May is a spectacular month for visiting Eureka Springs, Arkansas. Voted one of America’s Top 25 Art Towns, the entire month of May is filled with activities to celebrate both the visual and performing arts. The May Festival of the Arts has activities ranging from parades to gallery strolls all celebrating the many working artists of Eureka Springs. 2014 marks the May Festival of the Arts 25th year.
Kicking off the celebrations of the Festival is the ARTrageous parade. Beginning at 2pm on May 3rd, a colorful array of floats, dancers, cars and the popular Africa in the Ozarks drum and dance group will make their way through the streets of downtown. Throughout the entire month, select restaurants will participate in Food-A Taste of Art with a special meet the artist reception to follow. Cottage Inn, DeVito’s Restaurant, Fresh Harvest and The Stone House are just a few of the restaurants that will be participating.
The banks of Eureka Springs get involved in the month of May with Bank on Art. Throughout the month, artists work will be on display in the local banks. Community First Bank, Cornerstone Bank and Arvest Bank all get in on this event turning into galleries for over sixty artists. Bank on Art will be held on May 8th, 15th and 22nd from 4:00pm to 6:00pm with artist receptions included.
Gallery strolls are usually held every other Saturday with the exception of the month of May. Every Saturday from 6:00pm to 9:00pm, participating art galleries will open their doors offering free refreshments and an artist reception. For more information on participating galleries and featured artists, click here. One of the most popular events held during the Festival is the White Street Studio Walk. On May 16th, historic White Street that is home to many of the working artists of Eureka Springs comes alive. The artists open up their homes and studios from 4:00pm to 10:00pm for visitors to view their latest work. The atmosphere is like a street party with visitors strolling the streets, vendors and live music. Everything from pottery to jewelry, oil paintings and fabric weaving will be on display.
May 18th at the Crescent Hotel is the 9th Annual Books in Bloom. From 12:00pm to 5:00pm the gardens of the hotel will be filled with books, artists and a reader’s tent with ongoing readings and author discussions. This event is free to the public and held rain or shine.
The art of independent film making was celebrated back in January with the Eureka Springs Indie Film Festival. This three day event is an outlet for up and coming film makers to showcase their work in a variety of categories. These categories include drama, comedy, documentary, animation, feature length and young filmmaker. Guests can attend screenings and sit in on panel discussions. Awards are given out on the final day.
For a relaxing overnight stay with unsurpassed customer service, check out one of Eureka Springs finest bed and breakfast mansions, Arsenic and Old Lace. This Queen Anne Victorian style bed and breakfast offers five spacious rooms each complete with modern amenities to make you feel like you’re in the comforts of your own home. From personal fireplaces to private balconies and whirlpool tubs, each room is unique and relaxing, ready for you to kick up your feet after a long day of exploring the town. Specials are offered throughout the year. To check availability and book your reservation, visit their website at www.eurekaspringsromancebb.com.
Photo courtesy of Tim Rodenberg