The splendor of fall

Fall in the 501 has much to offer – from the beautiful colors of foliage to great family fun at festival and other outdoor events. Plus, there are a variety of delicious recipes that take advantage of the fall harvest and are enjoyed best during cooler temperatures.


Several cities and communities throughout the 501 have festivals and other special events in the works to celebrate fall and give residents an opportunity to enjoy the outdoors.

Hot Springs Arts & Crafts Fair – Started in 1968, the annual event is considered one of the oldest and largest of its kind in the state. It has grown into an event for the entire family and features great fair food, pony rides and a petting zoo for children.

This year’s event is scheduled Friday, Oct. 7, through Sunday, Oct. 9. The Arts and Crafts Fair is traditionally held in Hot Springs at the Garland County Fairgrounds, with craftsmen, artisans and vendors from Arkansas and several other states.

For more information, please visit

Cabotfest – The 33nd annual “family fun” event is planned 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 8, in Downtown Cabot. Sponsored by the Cabot Chamber of Commerce, the event is free.

The event is host to a wide variety of fun, games, carnival rides, food, more than 150 vendor booths and arts and crafts. Entertainment will include Sony recording artist Tyler Farr who will perform on the main stage at 5 p.m. For more information, please call 501.843.2136 or email [email protected].

Beebe Fall Fest – The 15th annual festival will be held 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 15, in Downtown Beebe. There will be vendors, food, children’s activities, an antique car show and live entertainment. Admission is free. For information, please call 501.827.0353 or email [email protected].

A variety of other fall events are planned in the 501. For a list, visit and


The peak of color occurs around two or three weeks after color changes begin, usually late October for the Ozarks, late October or early November for central and western Arkansas, and early to mid-November for the southern and eastern sections, according to the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism.

“Cool night time temperatures are needed to kick off our fall color season,” said Dena Woerner, communications manager for the state parks and tourism department. “The cooler temperatures we have been seeing lately could be just what our trees need to start the progression of beautiful green landscape from orange and red to yellow and then brown.”

With dry conditions during the summer, there has been some concern about the impact on the fall colors.

“The dry weather caused some foliage to die and turn brown before our typical leaf peeping season began but we see a little of this every year when we have dry hot temperatures,” Woerner said. “I think this tricks people into thinking that the leaves have already started to turn.”

The parks and tourism department has already fielded calls from individuals interested in traveling the state and soaking up the beautiful landscape of Arkansas’s mountains, rivers and forests. 

“Keep your fingers crossed for a little rain and cool, crisp nights and we should have a spectacular photo finish!”

(For additional information and regular updates on the fall colors, please visit


Some favorite fall-time recipes:

Pumpkin Cobbler*
(From Sue Farris)

½ cup light brown sugar
15 oz. can of pumpkin   
4 eggs
1tsp. cinnamon
¼ tsp. salt
½ tsp. nutmeg
1 can Eagle Brand milk
1 yellow cake mix
2 sticks butter (melted)
1 cup chopped pecans

Mix first seven ingredients and put in 9×13 greased glass Pyrex dish. Top with cake mix then pecans. (Do not stir.)  Drizzle melted butter over cake. Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar.
Bake at 350 degrees for one hour or so.
Note: I usually have to put foil around the outside edges before it is finished cooking to keep the edges from burning. They cut into bars easier when fully cooled. Enjoy!
*Most people who are NOT pumpkin pie fans LOVE this!

Iron Skillet Apple Cake

1 ½ cup plain flour
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. soda
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. apple pie spice
1 egg
3⁄4 cup oil
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups apples, chopped
1 cup pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix dry ingredients in one bowl. Mix oil, egg and vanilla in one bowl. Add dry ingredients. Stir in apples and pecans. Place mixture in iron skillet. Bake for 50 minutes or until center of cake is set.

Cheryl’s Stew

1 ½ lbs. stew meat
1 cup flour seasoned with salt, pepper
1 large can cream of mushroom soup
1 can French onion soup
1 can cut green beans
2 large potatoes, cubed
3 carrots, sliced
1 can whole kernel corn

Flour meat and cook in oil until brown. Put all ingredients in crock pot. Cook all day or night.