by Kat Robinson
Of course, there's a lot more to do at the third annual HARVEST! Festival. There's music from award-winning musicians Mountain Heart, hayrides and demonstrations, model and garden trains and a big old fashioned Pickin' & Grinnin' fiddle face-off. More information on the jump.
(Little Rock, AR) — Wildwood Park for the Arts celebrates the sights, sounds and traditions of autumn in Arkansas with its third annual HARVEST! Festival on October 16, 10 a.m. — 6 p.m. and October 17, noon — 6 p.m. Home to Arkansas Pickin’ and Fiddlin’ championship, HARVEST! Festival provides entertainment for the whole family.
Festival-goers will find an afternoon full of seasonal demonstrations, including quilting and gardening, children’s activities, hayrides to Pumpkin Hill, crafts and a selection of vendors, including Wildwood’s Pumpkin Shop, live music, a culinary competition, craft beer and foods for purchase.
Tractor-drawn hay rides will travel visitors through the woods to Pumpkin Hill where a hay fort, created by Amoz Eckerson of Jameson Architects, PA., awaits the young at heart. Each child will receive a free pumpkin in celebration of Harvest.
The Arkansas Pickin’ and Fiddlin’ Championship attracts musicians and fans from across Arkansas and the region. Coordinated by Jonathan Trawick, the Championship was founded in 2008 with Wildwood’s first HARVEST! Festival.
This year’s Pickin’ and Fiddlin’ Championship competitions include flatpick, mandolin, banjo and bluegrass band, with fiddle contest divisions from pee wee to senior. Prize packages include cash, gifts and an opportunity for the 2010 winner of the bluegrass band division to open for HARVEST! Festival 2011.
Rules, registration and more information about the Arkansas Pickin’ and Fiddlin’ Championship are available at www.wildwoodpark.org.
Cooks around the region are also invited to enter the Culinary Competition, judged by local chefs and food experts, for a chance to win cash prizes. Each year, Wildwood gives tribute to a different culinary theme in honor of Harvest. This year’s competition salutes corn, following sweet potatoes in 2008 and root vegetables in 2009. Entries can be submitted into the following categories: Appetizers, Casserole/Main Dish and Miscellaneous.
Widely known throughout the music industry, Mountain Heart deftly combines high-energy elements of rock, jam-band, country, blues, jazz, and bluegrass. Created in 1999, Mountain Heart is known in acoustic music circles for its
cutting edge excellence and dynamic stage performances. One of the most highly awarded ensembles ever
assembled, Mountain Heart members have either won or been nominated for multiple Grammys, ACM, CMA, and IBMA Awards.
Together, the members of Mountain Heart have appeared on the Grand Ole Opry more than 100 times and have shared the stage with Lynyrd Skynyrd, Montgomery Gentry, George Jones, Merle Haggard, Brad Paisley, Travis Tritt, LeAnn Rimes and Patty Loveless.
HARVEST! Festival tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for children ages six to 12, and children five and under are free. To purchase tickets or for more Festival information call 501-821-7275 or visit online at www.wildwoodpark.org.
Tickets for Mountain Heart are $25 in advance and $30 at the door. Seats for children 12 and under are $10 with a limit of two children per adult ticket order. Groups of 10 or more will receive a discount of $5 off per ticket, as do competitors in the Arkansas Pickin’ and Fiddlin’ Championship. Mountain Heart ticket purchasers will also receive $5 off gate admission to HARVEST! Festival.