Thursday, September 10, 2015

New War Eagle Bridge Restrictions
The beloved War Eagle Bridge is aging, quickly. In an effort to slow the deterioration process until repairs or replacement can be done, the Benton County Road Department and Arkansas Highway & Transportation Division have put out the following restrictions in regards to traffic crossing the bridge. Please be aware that these are being very strictly enforced. Plan ahead for any adjustments to your normal travel.

  • No vehicles weighing more than 3 tons will be allowed to cross the bridge. 
    • To put that in perspective, that is barely more than a Chevy Tahoe with 4 passengers.
  • No vehicles pulling trailers will be allowed to cross.
  • No box trucks.
  • Only one vehicle will be allowed to cross at a time.
  • Pedestrian traffic will also be closely monitored and a limited number of people will be allowed on the bridge at a time.
These restrictions and precautions will cause delays.  In order to minimize the delays, we are recommending that all visitors plan to not drive across the bridge.  Parking on the side of the river where you arrive will significantly cut the traffic delays.

The War Eagle Fair provides traffic controls with assistance from the Benton County Sheriff's Office and parking assistance on the west side of the War Eagle River only.  There is a $3 fee for parking which is collected when you exit the parking lot.  This allows us to get vehicles off of the road in a more timely fashion, avoiding traffic back ups as much as possible.

Our organization is not responsible for and not involved in the events on the east side of the river.  The War Eagle Mill, to our knowledge, provides no parking for visitors, as they utilize their entire parking area for their vendors.  The Sharp Show does provide parking, located across from the Mill area and in the field behind their event.  In years past, they have collected parking fees upon arrival.  This process does cause traffic to back up on the road leading in to War Eagle and sometimes on to Highway 12.  

We highly recommend arriving to the War Eagle Fair from the direction of Highway 412.  The traffic flows better in and out of this direction, leaving you with more time to enjoy your visit to the Fair.  If you arrive from Highway 12, please be aware that traffic moves slower from this direction.  Whichever direction you decide to enter from, please consider parking on that side of the river in order to minimize the traffic delays caused by the new bridge restrictions and precautions.

Please see this post for directions to the War Eagle River Valley.

If you have questions, please feel free to contact us via email ( or phone 479-789-5398.

Friday, January 30, 2015

A Short History of War Eagle Weekend

War Eagle Weekend has become as synonymous with fall in Northwest Arkansas as changing leaves and football.  For many people, annual trips to War Eagle Weekend are a longstanding tradition.  Each October, more than a hundred thousand people converge on the War Eagle River Valley to browse tents full to the brim of arts and crafts, nibble on turkey legs and funnel cakes, and catch up with old friends.  Many visitors do not realize that they are taking in three separate craft fairs when they visit the War Eagle River Valley.  

The first craft fair was held in War Eagle, Arkansas, more than sixty years ago in the fall of 1954.  It was the brainchild of Blanche Elliott.  Blanche wanted to give traditional artists and crafters of the Ozarks Mountain region, including members of a local weaving guild, a place to display and sell their wares.  So, in October 1954, she and a few other folks in the War Eagle area opened their living rooms to host the first War Eagle Fair.  This first fair drew in just over 2,220 visitors.  However, in a very short time, the number of visitors swelled from a trickle to a steady flow of tens of thousands each year.  The Ozark Arts and Crafts Fair Association, a non-profit organization, was founded in 1957 to govern and guide the War Eagle Fair.  A spring show featuring arts and crafts as well as antiques was added in 1962 and enjoyed a great deal of success as well.  The spring show never surpassed the original fall show in popularity or size, however, and was last held in 2006.  

The War Eagle River Valley is a picturesque setting for a fall craft fair.  Many people enjoy sitting by the river and taking in the beautiful scenery, including the War Eagle Mill.  A working gristmill has been a part of War Eagle history since Sylvanus Blackburn settled the valley in the 1830s.  Several mills have been built over the span of time, but they frequently succumbed to flooding and fires.  In 1973, the War Eagle Mill, as it exists today, was rebuilt by the Medlin family.  Shortly after, the War Eagle Mill hosted their first craft fair.  Held at the same time as the War Eagle Fair, this new show filled parts of the Mill and their parking area with arts and crafts.  A local couple, Billy and Lucy Sharp, offered parking in their field adjacent to the Mill area.  Within a few years, the Sharps had also begun their own craft fair, the Sharp’s Show of War Eagle.  The Sharp’s Show is held in the field area adjacent to the Mill.  

A small craft fair held in local living rooms, an idea born in order to give recognition to traditional artists and crafters, grew up into nationally recognized and ranked arts and crafts fair.  Throughout the years, the success of the War Eagle Fair has encouraged others to start fairs as well.  This growth and continued success has given Northwest Arkansas “War Eagle Weekend,” which today includes not only the original War Eagle Fair, the War Eagle Mill Fall Craft Fair, and the Sharp’s Show, but many others held throughout Northwest Arkansas during the same weekend each October. 

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

VIP Parking Pass Tips

A few years ago, we began giving away VIP Parking Passes.  The VIP parking spaces are located next to the Fair's Information Booth right inside the main gate.  These spots are the absolute closest you can park to the exhibits.  When we first started offering these passes, there were two VIP parking spaces available.  This year, two more spaces were added for a total of four VIP parking spaces.

As with all new things, there have been a few hiccups along the way.  We have received a lot of helpful feedback from past VIP parking pass winners and have tried to make adjustments accordingly.  Below are a few tips for VIP parking pass holders. 

  • If possible, arrive in War Eagle from the Springdale direction (see this post for helpful driving directions).  The War Eagle Fair is located on the west side of the War Eagle River.  Arriving from the Springdale direction allows you to avoid crossing the old, one-way bridge over the river.
  • When you arrive, let the deputy directing traffic know that you are a VIP parking pass holder.  They will then direct you to where you need to be.
  • If for some reason, you are unable to use your VIP parking pass, you are welcome to share it with a friend or family member.  If you won a VIP parking pass that is good for multiple days, you are also welcome to share it. 
 We hope that you'll enjoy your time at the War Eagle Fair!  If you have any comments or suggestions after your VIP parking experience, please feel free to share them with us via email at

Monday, October 6, 2014

2014 Giveaway Donors

Once again, our giveaways were wildly popular.  However, these giveaways would not be possible without the generous donations of our awesome exhibitors.  Below is a listing of exhibitors who donated to the 2014 giveaways.  Be sure to thank them when you stop by their booths at the 61st War Eagle Fair.

Angela Gordon                                 Vera Belle Soap Co                          3-3-28
Becca Keeton                                  Nailed It Designs                              B-2-27
Beth Macre                                      Beth S Macre Studios                       2-4-45
Blakeley Wilson                               Wilson & Wilson Folk Art               B-4-57/58
Brenda Chester                               Holiday Creations & More               1-3-36/37
Cheryl Coffman                               Simply Unique Crafts                      2-4-42
Craig Weissman                             Pepper Creek Farms                       2-4-38
Dan & Jennifer Brandt                    Old World Candy                              4-2-23
Donna McFarland                            Dewberry Ridge                              3-1-2
Hank Barnes                                    Heirloom Stained Glass                 1-3-27
Jan Peoples                                     SewSowinLove                                 B-1-4
Jan Raven                                        JanRa Jewelry                                    1-2-16
Janet White                                      Whispy Vines                                     1-2-14
Jenny Walker                                                                                           1-2-21
John & Debbie Wiles                      GourDesign                                        2-2-19
John Cockle                                     The Bell Collection                           B-3-35
John Lann                                        Classic Stadiums                               B-1-3
Joyce Pieschl                                  Sparkeels                                            B-2-21
Julie Miller                                        Polka Dot Pig Primitives                 4-4-43/44
Karen Kennedy                                                                                       1-1-6
Karen Riggs                                    Red Dirt Primitives                           B-4-46
Kim Spaan                                      Lollitop                                                 3-1-5
Linda Styer                                      Ellbee’s                                        2-3-30
Lorena Martinez                              Austin Gourmet Foods                  1-3-31
Lucinda Summerlin                         Summerlin Design Co                     B-3-32
Marty Schmitt                                  Art That Rocks                                   1-1-13
Michael Dukes                                 MJD 66 Furniture and Crafts        2-1-12
Mick Hutchison                                Woodturnings by Mick                  B-3-37
Monte McHendry                                                                                           4-2-24
Monte White                                                                                                    1-1-11
Nestor Pineda                                 Aria Handmade                                 4-2-22
Pat O’Brien                                     One of a Kind Designs                    2-1-11
Patricia Bergman                           Goldenrod                                          2-2-21
Patty O’Leary                                                                                           1-4-45
Paula Conduff                                Got an Idea Primitives                      2-1-1-3
Peggy Tampkins                                                                                    1-4-44
Richard Lorenz                               Lorenz Fine Art                                 4-2-19
Roger Mathews                                                                                         3-4-50
Roland Villarreal                             Survivor Firestarters                       4-4-45
Ruth Carter                                    Carter Ceramics                              B-2-22
Ryan & Amanda Fitzgerald            FITZ Fabrications                              B-4-49
Sandy Cope                                   Sister Soups                               B-3-30/31
Sara Vela                                        Vela Farms                                          2-2-20
Sarah Dodds                                  Country Memories                            1-4-39
Skip Rogers                                   Karen’s Candy Kitchen                     1-4-50
Stacey Stasny                                Saved Salvaged Sewn                      4-4-50
Stanley Buss                                                                                         3-1-1
Sue Ellen Post                               Posh Pillows                                2-3-35/36
Thereasa Ramsey                         A Wing and A Prayer                       B-2-23
Thereasa Ramsey                         A Wing and A Prayer                       B-1-18
Tina Willis                                      Silent Echoes Studio                       4-2-18
Warren & Cathy Erdman               Pretty Doll Collections                    3-2-19

Thursday, September 11, 2014

What's With the Parking Fee?

Parking at the War Eagle Fair costs $3 per car.  Many people who have visited the Fair for many years know that we have not always charged a fee for parking.  However, we started charging the parking fee a few years back for a number of reasons.

There are many expenses incurred when hosting an event as large as the War Eagle Fair. One of those expenses is traffic control.  Each year more than a hundred thousand people converge on the War Eagle River Valley to attend the Fair.  Traffic control is essential to keeping those people flowing in and out in an orderly fashion.  The War Eagle Fair pays the Benton County Sheriff's Department to provide this traffic control for us.  Many other expenses, such as electricity and water, tent rental, and grounds maintenance, are incurred in order to not only put the Fair on each year but to keep it running as smoothly as visitors have come to expect.

The War Eagle Fair is sponsored by the Ozark Arts and Crafts Fair Association, a non-profit organization.  After the expenses of the Fair are paid for, the association then endows scholarships at local colleges and universities.  These funds have played an important part in the education of hundreds of students throughout the years.

It's important to note, also, that the War Eagle Fair is required to pay taxes to the state of Arkansas on the parking fee.

There are many factors that went in to our decision to charge a small parking fee.  It allows us to continue to operate the Fair in the way that visitors have come to expect and enjoy throughout the years.  It also allows us to continue funding scholarships.  We appreciate all of our visitors who pay this small fee and help us continue the work that we love.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Exhibitor Feature: FITZ Fabrications

     It's been a busy first year of business for Ryan and Amanda Fitzgerald of FITZ Fabrications.

     The Tulsa, Oklahoma, couple came to the craft world after making a few LED illuminated signs from old barn tin.  After receiving several compliments and comments on the signs, they decided to make a few more signs to test the market for selling them.  The signs sold quickly and it's been a steady rise for them since.

     In the last year, their business has expanded to include more craft fairs, an ever expanding Facebook following, and a partnership with Country Outfitter.  They also ship their items to states across the nation every week.  For the Fitzgerald's, "it's a fulfilling thought to think people all over the nation are being encouraged, inspired, and reminded of their blessing by our products hanging in their personal spaces."  One of their first signs sold was a sign that said "HOPE" and it was sold to a woman who had been told that she'd never get pregnant.  Not only did she get pregnant, but she had twins.  Hope was the name of her daughter. 

     FITZ Fabrications made their debut at the War Eagle Fair in 2013.  Actually, this was their debut to the world.  Ryan had attended the Fair with his parents as a child growing up in Northwest Arkansas.  Returning to the Fair, with his new bride, Amanda, to show their products to the world for the first time, caused them both some anxiety.  However, nerves were calmed by the beautiful view on the drive in to the War Eagle River Valley.  Kind words from other crafters also helped put them at ease.  The Fitzgeralds are extremely grateful for all of the kind words they've received over the past year.

     With a beautiful, unique product and a wonderful outlook on the world, we hope to see FITZ Fabrications at the War Eagle Fair for many years to come.  Be sure to stop by and see them this fall in the building.