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Festival Time

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Three free festivals are happening this weekend in NWA. The key word here is free and next to know is that all of the festivals will be fun for all ages.

Plastik Music will play Sunday on the Trail Mix Tour.

Saturday, make the short drive to Winslow and celebrate Arkansas’ craft heritage at Winslow Heritage Day. There will be a pancake breakfast from 7 to 10:30 a.m. at the Winslow Fire Station. At 9 a.m., the Winslow Farmers’ Market will be going on in downtown. From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. lacemaker Peggy Bowen, basket maker and weaver Freda Miller and spinner and weaver Sherron Hays will be demonstrating their crafts at Ozark Folkways where there will also be a barn sale and music by Candy Lee, East of Zion, Castleberry Jam and Waoka. The Ozark Folkways grounds will be open until 10 p.m. and there will be a chili cook-off. At 8 p.m. Jori Costello will perform. Art boxes by Susan Shore are on display at the Ozark Folkways Gallery through May 26.

Head east on Saturday for the fourth annual War Eagle Appreciation Day from 9 to 11 a.m. and the new Crossroads of the Ozarks Festival from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. War Eagle Day will be at Withrow Springs Stage Park five miles north of Huntsville and the Crossroads Festival will be in downtown Huntsville. At the park there will be canoe rides, paddling demonstrations and education booths. Activities in downtown will include live music, arts and crafts booths and educational booths. There will be tours of the historic square, courthouse and Masonic Hall, where scale models of historic buildings of Northwest Arkansas, from the collection of the late Otto Grubbs will be on display.

In Fayetteville, the Trail Mix Tour, part of the Walton Arts Center’s Artosphere, will take place from 1 to 3 p.m. Sunday at Lake Fayetteville Park and will combine nature and music. There will be five musical groups performing along the Lake Fayetteville Trail. Performing along the trail will be Rana Santacruz performing alt folk, gyspy jazz quintet Swing DeVille, Nilson Matta and Brazilian Voyage Trio performing samba and jazz, singer songwriters Chase Missy, Claire Holley and Ben Harris and Las Vegas’ Plastic Musik playing their all-plastic percussion instruments to produce melodies from Motown to Mozart. Grammy winner Dan Zanes will play on the Botanical Gardens of the Ozarks Stage on the east side of the park. You can park at the Botanical Garden of the Ozarks and take a shuttle to North Shore Park for the 2.5-mile walk back to BGO. Some of the electrical needs for the music will be powered by a “Biker Bar”-three bicycles hooked-up to a device with volunteer peddlers creating the juice.

Mary Oliver

Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Mary Oliver will come to NWA on Tuesday for a reading in the large hall of the Walton Arts Center. Oliver will deliver a one-hour poetry reading followed by a question and answer session and book signing. Oliver is best known for her precise imagery, which brings nature into focus, transforming the everyday world into a place of magic and discovery. Oliver was born in 1935 in Cleveland, Ohio, and attended Ohio State University and Vassar College. Among her many awards, she was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1983 for her fifth book of poetry, “American Primitive” and received the National Book Award for Poetry in 1992 for her “New and Selected Poems.” Oliver currently lives in Provincetown, Mass. and is the author of more than 30 collections and compilations of poetry and prose, including her newest book of poetry “Swan,” which was released this year. Oliver rarely makes public appearances, so it is an honor that she will come to NWA. Oliver will take the stage at 7 p.m. Tickets are $13-$17.

On Stage: Bigfoot Love

The thespians at Fayetteville’s Ceramic Cow theater company are at it again. Today, Friday and Saturday funny man Mike Thomas will star in a one-man show, “Bigfoot Love” at the U-Ark Theater. Thomas and playwright Mark Landon Smith, also of Ceramic Cow, wrote the script for “Bigfoot Love.” Thomas has the timing and talent that could take him to Hollywood, but lucky for us, he’s here in NWA. Fans of Ceramic Cow’s Dupont, Miss., series will recall him in the role of Cletus. “Bigfoot Love” plays at 7:30 p.m. all three nights. Tickets are $10 at the door and to make it even more fun, there’s a cash bar.

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