6 Festivals to Check Out Around Town This Weekend

World cultures, art, literature, crafts, and lots of food — you and your family will find all of this and more at central Arkansas festivals this weekend! Here are six happening in the metro area.

1. Arkansas Literary Festival: The Central Arkansas Library System will once again host award-winning authors for panels, workshops, presentations, performances and book signings as part of the Arkansas Literary Festival, held April 24-27. For adults, there will be more than 80 presenters.

The fun for families takes place on April 26 at both the CALS Main Library and the Hillary Rodham Clinton Children’s Library & Learning Center. The main draw will be Kadir Nelson, the author and illustrator behind children’s picture books like “Nelson Mandela” and “Heart and Soul: The Story of America and African Americans.” Nelson will talk about his powerful paintings at the Children’s Library & Learning Center at 1 p.m. April 26. Check out Little Rock Soirée’s guide to the Literary Festival here

All family events are free.  For info: ArkansasLiteraryFestival.org.

2. Thea Arts Festival in downtown North Little Rock: From 10 a.m.-4 p.m April 26, the Thea Foundation takes over Main Street in downtown North Little Rock for its annual arts festival. More than two dozen artists will display their work, while even more artists, including sculptor Kevin Kresse, will present live arts demonstrations. Kids can look forward to face painting and other hands-on activities. Plus, three bands — The Funkanites, Langiappe, and John Willis and the Misses — will perform.

Admission to the festival is free. For a full list of participating artists and more, visit TheaArtsFestival.org.

3. 12th Annual Strawberry Festival in Cabot: This sweet festival highlights Cabot’s favorite crop April 25-26 at the Cabot Community Center. Enjoy carnival rides, vendor booths, food, entertainment, a pageant and Cabot’s very own strawberries. All proceeds received by Jr. Auxiliary of Cabot will be used to help children of the Cabot community.

For more info and a full schedule, click here.

4. Jewish Food Festival at War Memorial Stadium: Corned beef sandwiches, kosher hot dogs, latkes and challah — try all of this and more when the Jewish Federation of Arkansas (JFAR) hosts its annual Jewish Food Festival from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. April 27. The festivities will kick off with a classic Jewish breakfast of lox, bagels and cream cheese, plus blintzes and kugel at 8:30 a.m.

The festival will also feature booths on Jewish and Israeli culture. At the Ask-the-Rabbi booth, visitors can learn about Judaism, from Jewish holidays to life-cycle customs. At a replica of the Western Wall, visitors can leave a note of prayer, just as people do at the actual wall in Jerusalem. Inflatables and other activities will be available for kids. Entertainment throughout the day will include contemporary and traditional Jewish music by local and regional musicians.

Admission to the festival is free. Read Little Rock Soiree’s full article about the festival here. For more info and a full schedule, visit JewishArkansas.org.

5. Etsy Little Rock Festival in Hillcrest: Etsy Little Rock, an online handmade and vintage marketplace, is hosting its fourth annual Indie Arts and Music Festival from 11 a.m.-7 p.m. April 26. While shopping several Etsy artists and vendors, enjoy music from Booyah! Dad, Isaac Alexander, Ming Donkey and others. Various local food trucks, including Black Hound Bar-B-Q, kbird, Kona-Ice, Loblolly Creamery, Roxie’s Hot Dogs and Southern Gourmasian, will be on hand. The kids can enjoy Glitterville Tattoos ($5 one-color tattoos; $1 for additional colors), free balloons while they last, and creative games like sidewalk chalk, hula-hoops, jump ropes, and bubbles.

The event will be held at Kavanaugh Boulevard between Walnut and Palm Streets. Admission is free. For more information on vendors, food, music and attractions, check out the festival’s Facebook page or website.

6. 4th Annual Turkish Food Festival at Raindrop Turkish House: From 11 a.m.-6 p.m. April 26, families are invited to learn about Turkish foods and culture, as well as the mission and community work of the Raindrop Turkish House. Enjoy folk dances, traditional music and water marbling art (known as Ebru) and henna tattoos. Sample cuisine, such as Turkish coffee, kababs, stuffed vine leaves, baklava, pastries and more.

Admission is free. For more info, visit TurkishFoodFest.com or click here to view their Facebook

Looking for more fun events this weekend? Check out our weekend to-do list here!

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