In the 1930s, Newark (Independence County) hosted Old Home Week, said to have been one of the state’s largest summer festivals. After several years, it was replaced by a three-day annual picnic known as the Old Settlers Reunion, which had ceased by the late twentieth century. In 1995, local business leaders initiated plans to develop a new festival, the Times-N-Traditions Festival (TNT).
The festival, which is sponsored by the Newark Area Chamber of Commerce, began in 1995 as a Friday and Saturday event. While the previous festivals were held in downtown Newark, the TNT is held at the Newark City Park. Low attendance and competition with local Friday-night high school football resulted in a Saturday-only event. However, in 2014, a traveling carnival, which opens on Friday night, was added to the activities.
The festival is held on the first Saturday in September and officially begins with a morning parade. There is a small admission price, and parking is free. The festival includes talent contests, prize drawings, and food vendors. Musical acts play throughout the festival. Past musical headliners have been Billy Joe Royal and American Idol finalist Lauren Gray. The festival concludes with a fireworks show.
For additional information:
“Gray to Headline ‘TNT’ Festival.” Newport Independent, August 29, 2012. Online at http://www.newportindependent.com/article/20120829/NEWS/120829572 (accessed November 14, 2014).
Spencer, Angela. “Newark Community Festival in 20th Year.” Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Three Rivers Edition, August 24, 2014, pp. 1S, 5S.
CALS Encyclopedia of Arkansas
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