FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — First Thursday is returning to Downtown Fayetteville Square with a series of festivals each month beginning from May to October.

According to a press release, First Thursday “transforms the city’s Historic Downtown Square into an outdoor arts and music celebration.” The first event of 2023 will take place on May 4 between 5.30 p.m. to 9.00 p.m.

The free, family-friendly events include a diverse lineup of live music, artist demonstrations and installations, food trucks, group bike rides, and an arts market featuring more than 40 independent artists who create items in various mediums.  

Festival season runs from May through October

This year’s themes are:

  • May 4th – May the Fourth: Wear your space gear for a light side / dark side bike ride and enjoy Artosphere artists Papa Rap, C4 Clarinet Quartet, and Irie Lions performing on the Walton Arts Center main stage. 
  • June 1st – Throwback Thursday: Relive the best of the 90s and 2000s pop culture with cover bands and vintage vendors and celebrate 10 years of the Fayetteville Ale Trail. 
  • July 6th – Dog Daze: Pretty up your pooch for the return of the dog pageant and tons more fun for you and your best friend. 
  • August 3rd – Summer Soiree: Make a splash with summer fun including a watermelon seed spitting contest, a splash pad, and relaxed summer tunes. 
  • September 7th – First Folksday: Tap your toes to Ozark folklife of the past, present, and future with a focus on history, handicrafts, architecture, and folk music. 
  • October 5th – Down the Rabbit Hole: Kick off the spooky season with an Alice in Wonderland theme. Whimsical décor, stilt walkers, and other carnival entertainers will light the night. 

First Thursday is participating in the city’s Outdoor Refreshment Area (ORA). Beer purchased at First Thursday may be carried throughout the entirety of the square and the ORA-designated area. All the rules of the ORA apply. Click here to know more details.

For further details, including vendor applications and sponsorship opportunities, please visit here.