Congratulations Seniors…and Farewell to Fayetteville
The end has come. For some, graduation on May 11 is the end of a hard-fought college journey. For others, it’s simply the end of another semester. Whether you’ll be entertaining visiting family members or just looking to unwind before, between or after finals, Fayetteville has entertainment options for all. Whether it’s a tiny dinner out or a bluegrass concert, there is no shortage of ways to celebrate.
If the entire family is converging on Fayetteville, at some point, you’ll be responsible for coming up with activities to keep everybody entertained. Show off the best of Fayetteville. If you’re looking to drop a little cash for dinner, Fayetteville has several gourmet options. Bordino’s, on Dickson Street, has long been Fayetteville’s go-to swanky dining spot. The restaurant offers innovative Italian cooking, with an extensive wine list and cocktail menu. Theo’s, off Dickson Street behind Bordino’s, has modern American food and an expansive selection of drinks.
Off of Dickson, BHK on the square and Ella’s in Carnall Hall are other celebratory dining establishments. If you’re looking for something less extravagant, Doe’s Eat Place on Dickson does steaks and tamales like no other restaurant. For cheaper fare, take your family to one of Fayetteville’s college institutions, like Hugo’s on Block Street. Geraldi’s on University is another cheaper restaurant that doesn’t sacrifice on quality.
You can also keep family members busy by pointing them in the direction of Fayetteville’s local shops. If people are up early on Saturday morning before commencement ceremonies begin, they can check out the Fayetteville Farmer’s Market, which opens at 7:00 a.m. The Yacht Club On College, located at College and Davidson, is a collection of small boutique stores and restaurants in trailers. Stores like Grey Dog and The Flannel Shack represent the best of Fayetteville’s quirky independent businesses. Riff Raff and The Moustache on the square are also popular local stores.
For a family outing, visit Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville. First-time visitors to The Natural State are usually blown away at the quality of both the art and the museum building . The Bentonville square has several quality restaurants too. The museum is currently running a Norman Rockwell exhibit, “American Chronicles,” which includes all of Rockwell’s “Saturday Evening Post” covers. May 11, “American Encounters” opens, which explores scenes of everyday life in American painting.
Dickson Street is the place to be all day on Saturday. Back from a one-year hiatus, Springfest returns. The pancake breakfast at Jose’s starts at 7:00 a.m., vendor booths open at 9:00 a.m., and the annual bed races are scheduled for 11:00 a.m. For a $10 entrance fee, there is a Springfest pub-crawl. It kicks off at 6:00 p.m. at Jose’s, and if completed, comes with a free t-shirt. Music for the event includes Shawn James, 1 Oz. Jig, and Groovement.
Joining Springfest on Dickson Street this Saturday is the Fayetteville Foam Fest. A $30 ticket provides samples of hundreds of craft brews and specialty beers in the Walton Arts Center parking lot. Local brewers like Saddlebock and Fossil Cove Brewing will be pitted against each other in a beer competition. Nomad’s Natural Plate, Greenhouse Grille, and Mellow Mushroom will be providing food to soak up all the beer. A $10 designated driver ticket gets you in the festival, but no beer. All proceeds for the event go towards Feed Fayetteville, which works to alleviate hunger in Washington County. The taps start flowing at 5:00 p.m.
The University Programs spring headliner concert, country singer Kip Moore, is Thursday night at Barnhill Arena. Moore’s hit, 2012 “Somethin’ Bout A Truck,” has received significant radio play on country stations. Moore has only released one album, “Up All Night,” but he has attracted the attention of big names in Nashville. Opening for Moore are artists Drake White and Jana Kramer. The show starts at 8:00 p.m., and tickets for the general public are still available.
For a more authentic country experience, iconic bluegrass band Old Crow Medicine Show is playing at the Arkansas Music Pavilion on Saturday night. Old Crow is best known for the ubiquitous “Wagon Wheel,” on 2004’s “O.C.M.S.” Their catalog provides so much more than the beloved sing-along song. Their 2012 release “Carry Me Back” is full of old-time, foot-stomping songs like “Bootlegger’s Boy” and “Carry Me Back,” which recount life in prohibition America and the Civil War, respectively. The band turns a corner with “Levi,” about a small-town soldier fighting in Afghanistan. The band’s lyrics can tell surprisingly deep stories of drug addiction or change in rural American life. Tickets and information can be found at waltonartscenter.org.