by Robert Bell
BUFFALO RIVER ELK FESTIVAL
10 a.m., Downtown Jasper, Free.
OK, this one might be a bit of a stretch because Jasper is way the hell up there, but it really sounds like fun and some of us, surely, need to get out of the city and take a break from going to the dang bar for a weekend. Since 1998, the overpoweringly quaint downtown Jasper square has hosted the Buffalo River Elk Festival, which celebrates the successful reintroduction of these big-ass, majestic beasts to the hills of North Arkansas. There's going to be lots of food, arts and crafts, a talent show, a kid's fishing derby, the Arkansas State Championship Elk Calling Contest, a Dutch oven cook-off betwixt folks dressed up in old-timey garb, a bunch of live bands, educational programs, dancing in the streets, hourly drawings for elk permits (allowing the lucky winners the chance to bag one of these celebrated critters) and basically more small-town charm than you can shake a handcrafted wooden doo-dad at. The festivities conclude Saturday night with a fireworks display.