2024 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.
130th Old Soldiers’ Reunion in Mammoth Spring
Region: North Central
This week of fun starts nightly at 6 p.m. and ends at 10 p.m. Activities include carnival rides, games, prizes, food, bingo, and more. Free access and parking. Sponsored by VFW Post 7831. The reunion takes place at the Mammoth Spring State Park baseball field in Mammoth Spring.
125th annual Tontitown Grape Festival
In Tontitown, more than 6,000 lbs. of homemade pasta and sauce will be served at the Italian spaghetti dinners, more than 100 crafts exhibitors, biathlon, entertainment, Queen Concordia pageant, plus nightly carnival. Takes place annually in August.
Contact: Tontitown Grape Festival, 479-361-2615, www.TontitownGrapeFestival.com
110th annual Gentry Freedom Fest
Celebrating the birth of the nation, Freedom Fest takes place from noon to 10 p.m. on July 4 at the Gentry City Park, located at 611 W. Main St. There will be concerts from noon until the fireworks show, which starts at dark. Also enjoy food, fun, a car show and more. Admission is free.
The Arlington Hotel & Spa in Hot Springs is 100 at the end of the year
The present Arlington opened December 31, 1924. A gala New Year’s Eve dinner dance was held at that time to mark the occasion. For more details, visit arlingtonhotel.com.
100th anniversary of Harding University
Harding University in Searcy is celebrating 100 years in 2024. For more details on their centennial, visit harding.edu/centennial.
The Davies Bridge at Petit Jean State Park is 90
This bridge was originally called Cedar Creek Bridge and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It is one of the few remaining masonry bridges in the state. It was built by the Civilian Conservation Corps and completed in 1934.
90th anniversary of the Southern Tenant Farmers Union in Tyronza
On July 13, 1934, 18 men came together in Tyronza inside the building that housed H.L. Mitchell’s dry cleaners and the service station owned by Clay East. The group was comprised of black and white tenant farmers, which was a significant occurrence during a time of racial inequalities. On that day, the Southern Tenant Farmers Union was created. The group would break racial barriers throughout its existence, most notably the inclusion of women and African Americans in the organization and administration of the union. The Southern Tenant Farmers Museum is housed inside the structure where the historic meeting took place.
60th anniversary of the Beatles’ visit to Walnut Ridge
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. In September 2011, the town of Walnut Ridge dedicated a life-size sculpture of the group in the city’s downtown area. The artwork depicts the group as they appear on the Abbey Road album cover. The sculpture is called “The British Invasion of the Rock ‘N’ Roll Highway,” in reference to Walnut Ridge’s location along the historic Rock ‘N’ Roll Highway 67. The Beatles at the Ridge festival is held each September to commemorate the Fab Four’s visit to Walnut Ridge.
55th annual Great Passion Play Opening Night in Eureka Springs
The Great Passion Play takes you back 2,000 years to “The Greatest Story Ever Told.” The Play is a 1 hour and 45-minute reenactment of the last week of the life of Jesus Christ. The Passion Play grounds are located at 935 Passion Play Road in Eureka Springs.
The Arkansas Governor’s Conference is 50
The premier tourism industry event in Arkansas marks 50 years of community, collaboration and celebration in 2024. The 2024 conference takes place in Jonesboro in February.
40th annual Arkansas Fiddlers Convention in Harrison
Stage performances and jam sessions are usually held in May at the North Arkansas College South Campus in Harrison. Admission is free.
Contact: Carl J. Wills, 870-429-6174
40th Antique & Classic Car Show, Mammoth Spring
Region: North Central
Antique and classic cars will be on display and judged by year class. Gates open at 9 a.m. and judging begins at 11 a.m. Dash are given plaques for the first 50 registrants. Classes will be 1894 -1930, 1931 - 1955, 1956 - 1975, 1976 - 1998, RAT class.
The event is held at the Mammoth Spring State Park baseball field in Mammoth Spring.
35th annual Mountain Bike Race, West Fork
Devil’s Den State Park in West Fork is known as the place where mountain biking got its start in Arkansas. Its trails are well known and its races are popular. Come and ride in the race or just enjoy watching all the levels of riders compete.
Contact: Devils Den State Park, 479-761-3325, [email protected]
20 years for the William J. Clinton Presidential Library and Museum
Located in downtown Little Rock’s River Market District, the William J. Clinton Presidential Library and Museum offers visitors a first-hand look into the life of the 42nd President of the United States, Bill Clinton. The library opened in November of 2004. For more details visit clintonlibrary.gov.