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Top 20 Events in Hot Springs National Park, Arkansas | Hot Springs National Park Arkansas

Top 20 Events in Hot Springs National Park, Arkansas

When planning your visit to Hot Springs, keep in mind - there's always something exciting happening, year round! From comic-conventions with out of this world cosplays, to mountain bike festivals, to thouroughbred horse races and of course, the World's Shortest St. Patrick's Day Parade. We've compiled a list of the top 20 upcoming events to help you choose the best time to travel to Hot Springs National Park, Arkansas. Read on below to check out the top 20 upcoming events in Hot Springs!


Garvan Woodland Gardens Winter Garden | November 19 - December 31

Come celebrate the beauty of the season at Garvan Woodland Gardens holiday lights display! 210 acres of botanical gardens make up Garvan Woodland Gardens, and each holiday season twinkling lights transform the gardens into a winter wonderland. During your visit, stop by the Sugg Model Train, the ethereal Anthony Chapel, and of course the 4-story treehouse. The winter garden festival will run through the month of December (closed Thanksgiving and Christmas days). For more information visit garvangardens.org.


Hot Springs Christmas Parade | December 5

It's the most wonderful time of the year! The Hot Springs Christmas Parade is packed with holly jolly delight, showcasing marching bands, local businesses, and of course Mr. and Mrs. Clause. Bundle up and take a stroll through the lights after the parade, as downtown Hot Springs twinkles with holiday spirit.


Oaklawn Opening Day | December 9

It's time for a day at the races! The live race meet at Oaklawn kicks off December 9 with the Advent Stakes. Oaklawn will offer a record $50 million in purses over 68 days of racing, concluding on May 6. Dress warm, and dawn your best hat for a fun-filled day at the races.


Arkansas Shorts - A Weekend of Short Film | January 6 - 8

Arkansas Shorts - A Weekend of Short Film is an annual event showcasing short films in 3 categories: Those made by Arkansas Natives and current residents of Arkansas; by North American Filmmakers; and by International filmmakers. Additionally, Arkansas Shorts is a showcase for the work produced in Low Key Arts' filmmaking workshop, Inception to Projection, during the prior year. Arkansas Shorts is held at the Historic Malco Theatre, with films shown throughout the weekend as well as panels, workshops, and Q&A's.


Rebel Stakes | February 25

The Rebel Stakes is a Grade II American Thoroughbred horse race for three-year-old horses at a distance of one and one-sixteenth miles on the dirt run annually at Oaklawn Park Race Track in Hot Springs, Arkansas. The event currently offers a purse of $1,000,000. Enjoy a day at the races for the Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn on Saturday, February 25!


Tulip Extravaganza | Late February - Mid April

Garvan Woodland Gardens offers a spectacular sight of over 150,000 breathtaking tulips from Late February - Mid April, depending on the weather for the peak bloom time. To learn more, visit garvangardens.org.


World's Shortest St. Patrick's Day Parade | March 17

The World’s Shortest St. Patrick’s Day Parade brings incrediblely quirky, green, festive fun to Hot Springs, Arkansas every year. In its 20th year, tradition will remain in 40 floats — along with dancers, marchers and leprechauns of course — parading down the 98-foot-long Bridge Street in historic downtown Hot Springs. This 20th year will also bring celebrity guests and musical guests you won't want to miss! There will be a lot packed into this short parade, so put this free event on your “can’t-miss” list in 2023. For more information on the World's Shortest St. Patrick's Day Parade, visit shorteststpats.com.


Village People | March 18

Visit Hot Springs has signed the iconic band Village People to perform a free public concert on March 18, the day after the World's Shortest St. Patrick's Day Parade on Bridge Street. Village People is one of the most iconic music groups in the world. Their music is part of the international songbook and has been featured in numerous motion pictures, on Broadway, and in commercials. Of course, “Y.M.C.A.” (along with its namesake dance) is played at almost every party and sporting event in the world.


Valley of the Vapors Music Festival | March 17 - 19

For the fourth year in a row, the 20th Annual Valley of the Vapors Independent Music Festival will once again take place at Cedar Glades Park. Presented by Low Key Arts, this festival will have a lineup of musical artists from around the country performing for, and partying with, festival goers all. weekend. long. This rocking weekend is complete with incredible foods, vendors, art installations, camping, hiking, disc golf, kids activities and more. For more information on Valley of the Vapors, visit valleyofthevapors.com.


Arkansas Derby | April 1

Horse racing at Oaklawn Racing Casino Resort is cherished and traditional, and there’s almost nothing better than dressing to the nines on a fine spring morning and heading to the track for the annual Arkansas Derby. Bet on a few Kentucky Derby hopefuls in this million-dollar stakes race, but also enjoy some of your day from the infield where you will find live music, foods and beverages of the variety (including Oaklawn’s famous corned beef sandwiches), and a good ole’ time.


Arts & The Park | April 28 - May 7

Arts & the Park is a 10-day arts festival hosted annually that includes live performances, workshops, artist talks & demonstrations, poetry, children’s activities, chalk walk, book signings, theatrical performances, culinary events, architectural tours, plein air painting, hiking and art exhibitions. Some of the past festival activities includes: Art Moves, Art Springs, A Sidewalk Chalk Event, A Children’s Book Giveaway, a Songwriting Competition, a Photography Exhibit, and Studio Tours. For more information visit hotspringsarts.org.


Memorial Day Fireworks | May 28

The annual free public Independence Day fireworks display will be shot from the middle of Lake Hamilton from barges located on the east side of Highway 7 at the first Highway 7 bridge opposite the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel. Enjoy the shimmering sky from land or from the water!

In case of rain, the fireworks will be rescheduled for the evening of Monday, May 29.


Running of the Tubs | June 2 - 3

To celebrate Hot Springs’ classic motto “We Bathe the World,” teams from all over get their best bathtubs all dolled up to bring to Hot Springs. But whose tub has the stuff? Four team members (the bath attendants) must push their bathtubs through the heart of the city, the Historic Bathhouse Row, while the team captain sits in the bathtub and steers. Throughout the course, teams will face various obstacles along the way, while dressed in elaborate costumes in hopes to become The World Champion Tub Runners - a sought out title, obviously.


Bridge St. LIVE! | Every Thursday in June

Bring your dancing shoes down for this FREE, family-friendly, block-party style music series! Free live music, vendors, games, food, and drinks! Bridge St. LIVE! every Thursday in June! This FREE themed block-party-style event in Hot Springs, Arkansas will be scheduled for every Thursday in June on Bridge Street, the location of the World’s Shortest St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Live music, food, vendors, and a whole lot of fun. The Entertainment District opens at 5 p.m. and music starts at 7 p.m.


Hot Springs Baseball Weekend | August 25 - 26

Celebrate Hot Springs’ legendary baseball history with us at The Sixth Annual Hot Springs Baseball Weekend August 25 - 26 at The Hot Springs Convention Center. The public is invited to attend free of charge. Baseball legends will give panels throughout the day, and a baseball card show will be held on Saturday in The Grand Lobby of The Convention Center.


Pan American Bass Championship | September 7 - 10

The United States Angling Confederation and Visit Hot Springs will host the 2023 Pan American Bass World Championship in Hot Springs, Arkansas on Lake Hamilton! USAngling is using Fishing Chaos to score this event. All anglers must sign up through the application and compete using the Fishing Chaos app for Photo-Catch-Release scoring. For more information visit usabass.org.


Spa-Con | September 22 - 24

Spa-Con — a comic-con & pop culture convention that appeals to the masses — is held each September at the Hot Springs Convention Center. Calling all comic book lovers, gamers, cosplayers, superfans, artists, otakus, collectors, and simply just the curious: You have got to check out this one-of-a-kind comicon. Look for celebrity guest appearances by Lori Petty, Beau Billingslea, Mark Rolston, Rodger Bumpass, The Supernatural Car, The Stranger Things Hawkins van, and internationally recognized cosplayers; Notgrima, Cowbutt Crunchies, Bruce Holt and. Gregory Harris. Don't miss Saturday night's Cosplay Club Contest and dance party. For more information on Spa-Con visit spa-con.org.


Big Steam | September 30 - October 1

Hot Springs' newest music festival, Big Steam Blues & Roots Music Festival, will return to Hill Wheatley Plaza in beautiful, historic downtown Hot Springs for its second year on September 29-30, 2023. Featuring top performers from across the nation as well as highlighting some up-and-coming regional musicians, Big Steam is sure to become an annual tradition for blues, R&B, and other traditional American music fans. General admission is free, but VIP tickets will be available for purchase beginning July 2023. Visit www.BigSteamMusicFestival.com for more information.


Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival | October 6 - 14

Each year, with the help of a small staff and over 100 dedicated volunteers, Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival attracts thousands of visitors to the 9-day multicultural and intergenerational event. Now approaching its 31st year as the oldest all-documentary festival in North America and one of the longest-running non-fiction festivals in the world, the Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival remains a prominent champion and protector of the documentary film genre.


Gudrun - Northwoods MTB Festival | November 10 - 12

This wicked 3-day Mountain Bike Festival is held each November, at the Northwoods Trails in Hot Springs, Arkansas. Güdrun MTB Festival incorporates activities, such as the Gudrun Slow Roll, Mini-Enduro AND Enduro, Jump Jam, Time Trial, Dual Slalom AND the annual Attila the Hun Mountain Bike XC Race! For more information on Gudrun, visit gudrunmtbfest.com.


Hungry for more events? View a full list by visiting our calendar of events.


Featured Listings

Northwoods Trail

501-991-4871 | 300 Pineland Drive 71901

Oaklawn Racing Casino Resort

800-625-5296 | 2705 Central Avenue 71901

Garvan Woodland Gardens

501-262-9300 | 550 Arkridge Road 71903