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.
  9. 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 feed needy 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.
  10. 17th Annual Fall Swap Meet & Open Car Show
    More than 600 spaces are filled with cars, parts, memorabilia, antiques, and arts & crafts from Wednesday, Sept. 24 through Saturday, Sept. 27 at the Museum of Automobiles on Petit Jean Mountain near Morrilton. Open Car Show registration is from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. on Saturday. Judging begins at noon. Military vehicle rally held on Friday and Saturday. Admission: Free. 


  11. 67th Annual Chicken Fry
    This is the most delicious way to promote the poultry industry, which is a big job provider in the Dardanelle area. Festivities on Saturday, Sept. 27 at the Veteran’s River Front Memorial Park include car/bike show, power wheel race, 5K, horseshoes, turtle race, chicken calling contest, Mr. Lovely Legs competition, and chicken dinners, of course. Admission: Free. 
  12. 11th Annual Bluegrass In The Park
    Enjoy three different groups performing at Eastside Park (300 E. Commercial) by the Arkansas River in Ozark on Saturday, Sept. 27. Music begins at 6 p.m.  Bring your own chairs. Concession stand operated by the Ozark American Legion.  Contact Emily Williams at 479-667-4451.
  13. Oktoberfest!
    This community event and fundraiser at Rogers’ Frisco Park, located at First and Elm streets, is set for Saturday, Sept. 27. Enjoy live music, great food, fun activities and craft beers. Bring a lawn chair and enjoy the day. Call 479-936-5487 for details.
  14. 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.