A brand new shopping experience dedicated to showcasing the tremendous variety of artisans and products made in The Natural State comes to War Memorial Stadium the first weekend of April. Arkansas Made – Arkansas Proud will feature more than 100 vendors offering everything from fine arts to furniture produced in every corner of the state. Vendors will display their wares in booths on War Memorial’s historic field; in the event of rain, stalls will line the concourse, so no rain date needed.
A preview party will take place on Friday, March 31 from 6 to 9 p.m. Ticket-holders will be treated to a private shopping event with food, drinks and a chance to visit one-on-one with artists, away from the noise and crowds of the full market on Saturday. “We wanted to do something a little different,” said Vickie Hart, who aids the stadium in marketing and development efforts. “It’s modeled after similar local events that offer refreshments and a private shopping experience.” Southern nibbles by chef Jason Knapp, live music and demonstrations from Ozark Folk Center crafters will create a festive atmosphere. In addition, artists have contributed items for a silent auction that evening, the proceeds of which will go to the War Memorial Stadium Foundation. “The history of our stadium, as a monument to veterans…I really feel passionate about it staying viable in the community,” said Hart.
The main event takes place Saturday, April 1, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. We snagged a copy of the vendor list, and while it’s awfully long to reproduce in its entirety, here’s a sampling of who and what you can expect to find at the event (in no particular order):
- 2nd Life Wood — custom furniture from reclaimed wood, Fayetteville
- Bathhouse Soapery — artisan bath products, Hot Springs
- Blue Swallow Clothing Co. — natural fiber clothing and handmade jewelry, Conway
- Diva from Scratch — folded book art (seeing is believing!), Maumelle
- JK Woodworking — rustic, handcrafted wooden home goods, Quitman
- Karen Ahuja Studios — fine artwork, Fayetteville
- Nailed It — string art, Fayetteville
- OddBowlz Ceramics — wheel-thrown functional pottery, Huntsville
- Rhinodillo Designs — fine art prints, paintings and graphic design, Little Rock
- Serenity Naturals — all-natural skin care, Little Rock
- The Swalty Kernel —gourmet popcorn, Fayetteville
- The Tiny Twig — jewelry and accessories inspired by nature, Paragould
- Ximena & Elle — handcrafted gifts, Little Rock
This is only a small sample of the goodies that will be available at the market. Tickets for the preview party on Friday, March 31 from 5 to 9 p.m., are $25 online (via Central Arkansas Tickets) or $30 at the gate. Entrance to the sale, taking place Saturday, April 1 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., is $5 cash at the gate. For more information about the event and a complete vendor list, visit Arkansas Made – Arkansas Proud on Facebook.