A Splendorous September in Eastern Arkansas
We’re getting close, my friends. Fall is approaching. The temperatures will start to cool off, the leaves bring out their autumn wardrobe and you can feel a crispness in the air! Fall is my absolute favorite time of year in the Arkansas Delta. In addition to September being a beautiful month to get out and explore eastern Arkansas, it’s a great time for events and FUN! Here is my list of awesome things to do in September…all sure bets for fun and entertainment for your family and friends.
One of the most popular events in the Arkansas Delta during this time of the year is, without a doubt, the Labor Day Picnic in Rector on Sept. 1. You don’t make it 73 years if you’re not doing it right! The event starts at 9 a.m. with a parade and lasts all day with carnival rides, pageants, live musical entertainment and great food. One of the really cool aspects of the Rector Labor Day Picnic is that all the proceeds go to the Woodland Heights Cemetery. Great fun for a great cause!
Ahhh…there’s something about the Fair! Just thinking about it, I can smell the corn dogs and funnel cakes! Marvell hosts the Tri-County Fair on Sept. 1-6 at the Tri-County Fairgrounds. You’ll find animals and agricultural products, a variety of competitions, and home-craft displays and contests. There’s also the demolition derby, and a midway complete with rides, fair food, and games of skill. To learn more, call 870-829-1001. In McCrory, the Three County Fair happens Sept. 2-6 at the Three County Fairgrounds. Attendees can enjoy a parade, various beauty pageants and the fun and fast-paced rodeo. Also on tap throughout the week is live musical entertainment and, everyone’s favorite, the carnival midway. And, of course, yummy fair food favorites, like cotton candy and candied apples!
One of northeast Arkansas’s most popular events is the White River Water Carnival in Batesville. The event celebrates its 71st year on Sept. 13. The event kicks off at Riverside Park at 10 a.m. with the MDA fire truck pull, the White River drag boat races, and a car show. The festival vendors also open at 10 a.m. Throughout the day, there are great activities and events such as carnival rides, the Bone Collector: Hot Wing eating contest, live music, fireworks and the Afterglow 5k.
Get out and enjoy the natural beauty of the Arkansas Delta and learn some of the region’s diverse history during Pedal and Paddle through History and Nature at the Delta Heritage Trail State Park near Helena-West Helena on Sept. 20. Participants travel with a park interpreter Maggie on a bicycle down the former route of the Missouri Pacific’s Delta Eagle passenger train while exploring some of the history and nature found along the way. After biking 10 miles, participants paddle a kayak on what was formerly the Mississippi River at Old Town Lake, enjoying the scenic and serene natural beauty of the area.
In September 1964, four young men from Liverpool landed at the Walnut Ridge airport to be transported to a nearby vacation spot, with a planned return to the plane two days later. The schedule was to be kept secret, but word leaked out, and when the Fab Four returned to Walnut Ridge on Sunday, most of the town was waiting. This stop made Walnut Ridge the only town in Arkansas that the Beatles visited. On Sept. 19 and 20, the town hosts the 3rd annual Beatles at the Ridge, celebrating the 50th anniversary of that fated trip to Walnut Ridge. The festival celebrates that stop and all things Fab Four with a Beatles symposium, as well as Beatles tribute artists, book signings, live entertainment and vendors. There will also be arts & crafts, games, inflatables and live entertainment all day on Saturday. Saturday’s main stage headliners will be the Liverpool Legends.
It’s the 35th annual Ding Dong Days Festival in Dumas on Sept. 19-21. Known for the Ding Dong eating contest, the festival also features a golf tournament, barbecue dinner, car show, pancake breakfast, a 5k run/walk, parade, the carnival midway, food vendors and arts and crafts. Don’t miss the special open house at the Desha County Museum on Sept. 21.
You know, there’s more to do on a golf course than play golf! For example, the Golf Cart Safari at Village Creek State Park in Wynne on Sept. 20. I had the opportunity to go on one of the safaris back in May and it was one of the most fun things I’ve done a while! You take golf carts throughout the course at The Ridges at Village Creek and listen for nighttime creatures, hear stories about the constellations, star gaze, and learn about the geology of Crowley’s Ridge. This is a great activity for all ages. The safari starts at dusk. The cost is $10 per person. Contact the park at 870-238-9406 for information.
Corn mazes, pumpkins and gourds…oh my! With September comes pumpkins and harvest fun! The 22nd annual Pumpkin Hollow Pumpkin Patch opens on Sept. 20 near Piggott. Visitors can enjoy corn mazes, hayrides, catfish feeding, farm animals, the Kids’ Barn, the Friendly Forest, kids’ “train” ride, and the Pond Slide. On weekends, there are also pony rides and the hilarious pig scrambles. While you’re there, pick out the perfect pumpkin for your Halloween decorations, along with mums, cornstalks and gourds. Don’t miss the delicious pumpkin roll made from the pumpkins grown on site.
September 26 begins the season at Peebles Farm Pumpkin Patch and Corn Maze in Augusta. Kids of all ages (and even adults) will enjoy the real farm experience. Find your way out of the 16-acre corn maze. Peruse 60 acres of pumpkins in search of the perfect one to make your jack-o-lantern. Enjoy a hay ride, horse and wagon rides, train rides, duck races and a huge play area for the kids. Inspect the general store for a variety of Arkansas-made products. Check out the farm animals, the corn cannon and pick your own cotton.
Make this September a month you’ll never forget!