This Friday through Sunday, Cleburne County will be celebrating the Ozark Trail Festival.

This Friday through Sunday, Cleburne County will be celebrating the Ozark Trail Festival.  This year marks a reinvention of the annual festival and looks to be one of Cleburne County’s biggest festivals of the year.

On Friday morning, artists and vendors will begin setting up on the Cleburne County Courthouse lawn in preparation for the official kick-off of the event that evening at 5pm.  As the festival kicks off, a Zumbathon charity event will take place in front of the courthouse.  This charity event will pull 6 Zumba classes together to put on a show to help benefit Children’s Cancer Research.  That won’t be the only dancing taking place.  Jitterboppers will be holding a street dance at 7pm.

Rides for the kids will also be on the courthouse lawn.

“Young at Art” will be taking place during the festival and can be viewed at various retail outlets in the downtown area.  More information on “Young at Art” will be in Friday’s edition of The Sun-Times.

Saturday will be packed full of events for those attending the festival.  Those interested in bicycling can meet at Spring Park at 8am for a 20-mile ride.  A Poker Run for Children’s Cancer Research will be leaving the park at 9am and is open to anyone.  For those that are into autos and other vehicles, the antique & classic car display will begin at 10am as well as the antique tractor display and the Arkansas Heritage Motorcycle Club display. 

It wouldn’t be a festival without a parade and this year’s theme will be the “Wild Wild West”.  Those wishing to participate in the parade can contact Regina Cantrell at 593-6916.  Line-up will begin as early as 9:15 in front of EZ Pawn.  The parade will include marching bands, horses, and hot rods, among others.  Coggins papers are a requirement for those taking horses and for those interested in driving their hot rod in the parade, the date of the vehicle must be older than 1979.

Other events through the course of the day will include an outlaw bank robbery at 10:30, a BBQ cook-off at 1pm, a best beard contest at 2pm, prettiest bonnet contest at 3pm, and a wild west costume contest judging at 4pm.  For those that like throwing themselves into the theme, a mechanical bull will be available on the courthouse lawn beginning at 10am.

Entertainment will include Reading Ezra at 3pm and Imagine That at 4pm, both in Spring Park.

At 7pm, 5k and 10k runs begin at Heber Springs High School, followed by the lighting of the Courthouse to honor Children’s Cancer Research at 8pm.

Events will wind down Sunday, however vendors will still be at the festival beginning at noon.  The day will be highlighted by entertainment, including the Mountaintop Cowboy Church Band at 1pm, New Road at 2pm, and Second Chance Band at 3pm, all in Spring Park.