Praise the weather gods. We've made it to September and are staring down the barrel of cooler nights, perfect afternoons and the return of a whole slew of citywide-favorite events. It's hard to believe it's been almost two years since we've hit most of these fall festivals, and while we know more changes may pop up over the coming weeks, we can't help but get excited about the events headed way.
Many organizers are still finalizing COVID-19 safety protocols, and will continue to do so up until gametime. Double check before you go, space out, wear your mask indoors and get vaccinated to experience it all as safely as possible.
That said, Siri, please add all of these dates to our calendar. Thanks.
Little Rocktoberfest | Sept. 25
How does an entire stadium's worth of craft beer sound to you? The state’s premier brew and craft beer festival is offering exactly that as it enters its 17th year put on by the Central Arkansas Fermenters. Held at War Memorial Stadium, proceeds from this year's event go to the Down Syndrome Advancement Coalition of Arkansas and the Dunbar Garden. Also on Rocktober's to-do list: Great food, even more great beer, games and music. On ours: Be there.
Handmade in The Heights | Sept. 25
Traditionally held in the spring, this was one of the first local festivals to call it quits to COVID in 2020. Kavanaugh Boulevard in The Heights will fill with booths highlighting area makers of all kinds — think: pottery, jewelry, clothing, soaps, art, etc. — and we'll be welcoming them to the fall lineup with open arms.
Filmland | Sept. 30 - Oct. 2
Popcorn on deck. One of Arkansas' largest film festivals is back and once again taking things outside. Hosted drive-in style at MacArthur Park this year, attendees can expect a lineup of Hollywood appearances and screenings of "some of the most talked-about films from this year’s festival circuit" that the Arkansas Cinema Society has become known for.
International Greek Food Festival | Oct. 1-2
Again, no, you're not imagining things. The Greek Food Fest does usually take place in spring, but thanks to COVID, this is the second year the deliciousness is getting served up curbside at the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church in the fall. No matter the season, we can't quit you, baklava. Proceeds benefit Community Connections, Easterseals Arkansas, Centers for Youth and Families, Ronald McDonald House Charities of Arkansas, Wolfe Street Foundation, Youth Home, Arkansas Foodbank and the Humane Society of Pulaski County.
Main Street Food Truck Festival | Oct. 2
We know it's hard to process how long it's been since a proper Food Truck Friday season, but something tells us getting back into the swing of things won't be too difficult. It's all coming back to you Celine-style with entertainment, local vendors and more than 80 food trucks on the streets of downtown Little Rock. This is a statewide favorite for a reason, and this is its 10th anniversary celebration. Bring stretchy pants.
World Cheese Dip Championship | Oct. 10
When I dip, you dip, we dip ... right into a competition made of pure, liquid gold. Come enjoy live music as you make the rounds in the River Market Pavilions taste testing some of the world's best cheese dips from amateurs and professionals alike. That's right, we said "world." All proceeds benefit Harmony Health Clinic. Tickets are limited and masks are required.
Festival of Darkness | Oct. 23
More beer, please, but add a little undead spice. This block party at Lost Forty marks the brewery's annual release of its barrel-aged batch of Nighty Night Imperial Stout, along with serving up dark brews from across the region, but it also takes full advantage of the spooky season. Expect lots of zombies (including a costume contest), plus music and food trucks, all to benefit Recycle Bikes for Kids.
HarvestFest in Hillcrest | Oct. 30
This event is all things to all people. You'll find concerts, tons of food, activities, a gumbo cookoff and lots of vendors taking over the streets of Hillcrest at this family favorite festival. Pro tip: Make sure you hit up the pancake breakfast. Along with being delicious, a portion of the proceeds from this event benefits The Allen School.
New for 2021:
Blue Jeans & Bubbles | Oct. 9
The Ronald McDonald House Charities of Arkansas is getting into the festival scene with this "casual meets sophisticated" affair on the 13-15th Street block of South Main. Sip champagne and munch on SoMa menu specials while enjoying live music and local shopping.
Little Rock Yoga Festival | Oct. 10
Not every festival is about food and drinks. This inaugural event brings together local yogis from various practices to lead meditations, hikes and of course, yoga sessions at Wildwood Park for the Arts. Ok, yes, there will also be food trucks and vendors on site. A yogi's gotta eat, too.
Not on the Calendar:
Some cancellations, some new dates and some radio silence. Here's what we know so far about what's missing.
- ACANSA Arts Festival - postponed to March 10-31, 2022
- Arkansas Cornbread Festival - canceled for 2021
- Arkansas Italian Food & Wine Festival - postponed to April 29 - May 1, 2022
- Chili Fights in The Heights - TBD
- Cupcakes for Goodness Sake - postponed to Feb. 26, 2022
- Festival of Wines - TBD
- Yadaloo Music & Arts Festival - postponed to May 21, 2022
We'll be updating this list as we learn more. Have an update? Email email@example.com.