Events & Happenings
Hot Springs is a thriving town with active arts and music communities and fun-loving populace. From January to December, the city's residents and visitors can find plenty to do at music, art and seasonal festivals.
Here's a look at some of the happenings in Hot Springs each year...
Specific dates for the events listed below and other local events & happenings can be found on the calendar page at the Greater Hot Springs Chamber of Commerce website.
Wine, Food and Art Extravaganza
Eight bathhouses, several wineries, area chefs and a variety of art galleries pool their talents and resources in this event, which benefits the Friends of the Fordyce and Hot Springs National Park. The by-ticket-only gala is always a sell-out and is held annually on historic Bathhouse Row in downtown Hot Springs. This is the only time of the year that the bathhouses are opened to the public. Tickets are limited.
Art in the Park
Local artists and artisans display and sell their works in this two-day event in Hollywood Park. See or buy everything from paintings, pottery, sculpture and ceramics to glass fusion, jewelery, watercolors, portraits and caricatures. The event also features strolling entertainment, youth artists and projects area and face-painting. Special adopt-a-pet and info area. Fresh food, competitions and live music events are also a part of the event.
Mudbug Music Mania & Derby
This lively, Cajun-themed festival kicks off the spring and summer months with music, crawfish and other foods. The festival is family friendly and has something for just about everyone.
Hot Springs Music Festival
Musicians from around the globe gather in Hot Springs for this annual music festival, which features concerts and dozens of open rehearsals of symphony orchestra, chamber orchestra, chamber music, musical theatre, recitals and master classes. Simply great music in a fun and causal atmosphere! What's more, most events are FREE!
Miss Teen Arkansas Pageant
Pagent lovers gather at the Hot Springs Civic & Convention Center annually for this scholarship pageant. The winner represents the state at the national pageant sponsored by the Miss America Organization.
Miss Arkansas Pageant
Pagent lovers gather at the Hot Springs Civic & Convention Center annually for this scholarship pageant. It is an Official State Preliminary of the Miss America Organization. The winner goes on to compete for the national pageant title.
Oaklawn Spa Blast Family Spectacular
A fun family celebration of our nation's Independence Day that features fireworks, music and other entertainment. The event is free to the public and held at Oaklawn Race Track in the infield.
Hot Springs Jazz Festival
This three-day musical extravaganza features national, regional and local jazz artists and is sponsored by the Hot Springs Jazz Society. Other events, including A Poet's Slam, are a part of the festival.
Each year, thousands flock to Hot Springs to attend this German-themed festival, which features traditional German and other music, German and traditional foods, arts and crafts, and dancing. The event is sponsored by Hot Springs Chamber of Commerce.
Arkansas Grand Slam
Some of the best performance poets in the U.S. slam it out in the Arkansas Grand Slam, one of the most prestigious poetry events in the nation.
Hot Springs Arts and Crafts Fair
More than 300 exhibitors from around the nation show off their quality crafts at this event, which also features live entertainment and downhome cooking. Admission is free.
Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival
10 days of documentaries in one of the nation's premiere non-fiction film festivals! The festival salutes documentary films and filmakers annually. More than 90 films are screened during the festival, including the Academy Award-nominated non-fiction films of the festival's year. Special guest scholars, filmmakers and celebrities participate in forums and lectures held throughout the festival.
"Holiday HIGHlights" at Garvan Woodland Gardens
More than 20 acres of prime Garden real estate is transformed into a holiday wonderland, featuring more than a million lights, animated characters and hand-made structures. There are special holiday admission prices and golf cart tours for an extra fee for those who need assistance.
Winter Wonderland Arts & Crafts Festival
An arts, crafts and gift show that features hundreds of vendors displaying a variety of hand-crafted items.
ArtBlast is an interactive, hands-on arts festival for childrne ages 4-18. The festival features thousands of square feet of art activities, including painting, drawing, drummaking, documentary filmmaking, poster contests, music activities, a treasure hunt and more! This event, a collaboration of non-profit art organizations, is fun for the whole family.
Holiday Christmas Parade
Hot Springs kicks off the holiday season annually with a Christmas Parade through the historic downtown district. The parade has a theme each year and features floats and other participants.
Oaklawn Live Horse Racing
Oaklawn Park kicks off the live racing season in January each year (weather permitting) and it continues through mid-April.
The Hot Springs Gallery walk is held the first Friday of each month and gives attendants and opportunity to stroll downtown Hot Springs and enjoy the contemporary artworks displayed in the art galleries located in the heart of the historic district. Galleries are open until 9 p.m. and often have music playing and complimentary refreshments available. Artists also are on hand to chat with visitors.
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