2023 Anniversaries in Arkansas
From popular festivals to historic commemorations, Arkansas is ready to celebrate in 2023. Learn more about the festivals, performances and other events that mark a milestone anniversary this year.
Arkansas State Parks Centennial
Arkansas’s State Parks are among the most respected in the country. This year is the centennial year for our state park system and marks an occasion to further celebrate the beauty found in the 52 state parks that can be found across the state. For more information: arkansasstateparks.com
Devil’s Den State Park established 90 years ago
An Arkansas icon, this special place nestled in Lee Creek Valley was established as a state park site in 1933. The Civilian Conservation Corps used native materials to build the park’s rustic-style wood and stone structures that mirror the surrounding natural beauty. It now stands as one of the most intact CCC sites in the U.S., with a legacy you can see in its trails and buildings like its original cabins. Some of the park’s unique characteristics are rock formations and caverns. An impressive rock dam spans Lee Creek forming Lake Devil, an 8-acre lake for fishing and boating with canoes and pedal boats for rent. The park’s hiking, backpacking, mountain bike, and horseback riding trails lead to the surrounding Ozark National Forest. For more information: arkansasstateparks.com/devilsden
Fort Smith Regional Art Museum celebrates 75 years
In 2023, the Fort Smith Regional Art Museum celebrates the 75th anniversary of the museum's creation. It was started by the Arkansas Association of University Women in 1948. The museum currently hosts six galleries across its three floors. The ground floor of the museum displays a permanent collection of porcelain sculptures and pottery, as well as exhibitions from area schools. It will kick off its 75th anniversary in January with a Pablo Picasso ceramic collection in the main gallery, "Art Center to Museum - The Last 75 Years" and "The RAM Permanent Collection - 75 Years" in the second-floor galleries. The museum has several events planned throughout the year to celebrate. For more information: fsram.org
War Memorial Stadium is 75
For 75 years War Memorial Stadium in Little Rock has been an important part of the city with a rich cultural and athletic heritage. War Memorial Stadium was dedicated as a tribute to Arkansans who had given their lives in the service of their country during the two great World Wars. Over time, it has evolved into an active tribute to all Arkansans who have served and paid the ultimate price for their country. Military personnel have been honored over the years through programs, tributes and monuments. The Sturgis Plaza opened in 2008 on the northwest side of the stadium as a place of remembrance. The stadium has a strong athletic heritage, including hosting University of Arkansas football games. The stadium’s first event in 1948 was a Razorback football game and War Memorial Stadium has since hosted more than 200 Razorback football games. The stadium’s tailgating atmosphere is one of the best in college sports. The stadium still holds one game every year. In addition to football, the Little Rock Rangers soccer team calls War Memorial Stadium its home. For more information visit wmstadium.com.
Arkansas Folk Festival celebrates 60 years
Region: North Central
In 1963, the first Arkansas Folk Festival was organized and attracted approximately 15,000 people. The festival became an annual event and within a few years was attracting almost 100,000 people to Mountain View. The 60th annual event takes place April 15 and 16, 2023. Festival goers can walk around the historic downtown area, visit the Artisans Market featuring handmade arts and crafts, antique cars and food vendors. There will also be tons of live music and “pickin’ and grinnin’” sessions. For more information: cityofmtnview.org
25th anniversary of Hot Springs Music Festival
The Hot Springs Music Festival brings together over 100 international musicians each June to Hot Springs. For two weeks, these musicians present concerts and open rehearsals at various venues in town for music lovers to enjoy. The festival pairs mentor musicians from major orchestras, chamber ensembles and conservatories with pre-professional apprentices, all of whom receive full instructional scholarships. The two groups play side by side in orchestral, chamber, solo recital, vocal, choral, and chamber opera repertoire. For more information: hotmusicfestival.com.
The World’s Shortest St. Patrick’s Day Parade is 20
Hot Springs has been the scene of one of the most famous St. Patrick’s Day celebrations in the nation. The First Ever 20th Annual World’s Shortest St. Patrick’s Day Parade will take place March 17 and is held on the famous 98-foot-long Bridge Street, the world’s shortest street in everyday use. For more information: shorteststpats.com
ESSE Purse Museum is 10
One of only two purse museums in the world, ESSE honors and celebrates the 20th-century American woman while exploring concepts of art, history and femininity through the lens of women's handbags and their contents. Through purses, you'll learn about the evolving position of women in society. For more information: essepursemuseum.com
The U.S. Civil Rights Trail is 5
The United States Civil Rights Trail connects more than 100 sites across 14 states, allowing visitors to witness the destinations and landmarks that defined the American civil rights story. When the U.S. Civil Rights Trail debuted, six Little Rock locations were included, and Little Rock was named one of the trail’s Top Ten destinations. For more information: civilrightstrail.com