May is a month of merriment and music in the Arkansas Delta and North Central Ozarks. From crawfish to crafts and music spanning the spectrum from bluegrass to gospel to rockabilly, you’ll find it all at one of these great events in eastern Arkansas!
Pickin’ in the Park at Village Creek State Park in Wynne is music lover’s dream. It’s a music festival like no other…there are no set bands or performance times, there’s just music played throughout the day, all day! If you’re musically inclined, bring your instrument and a lawn chair and join the fun. This year’s event is being held May 1-3. For details, contact the park at 870-238-9406.
Pocahontas hosts the 10th annual Ozark Hellbender/Founder’s Day Festival on May 1-3. The Ozark Hellbender is one of the largest salamanders in the world, and the one of the few places it exists is in the Eleven Point River in Randolph County. The festival gives a nod to the threatened species (less that 600 are believed to exist!) while celebrating the town’s rich and varied history. This year’s event includes lectures, live music, arts and crafts and food vendors. Contact the Randolph County Tourism Association at 870-248-0069 for more information.
The city of Blytheville celebrates the town’s heritage during Mayfest on May 10. The festival features over 60 street vendors, a plethora of food and craft booths, special activities just for the kids and live gospel music throughout the day. Log on to www.MainStreetBlytheville.com or phone 870-763-2525 to learn more.
It’s Helena Second Saturday on May 10 in historic downtown Helena. The event is a dynamic monthly event that brings local artists, artisans, musicians, merchants, farmers, locals, and visitors together in a vibrant atmosphere that’s great for friends, families, shopaholics, and connoisseurs of the authentic Delta experience. Call 870-338-3300 for details and you can check out the Helena Second Saturday Facebook page here.
The 2nd annual Community Fest (formerly known as the Dermott Crawfish Festival) is slated for May 16-17 in Dermott. The event features arts and crafts, live music, a variety of food vendors, carnival rides, a street dance and, of course, lots and lots of crawfish! To learn more, phone 870-329-3378.
The city of Paragould has combined the best of Loose Caboose and the Art and Stroll and hosts the Downtown Paragould Arts and Music Festival on May 16-17. The event features artists, exceptional crafters and live music. On May 16, it’s the town premiere of “45 RPM,” an award-winning film written and directed by Paragould native Juli Jackson. On May 17, take a trip to the “beach” with Bluffett, one of the premiere Jimmy Buffett tribute bands touring today. Check out the event Facebook page here or phone 870-240-0544 for more information.
The 16th Annual Osceola Heritage Music Festival kicks into musical gear on May 16-17 at the courthouse square in Osceola. The event is two days of great music and activities for the entire family. This year’s lineup includes performances by Cashtown, the Brad Messer Band, the Shotgun Billys and Dr. Zarr’s Amazing Funk Monster on Friday. Saturday’s performers include the Beware Band, Lucious Spiller (runner-up of the International Blues Challenge solo category), Sonny Burgess and the Legendary Pacers, the Eric Hughes Band, Kirk Smithhart, Tragikly White, and Blackberry Smoke. Click here to check out the event Facebook page or phone 870-563-6177 for more information.
The Delta Cultural Center in Helena-West Helena hosts the 14th annual Arkansas Delta Family Gospel Fest on May 17. The event features the best in local and regional performers, ranging from traditional gospel to contemporary Christian music. This year’s headliners include Lee Williams and the Spiritual QC’s and Point of Grace. To learn more, visit www.DeltaCulturalCenter.com or call 800-358-0972.
Piggott hosts the 16th annual Heritage Park Car Show on May 17. The event starts at 9 a.m. and offers fun for the entire family beside the beautiful park by the lake. At 6 p.m. the cars cruise Main Street and the town square. Beginning at 9 p.m., there’s live music at the park gazebo. For details, phone 870-598-3167.
Augusta is the place for the 17th annual Augusta Days on May 23-25. The family-friendly event offers a White River duck derby, a fireworks show, carnival, food and craft vendors, a mini tractor pull, a 5K run, activities just for kids, live boxing and games for the entire family. Held in the city’s downtown, the event is free. Call 870-347-6457 to learn more.
The Heritage Days Festival in Gillett celebrates life on the Arkansas Grand Prairie. This year’s event, held May 24, includes a Baroque cook-off, a street dance, a variety of food and craft vendors, live music and activities for the kids. The event is held at the Gillett City Park. Call Jennifer Menard at 870-946-1664 for questions or more information.
The Grand Prairie Center in Stuttgart hosts Rockabilly Reunion on May 31. The concert features Arkansas’s own Sonny Burgess and the Legendary Pacers, joined by Ace Cannon and Stan Perkins. The event promises to be an evening of great music! Tickets range from $20-30. Visit www.pccua.edu/gpc or phone 870-673-4201 for more details or to purchase tickets.
Enjoy a merry May in The Natural State!