2017 Events You Can't Miss in Hot Springs National Park

Hot Springs has long been the city that “has all the fun,” and seeing just how many festivals and events take place in this community throughout the year proves that saying true. From over-the-top attractions to long-running events, new festivals and celebrations, there is something for all ages on any given weekend visit to the Spa City.

Look for these symbols at the bottom of each event to help plan ahead. 

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10th Annual Arkansas Shorts affiliated with Low Key Arts
The Arlington Resort Hotel & Spa

Arkansas Shorts is an annual event showcasing short film by natives and current residents of Arkansas. Each film is 10 minutes or less and directed by professionals, amateurs, hobbyists and beginners alike.

Admission is $10 and tickets will be available at the Arlington Resort Hotel & Spa on the night of the event.
Learn more at: http://www.hotsprings.org/events/event/2367/


113th Annual Live Racing at Oaklawn
Oaklawn Park

A Hot Springs tradition, live thoroughbred racing kicks off at 12:30 p.m. on Jan. 13 and will end with the Racing Festival of the South and the Arkansas Derby on April 16. Make plans to be apart of this exciting pastime which started American Pharoah on his road to the Triple Crown in 2015.

Traditional corned beef sandwiches will be served for $.50 on opening day.

Learn more at: http://www.hotsprings.org/events/event/2063/


King of the Springs Video Gaming Tournament
Hot Springs Convention Center

This event is a statewide collaboration between Hot Springs' own Spa City Smash League and Fayetteville's Team Knight Owl, offering singles and doubles brackets for the wildly popular Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and Melee.

Pre-registration information can be found at: http://www.hotsprings.org/events/event/2374/ 

MARCH 9-11

Arkansas High School Basketball Finals
Bank of the Ozarks Arena

This high-energy state tournament is sure to have you cheering. Your $8 ticket will get you in to see as many high school basketball games as you would like.

For more information, visit: http://www.hotsprings.org/events/event/2393/


First Ever 14th Annual World’s Shortest St. Patrick’s Day Parade
Bridge Street, Downtown Hot Springs

Known worldwide as the biggest little parade in the south, the World’s Shortest St. Patrick’s Day Parade draws a crowd from far and wide with celebrities joining in the fun. Held on the 98-foot stretch of Bridge Street, the shortest street in the world in everyday use, this year’s parade will welcome Grand Marshal Alfonso Ribeiro, Official Starter Ric Flair, and music by Uncle Kracker.

Learn more at: http://www.hotsprings.org/events/event/1531/

MARCH 17-21

13th Annual Valley of the Vapors Independent Music Festival
Various locations

Presented by Low Key Arts, the 13th Annual Valley of the Vapors Independent Music Festival showcases original, cutting-edge music in intimate settings around the city. Day passes start at $10.

Learn more at: http://www.hotsprings.org/events/event/2370/


Sixth Annual Hot Springs Fishing Challenge
Lakes Catherine and Hamilton

Area anglers flock to this annual event with $86,000 worth of prize fish released in lakes Catherine and Hamilton. Big Al, the $10,000 grand prize fish, has eluded anglers from the first year of the competition. Will you reel in this cash prize?

Learn more at: http://www.hotsprings.org/events/event/2390/

APRIL 20-22

19th Annual Corvette Weekend
Hot Springs Convention Center

The Central Arkansas Corvette Club has been cruising through Hot Springs for nearly 20 years with its annual Corvette Weekend. More than 200 Corvettes will be on display in the Convention Center during the event, with other events scheduled over the course of the weekend.

For more information, visit: http://centralarkansascorvetteclub.com/


Third Annual Hot Springs Gumbo & Crawfish Festival
Hill Wheatley Plaza

Sample gumbo from area teams as they compete for the title of “Best Gumbo in Hot Springs.”

For more information, visit: http://www.hotsprings.org/events/event/1779/


Third Annual Arts and the Park
Various locations

The Hot Springs Area Cultural Alliance presents the third annual Arts and the Park arts festival, showcasing the talents of area potters, jewelers, poets, dancers, glass makers, authors, etc.

Learn more at: http://www.hotsprings.org/events/event/1469/

MAY 13

Summerfest Uptown
Park Avenue

Summerfest Uptown is just one of many festivals that kicks off summer season in Hot Springs. With arts and crafts, vendors, games, barbecue and chili cook-offs and music, this event serves as a fundraiser to purchase street lights for  “Light Up Park Avenue.”

For more information, visit: http://www.summerfestuptown.com/

JUNE 2-3

12th Annual Stueart Pennington Running of the Tubs
Downtown Hot Springs

Teams from businesses and organizations all across Hot Springs suit up in costume and push wheeled bathtubs down Bathhouse Row. This free event is a quick glimpse at just some of the quirky fun happening in Hot Springs. And with all that water, no one goes home dry.

Learn more here: http://www.hotsprings.org/events/event/2182/

JUNE 4-17

Hot Springs Music Festival, Season 22
Various locations

This annual event has a twofold mission: to provide performance experience and mentorship for talented international pre-professional musicians, and to provide high-quality music performances at little to no cost. Events range from free outdoor performances to ticketed indoor concerts.

For full details on this year’s lineup, visit: hotmusic.org


Fireworks displays
Oaklawn, Lake Hamilton

Hot Springs knows how to celebrate Independence Day with various fireworks displays leading up to and on the holiday. Oaklawn Park’s Spa Blast kicks things off with local music and entertainment, and fireworks at dark in the infield. Then with the reflective backdrop of Lake Hamilton making a spectacular display, the fireworks continue.


26th Annual Hot Springs Jazzfest
Various locations

The Hot Springs Jazz Society celebrates America’s music -- Jazz -- at the annual Jazzfest event, showcasing the stylings of local artists and school groups in this weekend event.

For more information, visit: hsjazzsociety.org


20th Annual Blues Festival
Hill Wheatley Plaza

Hosted in the heart of Downtown Hot Springs, the Hot Springs Blues Festival keeps the tunes jamming through the city. Tickets can be purchased at the gate.

For more information, visit: spacityblues.org


12th Annual Hot Springs Open Motorcycle Rally
Hot Springs Convention Center

This is the largest open rally held in Central Arkansas, and it offers something for every motorcycle enthusiast. The event continues to grow each year which is no surprise as the thunder of motorcycles starts rolling in for a weekend of fun.

Learn more at: http://www.hotsprings.org/events/event/1715/


Second Annual Spa-Con
Hot Springs Convention Center

Back by popular demand, the Spa-Con will be bringing with it all the geek culture and entertainment fans of the inaugural event wanted more of. This multi-fandom convention is sure to please.

Learn more at: http://www.hotsprings.org/events/event/2321/


7th Annual Hot Water Hills Music and Arts Festival
Hill Wheatley Plaza

This event has come to be known as a quirky mix of music and art, food and drink, with activities and contests appealing to all ages.

Make plans for this event here: http://www.hotsprings.org/events/event/2371/

OCTOBER 26 - November 5

26th Annual Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival

The oldest non-fiction documentary film festival in North America returns, screening over 100 short and feature-length works by filmmakers from across the globe. HSDFF offers one-of-a kind forums, tributes to industry greats, and numbers of noted guests and visiting professionals. 

Make plans for this event here:http://www.hsdfi.org/


GAC Volleyball Tournament
Bank of the Ozarks Arena

Student-athletes of the Great American Conference volleyball teams will be competing in Hot Springs for the title of conference champion. While here, the teams enjoy all that downtown has to offer, as well as get involved in the community through visiting schools and holding youth clinics.

Learn more at: http://www.hotsprings.org/events/event/2385/


Tom Daniel Holiday Chili Cook-off
Exchange Street Parking Deck

The 15th Annual Tom Daniel Holiday Chili Cook-off has local teams cooking up their favorite chili recipes all in the name of holiday fun. Funds raised from admission go toward purchasing more holiday lights and decorations for Downtown Hot Springs. The event ends at dark with the lighting of Downtown.

For more information, visit: http://www.hotsprings.org/events/event/2391/

November 28 - December 31

2017 Holiday Lights
Garvan Woodland Gardens

Thousands -- yes, THOUSANDS -- of lights adorn the paths and botanicals of Garvan Woodland Gardens each year, creating a winter wonderland by night. With several opportunities to see this display throughout the holiday season, there’s no reason to miss this.

Learn more at: http://www.garvangardens.org


AAA State Cheerleading Championship
Hot Springs Convention Center

The Arkansas Activities Association state cheerleading championship is held to showcase the overall excellence of state spirit teams.

For more information, visit: http://www.hotsprings.org/events/event/2386/

On top of the annual events, there are smaller can’t miss opportunities to add to your trip any time throughout the year including:

Gallery Walk
First Friday of the month

Galleries in Downtown Hot Springs stay open late the first Friday of each month for this beloved event. For more than 25 years, Gallery Walk has brought out locals and visitors alike to appreciate the work of area artists and new exhibits.

Movies at the Market
Thursdays in June

Visit Hot Springs and the Hot Springs Young Professionals, along with area sponsors, host free showings of classic and new movies in an outdoor setting on Thursday nights through the summer. Located at the Historic Hot Springs Farmers and Artisans Market, you’ll want to bring a blanket and your favorite snacks for this event.