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44th Annual Jonquil Festival In Old Washington Arkansas This Weekend

Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism

Spring is in the air and one of my favorite places that signifies the beginning of the Spring season is visiting historic Old Washington, Arkansas home to the 44th Annual Jonquil Festival.When I was growing up in Texarkana my family would always take the short scenic drive to one of Arkansas’ oldest state park. I remember as you get closer to Old Washington, the more jonquils come into view. Once you arrive you are greeted by some of the nicest people of this 19th Century Victorian style village that looks like it’s been untouched by time. History has it, this land was once a pioneer settlement originally known as the Southwest Trail, also known as Old Military Road.

It was during the 1820’s and 1830’s that Old Washington was a stopover for travelers going to Texas, since at that time the Red River was the border between the U.S. and Mexico. Many famous historical figures traveled the trail including William B. Travis, Sam Houston and Davy Crockett. It was in Old Washington where Davy Crockett had is famous Bowie knife made by a local blacksmith. More history was made as that famous knife traveled with Crockett along with the other historical figures I just mentioned, fought together in the Texas revolution at the Alamo. Unfortunately, Crockett was killed in that battle.

History also tells us that between 1863-1865, Old Washington was the site of the Confederate capitol of Arkansas after the fall of Little Rock to Union Forces. In fact the original Confederate capitol of Arkansas still exists in the park where refugee government fled. I could go on and on about the history of this beautiful place but I’ll stop here to tell you about this weekend’s Jonquil Festival.

This weekend promises to be one of the best yet with plenty of great food, arts & crafts vendors, live music and historical tours. Something for the whole family to enjoy including the smell of the Jonquils in bloom.

The festival runs from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, then again from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. on Sunday. Cost is FREE to get in but Parking is $5. You may even want to pack a picnic lunch as they are some great fields around the park where you could take in the scenery. And don’t forget if you want some delicious southern style home-cooking try the Williams Tavern House.

To get to the park, take Exit #30 off I-30 at Hope and travel eight miles northwest on U.S. 278 to Washington.


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