Magness Lake, in Heber Springs, is a magnet for swans
Folks will come to Eureka Springs from miles around Thursday through Sunday, Oct. 12-15, to help celebrate one of Arkansas’s longest-running festivals. The 59th Original Folk Festival, a wonderland for any acoustic music lover, will be held downtown with the headlining acts performing at the historic City Auditorium.
The Smothers Brothers, television’s dynamic duo of comedy, open the festival with their ageless humor and wit at 8:30 p.m. Thursday. Folk legend Arlo Guthrie, son of another folk icon, Woody Guthrie, brings his Legacy Tour to town at 8:30 p.m. Friday. Southern Missouri’s own Big Smith brings their harmonious, homegrown bluegrass to the auditorium stage at 7:30 p.m. Saturday.
Ticket prices range from $25 to $105 for the festival package.
Hannah Blaylock and Eden’s Edge, a late addition to the lineup, will play a family show on Sunday. Tickets are $10, and children under 12 get in free.
For tickets, call 888-885-7823 or visit www.theaud.org.
Sandwiched in and around the Aud will be the annual Queens Contest, a parade (what’s a festival in Eureka without one?) and a singer/songwriter contest.
Eureka’s engine keeps running the following month with special events on Diversity Weekend Nov. 3-5, the Eureka Food and Wine Festival Nov. 10-12, and the digital film fest at the Aud Nov. 10-11.
Through December, there’s a “Dickens of a Christmas,” whose musical events include the Ozarks Chorale and the Eureka! Home for Christmas concert. Check www.theaud.org for the latest events and up-to-date information.
Where to eat and sleep in Eureka Springs
The Grand Central Hotel. Fourteen unique suites, including two with two bedrooms and bathrooms, ranging in price from $119-$219. Located just a few blocks “down the hill” from The Auditorium on the trolley line. Built in 1883, the hotel offers a four-star restaurant, featuring Chef David Gilderson’s “sexy food.” A newly remodeled meeting room and full-service spa occupy the basement to round out these most accommodating accommodations. Live entertainment in the lobby on most nights. www.grandcentralresort.com
Rogues’ Manor. Perhaps Eureka’s most unique structure — inside and out. Four plushly furnished suites roar with romance, each offering aquatic spas and warm surroundings. Prices range between $85 and $200. Smith and Debbie Treuer are the gracious host and hostess of the inn, and Debbie moonlights as the chef. The restaurant and tavern offer all top-of-the-line tastes and products in a distinctive setting that can only be found in Eureka. www.roguesmanor.com
New Orleans Hotel. Situated in the crux of Pendergrass Corner, this classic structure has housed visitors of Eureka Springs in the heart of downtown for more than a century. All of the 20 recently restored, deluxe suites offer king-sized beds and spacious bathrooms and go for $119-$159 a night. The Suchness Spa off the lobby offers massages and skin treatments. Two of the best spots to wind down at the end of the day are the New Orleans’ balconies that overlook Spring Street. www.neworleanshotelandspa.net
Treehouse Cottages. A bit off the beaten path but not too far. On U.S. Highway 62, conveniently close to Bubba’s BBQ and Roscoe’s Coffee House, sit three structures on stilts that deliver on what the inn’s name implies. Set back in the woods, so the sounds of town life fade into the trees before reaching your ears. There are also three other, more remote, cabins south of town for those who need to really get away from it all. The units rent for $139-$159 nightly and have been featured in Southern Living. www.treehousecottages.com
Little Bread Company, 121 E Van Buren. A full service bakery with a list of treats including but not limited to breakfast pastries, bagels, cookies, cakes, pies, cream puffs and Bavarian cream tarts. Also a wide variety of gourmet sandwiches, salads and daily soups. The LBC brews the earliest and latest espressos. 479-253-0800.
Mud Street Cafe, 22 G South Main St. One block down off Main Street. A large coffee bar in a most comfortable setting that has drawn locals for years. Also offers a lunch menu and full bar with creative coffee concoctions. We recommend the veggie grits or hashbrowns and blueberry pancakes with perhaps an Ala Eureka to wash it down. 479-253-6732.
The Oasis, 53 Spring St Ste C. Walk down the stairs off Spring Street into a virtual time-machine of Eureka’s past. Featuring its very own “Ark-Mex” fresh fare, complemented by a dose of daily-made green salsa, The Oasis has been serving the people for more than 15 years. We recommend anything on the specials board and the huevos rancheros deluxe. Seating is limited, so order to go and find a shady spot in town for a picnic. 479-253-0886.
Ermilio’s, 26 White St. Open for dinner only, this is great Italian food prepared from traditional family recipes. It’s located on the Historic Loop in a classic estate setting. We recommend the eggplant parmesan and stuffed mushrooms. 479-253-8806.
-- By Scot Halsell