The spirit of pioneer era Arkansas mingles with the present day in the sights and sounds of the 45th annual Jonquil Festival here this weekend.
The spirit of pioneer era Arkansas mingles with the present day in the sights and sounds of the 45th annual Jonquil Festival here this weekend. Historic Washington State Park will be transformed into a window into the past and a celebration of the present beginning Friday and continuing through Sunday, Patricia Thomas, park public information officer said. “Great festival food, entertainment and crafts all await you from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, then from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday,” Thomas said. Thomas said that the park will be transformed, in part, into an old-fashioned bazar, as in the pioneer era, with crafters from across Arkansas and the region selling their handmade wares, as well as many local artisans who make the Jonquil Festival an annual show venue, she said. Tours of Historic Washington are available during the festival at regular seasonal prices. Historic Washington State Park is a working 19th Century pioneer village operated within the Arkansas State Parks System, complete with historic courthouses, school building, antique gun museum, print museum, and Antebellum residences, many of which are still in use. Entertainment will be available throughout the park grounds during the festival, Thomas said. “The Hempstead County Melody Boys will be strolling through the festival adding their touch of Blue Grass music to the festivities all three days,” she said. Performances by the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra Quartet are set from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday on the expansive porch of the historic Williams Tavern. New to the festival this year will be performances by Live Wire and the McWilliams Family from 2-4 p.m., Friday, and Midnight Hurricanes on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., followed by the McWilliams Family. Gospel music will be featured Sunday afternoon with performances by Level Ground, under the big tent from noon to 12:30 p.m. Park programming and tours will be available all weekend at regular prices, Thomas said. General admission to the festival is free with a $5 parking pass. “Jonquils in bloom at Historic Washington State Park; and, the arrival of those eye-catching flowers signifies that it's time to pull out all the stops and celebrate the arrival of Spring,” Thomas said. “And, what better way than to visit the 45th annual Jonquil Festival.” Historic Washington State Park is located nine miles north of Hope on U. S. Highway 278. Call 870-983-2684 for additional festival information.