One of the premier arts and crafts festivals in the state of Arkansas happens in beautiful Hot Springs National Park Oct. 4 - 6 at the new Garland County Fairgrounds.

When I worked in radio in Hot Springs several years ago I used to do live broadcasts from the event. This was one of my favorite festivals to cover and over the years it has grown into one of the largest and best festivals in the state.

The annual Hot Springs Arts & Crafts Fair began in 1968. The Fair has grown into an event for the entire family and features great fair food, pony rides and a petting zoo for children.

The Arts and Crafts Fair is traditionally held in Hot Springs at the Garland County Fairgrounds and 2007 marked the opening of the new Garland County Fairgrounds. Since opening the fair in 2007 at the new location, there has been record numbers of arts and crafts booths and vendors from all over Arkansas and several other states, both near and far, to participate in the annual event.

The new fairgrounds are not only larger but also have outstanding features such as spacious parking, hook-ups for vendor’s campers, shower facilities, several large enclosed buildings, and several roofed buildings.

I especially remember the great homemade soup and sandwiches The Extension Homemakers used to make. They now have a new building located on the fairgrounds equipped with a "state of the art" kitchen where hot foods and snacks are prepared and served. The dining area is large enough to seat hundreds of visitors and vendors.

The Hot Springs Arts and Crafts Fair runs Saturday from 9 a.m. - 6 p.m. and Sunday from noon - 5 p.m. For more information log onto

Here's a map on how to get there.