Fort Smith, Arkansas, is known for its Wild West origins, but don't assume the city's 2011 Heritage Festival on Saturday, April 9 is limited to that piece of history alone.
"It's truly a comprehensive heritage festival," explained Jennifer Boulden, communications and event services manager for the Fort Smith Convention and Visitors Bureau. "It's also sort of a multicultural festival."
The event is from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, April 9, and is headquartered at Immaculate Conception Church Parish Hall and Gymnasium in downtown Fort Smith. Entertainers inside the Parish Hall will be the Cherokee National Youth Choir, Irish dancers, Vietnamese dancers, Laotian dancers, and Story Teller Teddy Duncan. An antique car show will be set up in the church parking lot. Children's activities will take place inside and outside.
Vendors will sell beadwork, Native American art and jewelry, special occasion dresses for little girls, hair bows, handmade crafts, and Native American crafts. Groups such as 4-H, Girls, Inc., Western Arkansas Ballet, and Cultural Ambassadors will have exhibits.
While the festival is free, it is also a fundraiser for the Meals For Kids program.
The festival takes place throughout the downtown, and includes a Heritage Festival Tour of historic and entertainment areas.
The Fort Smith National Historic Site will feature African American soldiers from the Civil War era. The national award-winning garden replicating the one planted by the Fort's officers' wives will be open as well.
While the main events of the Heritage Festival will be on Saturday, April 9, a free gospel concert will take place from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, April 10 in Pendergraft Park.
For more information about top events in Arkansas take a look at the Top Events USA selection of the annual main festivals and events in Arkansas.
For more information on Fort Smith visit www.Fortsmith.org