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Sweet Summertime Festivals

| See & Do | July 29, 2020

Summertime in Batesville, Arkansas is the unofficial festival season for the region! Warm weather and plenty of sunshine are accompanied by five festivals that every new resident and visitor must experience. 

Southern Food Festival- (June 1st)- the Southern Food Festival is held the first weekend of June every year in Downtown Batesville. This event serves as a fundraiser for the Main Street Batesville program which supports the continued preservation and growth of our beloved downtown district. Patrons may purchase a sample card which includes one of the famous Main Street Batesville lemonades and samples from the various food vendors set up that day.
This is combined with arts and craft vendors and street performers. The revitalized downtown district of Batesville, Arkansas has become an attraction in of itself. With four high-quality restaurants, a dessert shop, bakery, boutiques, antique shops, a hotel, and a new public park, Main Street Batesville is the perfect setting to enjoy a summer festival! 

Celebrate America- (July 4th Firework Display) - for 22 years, Citizens Bank has brought a world-class fireworks display to the banks of the White River for the 4th of July. Their “Celebrate” America event attracts thousands of patrons from across the region to enjoy the display at Riverside Park in Batesville. The beauty of the lights reflecting off the cool water of the White River makes for a unique experience not found anywhere else. In recent years, Citizens Bank has added to the event by offering live music, vendors, and food trucks leading up the big show. 

This year, they have partnered with the Batesville Area Chamber of Commerce, Batesville Parks and Recreation, and White River Health System to kick off the festivities with the Experience Independence 5K. Runners take on a course that begins the Batesville Community Center and ends at Riverside Park. Go ahead and book yourself for the 4th of July from now on, as “Celebrate America” in Batesville, Arkansas is the place to be. 

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Independence County Fair- (July 15th-20th) - the Independence County Fair will celebrate its 99th year in 2019. The fair has been a summer staple for residents and visitors to the area. Thrilling carnival rides, livestock and art shows, talent contests, beauty contests, and of course famous musical acts have attracted thousands over the years. For more information about the fair, visit

Cave City Watermelon Festival- (July 25th-27th) - just outside of Batesville sits a small town called Cave City. In the last forty years, Cave City has become known across the state and country for being the home to the world’s sweetest watermelons, and the festival they host to celebrate their famous crop. The Cave City Watermelon Festival first began in 1980 as a way to showcase their delicious watermelons and all the businesses in town. The festival has since grown into one of the largest free outdoor festivals in the state. Over the period of three days, patrons enjoy a parade, vendors, car show, kid activities, and a free watermelon feast! Best of all, the level of music entertainment has grown immensely in recent years. Acts such as Shenandoah, Mark Chestnutt, and Little Texas have graced the stage. For more information about the festival, visit 

White River Water Carnival- (September 7th) – it makes sense that one of the state’s longest running festivals would occur in the state’s oldest existing city. The White River Water Carnival will celebrate its 76th year in 2019 at Riverside Park. Batesville’s largest festival is a celebration of the area’s most important asset, the White River.  In its long and storied history, the Water Carnival has hosted countless performers, including one famous performance by a young man named Elvis Presley. Legend has it, his dance moves and off-color jokes caused him to be booed off the stage in 1955. Today’s festival sticks to its roots and places the river front and center. Professional hydro flight riders, skiers, and wakeboarders amaze the crowd with acrobatics in the water. The festival will also feature countless vendors and food trucks. The historic Water Carnival parade, BBQ contest, Kid Zone, and the region’s largest car show also take place that day. For the perfect ending to your summer, make your way to the 76th White River Water Carnival on September 7th! For more information visit

Blog brought to by Citizens Bank, which works to improve the quality of life for all community residents by promoting educational opportunities, economic growth, and innovative civic partnerships. 

Chairman's Circle Sponsors - Batesville Area Chamber of Commerce
409 Vine Street
Batesville, AR 72501