The Ozark Mountains are well known for picture perfect vistas, outdoor experiences and a wealth of fun things to do. Among the lush mountains of the region, you’ll find the can't-miss vacation destination of Harrison, Arkansas. The history of Harrison dates back to its creation back in 1869 as the county seat for Boone County. The Civil War left the area devastated and during the Reconstruction, Harrison was formed and officially incorporated in 1876. People began to come to the Harrison area to grow crops, as well as for cattle farming and trading. Harrison remained a hub for farming and agriculture into the 20th Century as the community developed the reputation for having dedicated and hardworking residents. The city continues to grow presently with the manufacturing industry leading the way. The city currently has roughly 13,000 people and is a scenic and relaxing place for your next vacation.
Encompassed by a lush natural environment, Harrison is prefect location for outdoor enthusiasts. Local rivers, lakes and streams are ideal for activities such as fishing, boating, kayaking and numerous other water sports. Outdoor activities off the water include bird watching at one of the local parks, hiking the miles of scenic local trails, or seizing one of the ample opportunities for rock climbing. If the outdoors don’t appeal to you, try visiting of the great local indoor attractions like the Boone County Heritage Museum, Lyric Theater and Mystic Caverns. If you like to shop, there are some great local stores and boutique shops right in town. For the full Harrison experience, try to visit during one of the big local events like Crawdad Days Music Festival.
For nearly three decades, Crawdad Days Music Festival has been bringing thousands of people into Harrison on an annual basis. Perfect for the entire family, this festival has something for everyone. Of course the main draw to the festival is the crawfish. Whether you're looking to try them for the first time or looking to eat them by the pound, this is the place for you. Don't worry, if you're not into the crawfish; there are plenty of other food options on hand as well. Your kids will love all the rides, games, and the overall fun atmosphere. The car show is a can't-miss attraction, featuring all sorts of unique rides that will impress any level of car lover. Last, but not least, the music here is great with live acts playing throughout the festival. ResortsandLodges.com got the opportuntiy to interview Angel Perryman, representative for the Crawdad Days Music Festival, to talk about the event.
RAL: Tell me a bit about the event.
AP: This year will be the 26th Annual Crawdad Days Music Festival. Attendance is around 10,000 people each year, however we expect to beat that total this year! Crawdad Days is a family-friendly festival that draws a crowd of all ages.
RAL: What makes this event unique?
AP: Crawdad Days Festival in Harrison is held the third weekend of May around the banks of Lake Harrison. The festival is free to attend and open to the public. All of our concerts are free including headliners.
The Crawdad Eating Contest has been a huge local success for years. One gentleman in particular participates (and usually wins) every year. We are looking into the possibility of him attempting to set the Guinness World Record for crawfish eating next year.
RAL: Take me through a day at the event.
AP: A 5K run kicks things off on Saturday morning, and other activities include canoe rides, pony rides, a carnival, rubber duck races, a Children's Stage, and crawdad eating contest, just to name a few. There is also live music which includes a venue for every taste: country, rock-n-roll and down home. Trust us - you don't want to miss the music this year!
RAL: What kinds of activities can attendees expect to find at the festival.
AP: Music, Concerts, Crawfish Boil, Beer Garden, Carnival, Car Show, children’s Stage and activities, Paddle Battle, Crawdad Eating Contest. Rubber Duck Race, Food-Craft-Retail vendors.
RAL: Will there be any guest appearances?
AP: The Band NRG, 9N Band, The George Brothers, Billy Dean & Jason Pritchett, NPR-National Park Radio, The Brothers Roberson, The Dan Benton Band, and Barrett Baber from The Voice. Local “stars” to include the Miss Crawdad Days pageant winners, Next Step Dance Studio, Arkansas All Star Cheer, Miss Christy Cheer, Ozarks Arts Council Children's Choir, Lacey Yarbrough, and Rheu Karate.
RAL: Tell me about some of the food options.
AP: Crawfish Boil, BBQ, funnel cakes, kettle korn, sno-cones, all types of fair foods.
RAL: What can an attendee expect to find for local lodging?
RAL: What does this event mean to the community?
AP: Crawdad Days is the largest local festival for Harrison and the community looks forward to it each year. Well over a hundred folks come out just to volunteer in support of the festival each year.
RAL: Does this drive business to your local economy?
AP: The festival produces a huge amount of business for the area including hotels, motels, restaurants, local drug stores, retail stores, etc.
RAL: Does the event support a special cause in the community?
AP: Many nonprofits participate and set up booths at the festival to recruit volunteers, gain support, and make money for their various causes.
RAL: Does lodging hit max occupancy during the event?
AP: Generally speaking, yes. However that is not always the case and we also have nearby communities with other lodging options, including Branson, Missouri, which is a short 30-minute drive from Harrison.
RAL: Why should people come to your event?
AP: Crawdad Days is the most affordable and friendliest festival around. With so much musical entertainment for free as well as the beauty of the park and enjoying the outdoors surrounded by food, shopping, and activities…you can’t beat it!
For more information about Crawdad Days Music Festival, please visit their website.