The season kicks off with the World’s Shortest St. Patrick’s Day Parade, held annually on Bridge Street – the shortest street in everyday use. While the parade is short, the event is anything but small with tens of thousands of onlookers, plus celebrity guests, and festivities that span multiple days. Warm up before the festivites at Copper Penny Pub, an traditional Irish pub with a fun atmosphere and tasty pub grub! For more information on the World's Shortest St. Patrick's Day Parade, click here.
Hot on its heels in the Valley of the Vapors Independent Music Festival (VOV). Held over Arkansas spring break, the VOV is a multi-day showcase of up-and-coming indy bands ranging in style from garage and psych rock to synth pop traveling from all over the world. Dancing the night away can make you pretty hungry, be sure to grab something delicious after the show ends (or keep the fun going) at Maxines Live. For more information on Valley of the Vapors, click here.
For art of all kinds, check out Arts & the Park, a 10-day celebration encompassing dozens of activities, including studio tours, poetry readings, workshops and Art Springs – a free, two-day art festival and showcase. Arts & the Park centers around downtown Hot Springs, which means there's plenty of great restaurants within walking distance to enjoy. Visit Bubbalu's for a delicious burger, fries, and milkshake before heading back to the festivities of Arts & the Park. For more information on Arts & the Park and all art events happening in Hot Springs, click here.
For nature’s art, visit Garvan Woodland Gardens. Each spring bright, breathtaking daffodils bloom across Garvan Woodland Gardens, followed by 150,000 Dutch tulips. Parrot tulips, Garden tulips, and many other varities paint the grounds in a variety of beautiful shades of orange, purple, yellow, pink, and red. Take a break from the tulip frolicking and head to the Chipmunk Cafe, for a chicken salad sandwhich and an ice cold lemonade.
One of the season’s biggest events is the Arkansas Derby at Oaklawn Racing Casino Resort. A prominent Kentucky Derby preparatory race, it’s a great excuse to get gussied up and bet on the ponies. Oaklawn offers a variety of restaurants on site depending on what your tastebuds are feeling, like The Bugler, The OAK Room & Bar, and Pop's Lounge. If you're looking for more options, enjoy dinner across the street at Rocky's Corner, downtown at the Ohio Club, or on the lake at Trejo's Del Lago.
Bring a light jacket for the early mornings and evenings. Don't get pinched! Bring all your green for the World's Shortest St. Patrick's Day Parade.
Tulip Extravaganza starts as early a late February and can peak as late as mid April.
By car, Uber or Lyft. Take a boat to see the Memorial Day Fireworks display or watch from your car!