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Celebrating Truly Local Festivals

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October 20, 2011 by wcobserver

Do you hear that? That’s the sound of silence, the sound of a genuine Arkansas fall with crisp mornings and chilly nights. It almost seems strange and foreign after four days of bikers roaring up and down the road. If you didn’t go down to the growling belly of the beast, don’t worry. Apart from the greasy food, rambunctious participants, streets filled with stuff to buy and enough beer to sink the Titanic, there wasn’t a whole lot of surprises.

We don’t mean to belittle the event. Really. But that same weekend, just down the road in Lincoln, the town was holding its annual Apple Festival. By the accounts we heard from intrepid adventurers, the little local fair (along with its delicious fare) was a great success. The same could be said for Prairie Grove’s world-famous Clothesline Fair in early September and Winslow’s Winfest, not three weeks ago. Despite the weather, you could see big grins dripping with rain and muddy feet dancing to the music.

This week, our area will be blessed with another local shindig — the 30th annual WestFest in West Fork. Like the other hyper-local community events, WestFest is great opportunity to experience genuine Northwest Arkansas fun. Proponents of Bikes, Blues and Barbeque have said that the festival is essential for the area’s commerce, and we won’t argue that point here. But these other festivals — the little local fairs for the community, by the community — are essential for the area’s soul. You may not find booze and scantily glad women at these events, but you will find our heritage and our culture on display.

So as the colors begin to change and before we move into that season when neither biker nor basket maker wants to venture out, be sure to sample what you can of these local events. 

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