Fall in Arkansas is a short season. It is the most pleasant in my opinion.
We are enjoying a snap in the hot, hot weather that was our summer. The leaves are turning autumn colors and are falling on the ground. I think my allergies have subsided for now.
We have been enjoying “Thursday night lights.” Our oldest daughter is part of the dance team at her school. We have quickly become part of the crowd at the local seventh-grade football games on Thursday nights. We are, of course, big fans of the halftime show put on by the Cowgirls on the dance team. Last week was the local junior high rivalry game between both the Fayetteville (Ark.) junior high schools. The score of the game wasn’t close at all. The thing that amazed me though, was the shear number of kids participating in football, cheer and dance on both sides. The stands were full of people from our community who had come out to support these kids. I’m a sucker for things like that – community, cheering for our kids and coming together. I have awesome memories of these same events in my own Missouri hometown and I love making new ones with my family here in ours.
Fayetteville (and northwest Arkansas) is home to a few other fall events that bring our community together. This weekend our town will host thousands of bikers at our local Bikes Blues and BBQ bike rally. There is no sneaking into town for this crew – they roar in. I love watching parking lots of local businesses fill up with out-of-towners and their gorgeous motorcycles. Even my middle school daughter went to school dressed in denim and a bandana to support this local favorite. Our hotels are full, and the restaurants have a line waiting outside the door. Life is good.
Another fall favorite that turns this area upside down is the War Eagle Craft Fair. The main event is in one of the most beautiful parts of this region – War Eagle Mill. The fall color is something spectacular – only our Creator could paint it that well. Buses of people from all over descend on our community. One of my favorite observations at this event is the “matching shirt” ladies. It’s awesome to see groups having fun and enjoying the area. Everyone comes together to shop and enjoy craftspeople from all over peddling their artwork. I have found so many decorations, ornaments and other treasures here. The food isn’t too bad either. I’m not going to shy away from funnel cake or cheesecake on a stick. Ever.
I hope fall continues to be filled with beautiful weather, campfires, community festivals and gatherings. The world may be trying to isolate us through social media, but this isn’t the season for that. We all need to get outside and gather with our people. October is upon us friends! I hope to see you at a local football game or community get-together. If you see me, save me a piece of funnel cake, would you please, neighbor?
Jody Harris is a freelance communications specialist, gardener, ranch wife and mother of four. She and her family raise Angus beef cattle and other critters on their northwest Arkansas ranch. She is a graduate of Missouri State University. To contact Jody, go to ozarksfn.com and click on ‘Contact Us.’