Pulaski County’s diversity is made manifest in its celebration of all kinds of music, food, culture, films and craft beer. The schedule:
Wildwood Park for the Arts
Yes, it’s an outdoor festival in deep winter, held every year during the Chinese New Year, but with lanterns lit along the paths, fires to hover about, food and music from cultures around the world and hot things to drink (alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages available at most “vistas”), families do not notice the cold.
Fantastic Cinema and Craft Beer Festival
The Ron Robinson Theater
March 29-April 2
Fantastic Cinema’s third year includes screenings of inventive films at the Central Arkansas Library’s theater, a selection of craft beers from around the state and, new this year, a competition sponsored by Kodak for movies shot on 8mm or 16mm film.
Family activities (including arts and crafts vendors, the Ruff on the River Pooch Parade, food trucks and the 5K Fun Run) formerly held as part of the Memorial Day celebration Riverfest will be held independently for the second year at Riverfront Park.
Jewish Food and Cultural Festival
War Memorial Stadium
The celebration of latkes, knishes and matzo ball soup will take place on the concourse from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. There also will be jewelry and other fun stuff to buy, kids’ activities, an “Ask the Rabbi” booth and klezmer music — challah along with the band!
Arkansas Literary Festival
Authors you know, and authors you don’t but should, gather in venues in CALS’ buildings and throughout downtown to read and talk and make us all more literate. Bonus appeal: Most all of the appearances are free.
Sixth annual Indie Arts and Music Festival
Also known as Etsy Fest, this event, back from its hiatus last year, is a daylong handmade marketplace made more festive with live music.
32nd annual Greek Food Festival
Anunciation Greek Orthodox Church
This is the papous of all food festivals hereabouts, three days of food (both to eat at the festival and to go), dancing, music and arts and crafts.
With family activities shifted to April’s Springfest, the granddaddy of all Arkansas festivals now follows an “all music” format and celebrates its 40th anniversary this year.
Arkansas Times Celebrate the Grape
Argenta Farmers Market grounds
Sample hundreds of wines, nosh on tasty tapas, listen to live music and hang with your friends at the Times at this annual outdoor fest.
4th annual ACANSA Festival of the Arts
Downtown Little Rock and North Little Rock
ACANSA, named after a Quapaw village in southeastern Arkansas, is a five-day celebration of dance, music, theater, visual arts and literary events from artists local and national.
Food Truck Festival
Little Rock’s Main Street
With the likes of Alaskan dumplings, aloo dum and more barbecue than you can shake a plastic fork at, we’re just a Korean taco truck away from reaching food truck nirvana. We’ve got purveyors of just about every sort of deliciousness serving food from trucks, and nearly all of them will be at this annual downtown Main Street festival.
Even for those of us who don’t live in Hillcrest — who watch the neighborhood from a distance with a mixture of envy and suspicion — HarvestFest on Kavanaugh Boulevard stands as one of the year’s most fun and purely gratifying afternoons, a genuinely great neighborhood street festival.
World Cheese Dip Championship
Some claim cheese dip was invented here. Regardless, Arkansans eat it by the bucketful and love to debate the finer points of the stuff. Here’s a chance to do both.
6th annual Cornbread Festival
Cornbread may not have been invented here, but it’s certainly been perfected here. Competing cornbread cooks join arts and crafts vendors to bring out the masses to several blocks of Main Street south of Interstate 630.
Arkansas Times Heritage Hog Roast
Argenta Farmers Market
Our annual tribute to all things pork, with a competition among local and regional restaurateurs, a separate division open to amateurs and, for each division, people’s choice awards.
Arkansas Times Craft Beer Festival
Argenta Farmers Market
If you like craft beer, our annual festival is something you can’t miss. For one low, low price, you get the opportunity to sample essentially every craft beer available in the market, eat loads of pub-style grub and hear quality live, local music.