Tontitown Grape Festival is a tradition in Northwest Arkansas that goes all the way back to 1898. The event draws folks from all over for 3 days of spaghetti dinners, carnival rides, arts and crafts, live entertainment, and much more.
Tontitown, located in the Ozark Mountains just west of Springdale, AR was founded in 1898 by Italian immigrants. The festival began that very year as a thanksgiving picnic in observance of the Feast of St. Peter. As the years passed and the community thrived, so too did the picnic grow in scale.
Over the years, the “picnic” expanded to an all-day event. The date was also moved to coincide with the August grape harvest. Before you knew it, the small, annual thanksgiving picnic had become a beloved, multi-day, regional tradition: Tontitown Grape Festival!
Spaghetti Dinner, Grape Ice Cream, and More!
Perhaps the biggest draw and event is the annual Grape Festival Spaghetti Dinner. How big? Thousands of spaghetti dinners were served last year – and this year isn’t expected to be smaller.
Preparation for the spaghetti dinner begins in July each year, with volunteers preparing hundreds of pounds of homemade pasta and sauce. Last year’s dinner took over 10,000 eggs, 4,000 pounds of flour, and a lot of work. The dinner also includes fried chicken, salad with homemade Italian dressing, and homemade rolls. For dessert? Tontitown Grape Festival’s famous Grape Ice Cream!
The Grape Festival isn’t just food and drink, however. You’ll also enjoy Carnival Rides, a Grape Stomp, the coronation of Queen Concordia, and a broad range of fine, handmade Arts and Crafts vendors.
For those looking to earn the calories they’ll collect at the spaghetti dinner, there’s the annual, Run for the Grapes 5k. Run for the Grapes also includes a kid’s 1-mile Fun Run.
While this year’s live entertainment has yet to be announced, past years have seen a number of big name stars. 2017, for example, featured Deana Carter, The Williamsons, Keith Anderson, and Restless Heart!
Though the grape industry in Tontitown has declined to just trickle over the decades, the annual Grape Festival continues on. Don’t miss it!
Tontitown Grape Festival 2018
August 7th through the 11th, 2018
154 E Henri De Tonti Blvd, Springdale, AR 72762
Learn more about the Tontitown Grape Festival and stay up to date by visiting the festival’s official website.
Tontitown Grape Festival Lodging
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