Our absolute favorite local festival, Hillcrest HarvestFest, is back for the 27th year on October 22nd this year.
If you are not familiar with Harvestfest, it is an annual festival in Hillcrest featuring events, food trucks, local beer, vendors and more. The event takes over Kavanaugh Boulevard from Monroe to Walnut streets.
The big new thing this year will be the HarvestFest Pie contest. It is open to three divisions, amateurs, youth, and professionals, and will be judged by a panel including the pie expert Kat Robinson. The winner receives an entry into the 2023 Arkansas Pie Festival.
On the food end there will be 13 food trucks, plus food from restaurants within the boundaries such as Hill Station, Damgoode Pies, Ciao Baci, HAM, La Terraza, Mylo Coffee, and more. There will also be a number of local breweries setup selling beer in the biergarten.
This year’s event goes to support the Allen school. HarvestFest has raised more than $50,000 over the last five years for the area school. The event is sponsored by Hill Station this year.
Full release, details, and timeline of events below:
HarvestFest in Hillcrest, Central Arkansas’ premier fall festival, returns Saturday, Oct. 22, for its 27th year. The annual fall celebration, presented by Hill Station, will feature more than 110 vendors, 13 food trucks, a pie contest, an all-day concert event, kids’ entertainment area, dog show, cornhole tournament, and much more. HarvestFest is sponsored by Hounds Lounge Pet Resort and Spa. The festival takes place in the Hillcrest business district on Kavanaugh Blvd. between Monroe and Walnut streets.
New to the festival this year is the HarvestFest Pie Contest. The contest is the first-ever entry competition to the Arkansas Pie Festival, which takes place in April in Cherokee Village. The competition is open to everyone, including amateurs, youth, and professionals. Entrants will simply bring their pie to the competition area to be considered by a panel of judges, including author and noted pie expert Kat Robinson. The winner will receive free entry to the 2023 Arkansas Pie Festival.
“We’re thrilled to partner with the Arkansas Pie Festival for 2022,” said HarvestFest chair Steve Shuler. “Many of the festival organizers have ties to Hillcrest and HarvestFest, so this was a natural partnership. We can’t wait to see what our participants bake for the event.”
Returning for 2022 is the HarvestFest Dog Show. The dog show features up to 75 local dogs and their owners walking a red carpet and getting all the praise and “good dog’s” they deserve from their adoring fans. KARK reporter and anchor Laura Monteverdi will serve as emcee for the event. Proceeds from this year’s HarvestFest Dog Show go to support the Arkansas Paws in Prison Foundation, which rehabilitates inmates and gives shelter dogs a second chance at life. Dog owners can sign up to walk their dog at www.harvestfest.us and on the HarvestFest Facebook page.
HarvestFest this year is continuing its emphasis on being as green as possible. Once again, single-use plastic bags will be banned at HarvestFest. Guests at the festival will receive a free reusable bag when they purchase from a vendor. HarvestFest is also emphasizing recyclable aluminum cans in the beer garden and is encouraging all food vendors to eliminate the use of Styrofoam.
“HarvestFest is a big festival, but there’s no excuse for not doing our part to be as environmentally friendly as we can,” said Shuler. “For the last four years we’ve put a strong emphasis on reducing waste and setting an example for the community in this regard. If a festival as big as HarvestFest can go green, then so can the rest of Little Rock.”
HarvestFest is a nonprofit event, and The Allen School in Hillcrest is the primary charity that the festival supports. The Allen School works with special-needs children up to age 5 to help prepare them and their parents for kindergarten. The Allen School has steadfastly served in Hillcrest for more than 60 years, helping hundreds of children develop their full potential. HarvestFest donated more than $50,000 to The Allen School over the past five years.
“The Allen School holds a special place in the hearts of the HarvestFest committee,” said Shuler. “The work that the school has done is vital. Children and parents leaving The Allen School are prepared to face the challenge of school life in a way that would have been impossible otherwise. It is our deepest honor to play a small part in The Allen School’s mission.”
HarvestFest is presented by Hounds Lounge Pet Resort and Spa. Here is the schedule of events for HarvestFest on Oct. 22:
• HarvestFest Sunrise Yoga: 7 a.m. (Hillcrest Hall)
• HarvestFest opens at 11 a.m. (VIP, beer garden, kids’ area open)
• Lost Forty Fall Concert: all day (east end)
o Momandpop – noon
o Gravel Yard Bluegrass Band – 1:30 p.m.
o Frontier Circus – 3:30 p.m.
o King Honey – 5 p.m.
o Steve Howell & The Mighty Men – 6:30 p.m.
• HarvestFest Cornhole Tournament: noon until 5 p.m. (west end)
• Simmons Bank Kids Area: noon
• Arkansas Pie Festival – noon until 2 p.m.
• HarvestFest Dog Show sponsored by Hounds Lounge and Mariposa
Studio Photography: 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. (Hodge Orthodontics)