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On Saturday, fast-moving festival fans could make a madcap marathon journey to four very different fun-filled events in Arkansas.

They'd start out costumed as a goat and finish swaying to the sound of the blues. In between, there would be lumberjack feats of skill and strength, as well as close-up encounters with pioneer crafts and customs.

This weekend is one of the liveliest on The Natural State's calendar of fall festivals. The rest of autumn will bring an assortment of organized fun, leading to Wings Over the Prairie Festival during Thanksgiving week (Nov. 17-24) in Stuttgart.

Here's a sampler. Festival grounds are generally open free of charge, with admission fees to some concerts and other programs:

A goat nibbles nachos at last year’s Arkansas Goat Festival. This year’s event takes place in Perryville on Saturday.
A goat nibbles nachos at last year’s Arkansas Goat Festival. This year’s event takes place in Perryville on Saturday.

Arkansas Goat Festival, Perryville, Saturday. Showing up dressed as a goat (or just wearing a goat image) earns visitors a door prize at this fest with a sense of humor. On the schedule are goat yoga (no kidding!), a goat costume competition, a goatee contest and a goat-theme talent show.

Axe to grind? The 35th annual Timberfest will be held in downtown Sheridan on Friday and Saturday.
Axe to grind? The 35th annual Timberfest will be held in downtown Sheridan on Friday and Saturday.

Timberfest, Sheridan, Friday-Saturday. The Natural State's long heritage as a prime timber source is spotlighted at this 35th annual event. Headlining act is the Arkansas State Lumberjack Championship, with categories including the ax throw, horizontal chop, vertical cut, Jack-and-Jill crosscut and chainsaw.

A visitor stokes the fire in the blacksmith shop during a previous High Cotton on the Bayou Festival at the Scott Plantation Settlement. This year’s festival will be held Saturday.
A visitor stokes the fire in the blacksmith shop during a previous High Cotton on the Bayou Festival at the Scott Plantation Settlement. This year’s festival will be held Saturday.

High Cotton on the Bayou, Scott, Saturday. Never mind that the good old days in rural Arkansas involved lots of hard manual labor. Those allegedly simpler times are revived at Scott Plantation Settlement with a day of crafts, music and games -- including sack races and stilt walking. Visitors 7 and older pay $3 admission.

The King Biscuit Blues Festival, taking place Wednesday through Saturday in Helena-West Helena, will honor radio royalty, the late “Sunshine” Sonny Payne.
The King Biscuit Blues Festival, taking place Wednesday through Saturday in Helena-West Helena, will honor radio royalty, the late “Sunshine” Sonny Payne.

King Biscuit Blues Festival, Helena-West Helena, Wednesday-Saturday. World renown attaches to King Biscuit, marking its 33rd anniversary along the Mississippi River. Honored this year will be "Sunshine" Sonny Payne, who died in February after 67 years hosting radio's King Biscuit Time. A full-festival ticket is $85 in advance, $95 at the gate. Single days are $45 in advance, $55 at the gate

Quartz, Quiltz & Craftz Fest, Mount Ida, Oct. 12-14. "Z" is the magic letter for this whimsically misspelled festival at Montgomery County Fairgrounds featuring three shows: gems and minerals, quilts, and arts and crafts. Also scheduled is a contest for digging crystal quartz, rather grandly billed as a "world championship."

Wild Duck Festival, Trumann, Oct. 12-13. A yearly barbecue party dating to 1948 evolved in 1983 into this annual get-together saluting the prime duck-hunting terrain of the Delta's Poinsett County. Along with a duck-calling contest, there are competitions for baking cakes and cookies, as well as making homemade pickles.

Johnny Cash Heritage Festival, Dyess, Oct. 18-20. Serving as host for this year's fest is John Carter Cash, the only child from Johnny and June Carter Cash's marriage. Oct. 18-19 shows in Dyess Colony Circle are free. Tickets for Oct. 20's headliner outdoor concert near Cash's boyhood home are $35 for general admission, $100 for a reserved seat.

Arkansas Bean Fest & Great Arkansas Championship Outhouse Races, Mountain View, Oct. 26-27. The beans come first on Oct. 27 in Mountain View. A ton of pinto beans simmers all morning for serving at noon. Then the 1 p.m. Parade of Outhouses is followed by privy races competing for gold, silver and bronze toilet-seat trophies, plus cash.

Wings Over the Prairie Festival, Stuttgart, Nov. 17-24. For the 83rd year, this venerable festival's main event is the World's Championship Duck Calling Contest, at 2 p.m. Nov. 24. It follows that morning's championships for young callers, female callers and duck-gumbo cooks. On the Nov. 23 schedule is a trap-shoot contest.

More information on these and other fall festivals in the state is available at arkansas.com, the site of the Arkansas Department of Parks & Tourism.

Style on 10/02/2018

Print Headline: Autumnal observances; Goats, ducks, beans, music among fall festival themes

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  • MaxCady
    October 2, 2018 at 11:59 a.m.

    All this serves to distract Ar-kan't-saw's fan's minds off the thumping that the hapless Hogs are going to get this weekend!! ROLL TIDE!!

  • MaxCady
    October 2, 2018 at noon

    Anybody going to the King Biscuit?? I'll be there on top of the levee all weekend. I'll buy you a beer!!

  • abb
    October 2, 2018 at 12:30 p.m.

    We'll be at KB, but not until TH for a VIP beer tasting at Pecan and Elm. Last year we stayed at the Snowden House in Hughes, AR, but this year some running friends will be at tent city. We also have a friend with an RV close by in case its too hot. BTW...try Back Forty Beer from Gadston? AL. Good beer. Central and moon started carrying it. Truck Stop Honey is good on warm, muggy Helena nights!

  • MaxCady
    October 2, 2018 at 7:06 p.m.

    Bloody Mary and Biscuits bar on Friday?? 10 a.m.-noon in the Mark Twain Courtyard, 311 Elm St. It looks like it will be warm and muggy nights in Helena!! I'm going over Wednesday to set up our canopy.

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