Festivals and Events

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Entry Category: Festivals and Events - Starting with H

Hope Watermelon Festival

Hope (Hempstead County) annually celebrates its claim as the home of the world’s largest watermelons with a yearly watermelon festival. The event first originated in 1926 and has been ongoing, though not continuous, since 1977. There is no admission fee for the multi-day event scheduled for the second week in August at Hope Fair Park. It is sponsored by the Hope–Hempstead County Chamber of Commerce. Activities include watermelon-eating and seed-spitting contests, fiddling, arm wrestling contests, as many as 200 vendors displaying their wares, and much more. The competition for growing big melons was a creation of John S. Gibson, who, in 1916, began to offer modest prizes for the largest vegetables and watermelons. Hugh and Edgar Laseter, local farmers, developed …

Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival (HSDFF)

Billing itself as the longest-running documentary film festival in North America, the internationally recognized Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival (HSDFF) takes place each fall over about nine days in Hot Springs (Garland County). Since its inception in 1992, sponsored by the Hot Springs Documentary Film Institute, the HSDFF has become renowned as a prestigious venue for showing documentary films and attracting celebrities, filmmakers, industry figures, and audiences from across the nation and around the world. It bills itself as the oldest nonfiction film festival in North America. The festival is a qualifying event for filmmakers competing for Academy Awards in Best Documentary Short Subject. The festival is one of about three dozen such qualifiers among thousands of film festivals. Celebrity …

Hot Springs Music Festival

The Hot Springs Music Festival is a non-profit organization whose dual mission is, first, to provide exceptionally talented young musicians with intensive mentoring to prepare them for the early stages of their professional careers, and, second, to have them share the music they make with people in central Arkansas. To fulfill its mission, the festival organization produces a two-week annual event by the same name every June in the historic downtown district of Hot Springs (Garland County). The festival was founded in 1995 by Richard Rosenberg, an orchestra conductor and music educator, and Laura Rosenberg, an arts administrator. Prior to founding the festival, Richard Rosenberg had been acting director of orchestras at the University of Michigan, associate conductor of the …