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story.lead_photo.caption Karen Martin

Planning a getaway in October or November in 2020? You might want to rethink that. There's too much going on around here in the fall; you don't want to miss out.

Although I made it to wildly popular Harvestfest in Hillcrest (where, for once, the temperature was appropriately fall-like; it's usually too hot) and Cupcakes for Goodness Sake in Argenta on Oct. 12, travel plans and other commitments prevented participation in some of my favorite central Arkansas events.

Among them:

The Arkansas State Fair Oct. 11-20; rides and midway games don't do much for me, nor does fair food, but it's such fun to roam the barns to see rabbits, chickens, horses, a petting zoo, and the stuff in the Hall of Industry.

The second week (Oct. 21-26) of the Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival, held mostly at the Arlington Hotel (at least I was there for the first weekend, which was fabulous and well attended).

Kaleidoscope LGBTQ Film Festival at Argenta Community Theater Oct. 31-Nov. 3,

The Honey Festival at Bemis Honey Bee Farm in Little Rock (honey judging, fruit trees and beekeeping supplies for sale), Oct. 5.

World Cheese Dip Championship ($10 in advance, $15 at the gate; not really my thing, but many rave about it, and it gets bigger every year), Oct. 5.

Arkansas Goat Festival in Perryville (so many cute photos came out of this cheerful gathering, featuring a goat costume parade, storytelling, info on goat care, goat yoga, goat races, a goat soap-making demo, live music, and a goat lingerie show), Oct. 5.

I was also MIA from the Arkansas Cornbread Festival in SOMA (admission is free; a tasting ticket is $8 in advance) and Chili Fights in the Heights on Oct. 26 (free admission; tasting kit $10, with nearly as many dogs in attendance as people), and the new Downtown on the Farm at the River Market Pavilions (free, with live music, food trucks, pumpkin painting, petting zoo, beer garden, a rice dig, and lots of tractors) on Oct. 27.

For the first time ever, we skipped the annual Pumpkin Roll fundraiser in Hillcrest benefiting Camp Aldersgate on Nov. 3 (watching is free; entry fee is $10 per pumpkin, with prizes for top distance rollers). It's entertaining, but almost too popular now, and was even more exciting back in its outlaw days when Kavanaugh Boulevard wasn't blocked off and the pumpkins came roaring down the steep hill of Midland from Hill Road to sometimes collide with clueless cars minding their own business. The pumpkins still bowl over the occasional kid or dog, though.

Instead, we went to the energetically evolving Pettaway neighborhood just south of the Arkansas Arts Center to attend the inaugural Pettaway Pumpkin Smash. Held in a charming park at 515 E. 21st St., this was a wonderful destination on a sunny Sunday afternoon.

Although we missed the pumpkin-smashing that took place in the first hour, we enjoyed watching loads of kids clambering on playground equipment, the chance to nosh on the entries in a baking competition (the apple cheesecake squares were phenomenal), hear some music, and chat with others, including a Clinton School student who is studying the neighborhood, in a diverse and convivial atmosphere. Consider getting in on this next year before it grows too big for its britches.

Then there's the monthly events that we attend as often as we can:

• Second Friday, 5-8 p.m., River Market area (favorite destination: Historic Arkansas Museum)

• Argenta Art Walk, 5-8 p.m. every third Friday (favorite destination: Argenta Branch Library, a lovely building with superbly curated art and the kindness of admitting dogs)

• SOMA after Dark, first Friday of every month along Main Street south of I-630,

• and Little Rock Night Market, first Friday of each month at River Market pavilions and the surrounding area.

Coming this month:

SoMa's Holiday Market (local makers and vendors), 5-9 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday.

North Little Rock Sertoma Christmas Parade, 3-5 p.m. today along Main Street in the Argenta Arts District to Pershing.

Sherwood Christmas Parade, 2-3 p.m. Saturday along Kiehl Avenue, Jacksonville Christmas Parade, 6:30 p.m. Saturday starting at Sharp and Main streets, and downtown Little Rock's Big Jingle Jubilee Holiday Parade, 3-5 p.m. Saturday.

With all this going on, I'm holding off on any travel plans until the central Arkansas whirlwind takes a break in January and February. And I'll keep in mind that the events window reopens starting in April.

Karen Martin is senior editor of Perspective.

Editorial on 12/01/2019

Print Headline: Stick around for the fun


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