Special Events in Little Rock

Little Rock Marathon
The Little Rock Marathon, which began in 2003, takes place in March. Festivities begin two days prior to the big race with a Health and Fitness Expo. This trade show offers racers and observers a chance to learn about new health products and fitness services. The weekend continues with a 5K Run/Walk, which precedes the Little Rockers Kids Marathon. With the goal of encouraging children to exercise more, the Arkansas Children's Hospital sponsors this event. Participants, aged seven to twelve, register with a commitment to complete 25 miles of running and walking over an extended period of time. On Saturday, the children then complete their final mile on the actual marathon course. Finisher medals are awarded. The full 26.2-mile marathon is held on Sunday, as is a half marathon and a 10K race. Participants are greeted by spectators and musical entertainment along the route.

Arkansas Literary Festival
Held in April, the Arkansas Literary Festival is a four-day celebration of written works and performances. Spread out over several locations, the festival consists of workshops, presentations and author book signings. For the younger set, story times, magic and puppet shows, as well as a concert keep attendees entertained.

With the Arkansas River as backdrop, Riverfest has evolved into a huge state event. Debuting in 1978, the festival quickly outgrew its original location and landed permanently in the Julius Breckling Riverfront Park. Today, Riverfest is a collaboration by several local organizations to bring cultural and educational performing arts to all ages. Musical performances by famous and local artists, children's crafts, and fireworks are only a few of the activities. Thousands of volunteers make these Memorial Day weekend events run smoothly for all who attend.

Arkansas State Fair
Another highly anticipated event each year is the Arkansas State Fair. Originally held in November of 1868, the fair is now an October event held at a permanent 135-acre venue. Its main purpose is to support the area's agricultural industry, particularly livestock, and promote the education of all to its importance for the region's economy. The fair includes a midway, numerous exhibits, competitions, and concerts.

Big Jingle Jubilee Holiday Parade
Little Rock is again showcased with the Big Jingle Jubilee Holiday Parade in early December. Leading the floats and marching bands through the downtown area are Santa and Mrs. Claus. At the end of the parade route sits the State Capital building, which is then lit up with the colors of the season.