• 2016 nwaMotherlode Summer Camp Guide for Kids
  • Where To See Fireworks: Fourth of July in Northwest Arkansas, 2016
  • June 2016: Northwest Arkansas Calendar of Events

July 2016: Northwest Arkansas Calendar of Events

FireworksWondering where to see fireworks in Northwest Arkansas? Click here for a detailed list and a printable version for your fridge!

Other July 2016 events:

Friday, July 1st:

Reading Roadshow with FPL at Panera

The Fayetteville Public Library and Panera Bread are partnering to bring an Interactive Reading Program to the Fayetteville Panera restaurant. The FPL Reading Roadshow is a 30- minute interactive reading session, will be at on these dates from 9-9:30 a.m.:

Dates: July 1 & August 5

Time: 9-9:30 a.m.

Location: Panera Bread, 3638 N Front Street, Fayetteville

reading roadshow 2016

First Friday Flicks, Lawrence Plaza, Bentonville

The movies start at 8 p.m. Bring a lawn chair or blanket.

  • Friday flicksJuly 1st- Finding Nemo
  • August 5th- Teen Beach Movie 2
  • September 2nd- Zootopia

More info: Click here

First Fridays Bentonville

On the First Friday of every month (April through November) Bentonville Square is transformed into a themed community block party with live music, food and family-friendly activities. Thousands of members come out to celebrate the community. This month’s theme is Americana Music. The main stage opens at 4:30 p.m.

Date: July 1

Time: 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Location: Bentonville Square

More info: Click here

Firefly Run

firefly runGrab the kids and enjoy a 1-mile “glow run” at Gulley Park. Participants will receive flashy neon accessories and navigate the Gulley Park trail. The Firefly Run is $10 a person or $30 for a family of 5. All proceeds go to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation – Arkansas Chapter. The Firefly Run will take place within Gulley Park, using the paved trail around the perimeter of the park. This fun-run will not be timed. The glow run will start at 8:00 pm.

Date: July 1

Time: 8 p.m.

Location: Gulley Park, Fayetteville

More info: Purchase tickets at the event or before the event at https://www.register-wizard.com/events/fireflyrun/register. Click here to visit the event’s FB page.

Saturday, July 2nd:

Astronomy Night

No registration required. You may use our telescope “Big Boy” or bring your own. Binoculars work too. Bring a red lens cover, such as a cloth or balloon. You may also bring chairs and drinks for outdoor comfort.

Date: July 2

Time: Evening

Location: Hobbs State Park, Rogers

More info: Click here

Monday, July 4th:

**To see a list of fireworks displays on July 4th, click here!

41st Annual Devil’s Den Games

Celebrate the 26th year of the Devil’s Den Games. Enjoy a fun-filled family day of horseshoes, softball, sack races, parades, and much more… all topped off with homemade ice cream. Free event. Meet at the softball field in Area E.

Date: July 4

Time: 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Location: Devil’s Den, West Fork

More info: Click here

Independence Day Celebration at War Eagle Mill

This event is for families. It will include a lunch special at the Bean Palace, kids’ crafts and more. It will start at 11 a.m. on Monday and run through 3 p.m.

Date: July 4

Time: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Location: War Eagle Mill, Rogers

More info: Click here

Tuesday, July 5th:

Ice cream and old-fashioned toys

On Tuesdays in July, enjoy a different family activity at the Rogers Historical Museum. Tuesdays from 5-8 p.m.

Date: July 5 (Every Tuesday in July)

Time: 5-8 p.m.

Location: Rogers Historical Museum

More info: Click here

Thursday, July 7th:

Movie nights rogers

Summer Movie Series, downtown Rogers Farmer’s Market

Date: July 7 (and other Thursdays in July)

Time: Movie starts at dark (see movie titles in the graphic above)

Location: Downtown Rogers Farmer’s Market

More info: Click here

Fleur Delicious Weekend, Eureka Springs

Date: July 5-10

Time: Varies

Location: Various venues around Eureka Springs

More info: Click here

Saturday, July 16:

firefly fling

Firefly Fling

Garden fairies, food trucks, live music, fairy house building, obstacle course and more.

Date: July 16

Time: 6-10 p.m.

Location: Botanical Garden of the Ozarks, Fayetteville

More info: Click here

create it conCreate-it-Con

Create-it-Con at the Rogers Public Library is a celebration of the Maker Movement. It’s a family-friendly showcase of invention, creativity, and resourcefulness. Create it Con gathers together tech enthusiasts, crafters, educators, tinkerers, food artisans, hobbyists, engineers, musicians, actors, science clubs, artists, students, cosplayers, food trucks and lots of other exhibitors. Admission is always free so come and play all day.

Date: July 16

Time: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Location: Rogers Public Library

More info: Click here

Thursday, July 21st:

Homegrown Music Festival

A weekend on the Mulberry River, with Leftover Salmon, The Wood Brothers and more. Arkansas’s first sustainable festival. Family-friendly.

Date: July 21-23

Location: Byrd’s Adventure Center, Ozark

More info: Click here

Friday, July 29th:

mary poppins clipMary Poppins

Date: July 29-31 & August 4-7, 11-14

Time: Varies

Location: Arkansas Public Theatre, Rogers

More info: Click here

Devotion in Motion: There’s just no room

31 Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. Ephesians 4:31 ~ (NKJV)

By Bro. John L. Cash

As you might imagine, I’ve heard a lot of sermons and taken a lot of Bible classes in my life. Pastors are taught the Scriptures when they’re preparing to enter the ministry, and they continue to learn as a part of their daily remix (4)lives. But something I’ve noticed is that some of my most enduring lessons weren’t taught to me in a church service or a seminary class. Instead, somebody told me something profound while we were going about our ordinary lives.

Let me tell you a story. When I was 18 years old, I was a Bible college student at a very small Christian college. All of my professors preached revivals in addition to their teaching duties. Because every traveling preacher needs a song leader, I sometimes accompanied various professors to lead singing at their meetings. Often when I rode with these men of God, I learned as much during the car ride as I did from the sermon.

At the beginning of one such trip, the evangelist I was traveling with read his mail before we set out on our journey. Reading a letter from a businessman in our brotherhood, he turned his head and shut his eyes with a pained look on his face. He looked as if something had pierced his heart.

no room for meannessHe read aloud part of the letter, revealing the writer’s threatening words of anger and hate. He then said, “I wish I had not read this letter before we left for the meeting. John, never forget: ‘There is no room for meanness in the Christian life.’”

I’ve never forgotten those words: “There is no room for meanness in the Christian life.” Even though I don’t always succeed, I try to live by them because they are the truth. I think we’re all tempted to do things that are petty and to repay insult with insult when we’re angry. It’s then that we have to remember that, as Christians, we are called by our Saviour to live lives of love. For anything else, there just isn’t room.

rp_john-l-cash-212x300.jpgDr. John L. Cash is the “Country Preacher Dad.” He was raised in Stuttgart, Arkansas, and has spent the last 30 years being a country preacher in the piney woods five miles south of the little town of Hickory, Mississippi. (On week days has a desk-job at a public school, where he used to teach Latin on closed-circuit-television.) He and his lovely wife, Susan, live in the parsonage next door to the Antioch Christian Church (where the outdoor-cats are growing their winter coats for cooler weather.) Their kids include Spencer (age 24), his wife Madeline (age 24), and Seth (age 21). You can send him a note at brotherjohn@ilovechurchcamp.com.

The Rockwood Files: Once upon a story

rockwood files colorBy Gwen Rockwood, newspaper columnist and mama of 3

Just when I thought the machines had truly taken over and that kids’ attention spans had shrunk down to the time it takes to download an app, something wonderful happened.

books-441866_640My 12-year-old son had birthday money burning a hole in his pocket, and he asked if we could go to the bookstore to spend it. Immensely grateful that it was the bookstore and not the arcade, I said an enthusiastic yes. Any excuse to go to the bookstore is a good one. His brother and sister wanted to go, too, so off we went.

I love the bookstore. It’s good for a writer’s soul. Writing is a solitary experience, which is ironic because writers who spend too much time inside their own heads are prone to despair. “Why the heck am I doing this? Nobody wants to read this stuff. This is ridiculous, just stringing these words together, trying to make sense from this jumble of thoughts. Why didn’t I learn a more useful, marketable skill? Like computer programming or transmission repair. Nobody wants stories anymore. They’re too busy with tweets, posts and likes. They want something simple and quick.”

But at the bookstore, I walked down aisle after aisle of books that were neither simple nor quick to produce or to read. The range of topics is immense – everything from ancestry to zombie novels. I scanned the colorful rows of book spines and thought about all those despairing writers – toiling away alone somewhere, stopping occasionally to berate themselves for being too queasy to have gone to med school or too bad at algebra to have become an engineer. Wondering why they feel compelled to write a story that people might never even read.

Somehow, they beat back their own neurosis and the seemingly impossible odds of getting a book published, and they filled this expansive store with books. And despite the 24-hour buffet of daily distractions from social media, YouTube, the App Store, Netflix and so many others, people still show up here in search of stories.

The kids and I drifted in different directions, finding each other now and then so we could hold up a book and say “Look at this one!” Finally, we each narrowed down our book choices and headed for check-out.

But the true magic happened on the way home. As soon as I started the car, the three kids reached into the plastic bag and fished out the book they’d just chosen. They couldn’t wait. Those books were like hot fries from the drive-through, and the temptation to reach in and consume one was too strong to ignore.

The car ride home was as silent as it has ever been – broken only by the sound of our own breathing, pages turning, and the rhythmic click of the car’s blinker. It was serene, and it renewed my faith in the power of stories.

The kids’ book bliss also reminded me to be grateful. Because I might not be any good at math or be able to diagnose appendicitis, but occasionally I’m able to write down a good story – one that reading bookmakes someone feel a moment of joy. And that’s something – a little piece of magic.

We live in an increasingly complex world – one that practically screams for our attention in dozens of different ways – but we’re still hard-wired to seek out stories. We crave them, like hot waffle fries on the car ride home.

Despite all the digital clutter out there, thank God we still gravitate to something as powerful and simple as “Once upon a time…”

gwen-headshot-2014Gwen Rockwood is a mom to three great kids, wife to one cool guy, a newspaper columnist and co-owner of nwaMotherlode.com. To read previously published installments of The Rockwood Files, click here. To check out Gwen’s book, “Reporting Live from the Laundry Pile: The Rockwood Files Collection,” click HERE.

The Friday 5: Fun things to do this weekend in Northwest Arkansas


1. The 72nd Annual Rodeo of the Ozarks continues tonight and Saturday/Saturday night (June 24-25) at Parsons Stadium in Springdale.

On Saturday, a parade kicks things off at 10 a.m. along historic Emma Avenue in Springdale. Horses, floats, marching bands and more. At 6 p.m., rodeo gates open and pre-rodeo events begin. The Rodeo of the Ozarks begins at 7:30 p.m. The 2016 Miss Rodeo of the Ozarks will be crowned after the rodeo and fireworks will follow.

Click here for more info on the parade, rodeo and fireworks display!

arts live logo2. The Boxcar Children will be showing at Arts Live Theatre through Sunday.

Click here for more information about show times and to buy tickets.

3. Opera in the Ozarks will perform Pinnocchio on Saturday at 10:30 a.m. at the Fayetteville Public Library’s Walker Community Room

The familiar story serves as an excellent introduction to operatic music for children who might be unfamiliar with this particular style. The performance is free and open to the public.

Opera in the Ozarks is a training program and festival designed for aspiring operatic performers. Attracting talented singers nationwide, the program is highly competitive, and its alumni have performed on some of the world’s biggest stages. For more information, visit the program’s website.

Click here for more info on the FPL event!

4. Freedom Fest is an event in Pea Ridge that features music, kid’s activities and food at 6 p.m., followed by fireworks at dark.

Freedom Fest is being held at the First Assembly of God Church, 577 Weston St., Pea Ridge.

*Click here for more info on the fireworks event.

itchy dog5. NWA Dog Walk {entry fee}. This annual event is on Saturday (June 25) 9 a.m. to noon at Orchards Park in Bentonville.

The walk starts at 10 a.m., but you can go over early to enjoy food, browse the tents and support the cause. Registration is $30 for the first dog and $5 for additional dogs. Participants will receive a T-shirt and goody bag. T-shirts will also be for sale at the event and the proceeds go to local animal shelters.

The Dog Walk organizers have lots of fun planned for the day of the walk. Sugar Creek Animal Hospital is sponsoring NWA Caricatures to create a portrait of you and your pet. Come out early and get your place in line. These are one of a kind drawings done by an artist with amazing talent, provided to you free by one of the community’s longest-standing animal hospitals.

Click here for more info on the NWA Dog Walk and to register!

check mark, blueBonus!

New park alert! The new C.L. “Charlie” & Willie George Park {which has a dog park, two playgrounds, a splash pad and more!} will open at 1 p.m. on Saturday. The park is located at 4023 Hylton Rd. in Springdale.

A ribbon cutting and celebration will start at 1 p.m. Springdale Mayor Doug Sprouse and Gary George will be speaking at the ribbon cutting ceremony, which will take place at the southwest pavilion, next to the playground.

There will be free food and water. The fire and police departments will be there with fun activities for the families, and Bike Springdale and the American Heart Association will have great information for those who are interested in getting active and staying healthy!

The newest park in Springdale has:

• Two playgrounds
• A splash pad
• Four large pavilions with tables
• A dog park with separate sections for large and small dogs, and a pavilion with a table
• A walking/jogging trail
• Sports fields
• Tennis courts
• Ample parking
• And more!

Click here for more details.

Five Minutes with a Mom (of 7): Christina Sluyter

Christina Sluyter

Name: Christina Sluyter

Kid’s names and ages:

Ethan 15, Grace 14, Luke 12, Tessa 10, Zane 8, Owen 6, Reed 10 months old

What are the best things about having such a big family?

Everyone learns at an early age how to get along with others. They also always have someone to play with, help them, stand up for them. Built in best friends!

What’s the most challenging?

Getting quality time with each one.  My husband and I make a point of finding something that each one loves to do and spend time with them doing that.  Whether it be a sport or activity or reading books.

Do you have any fun summer plans with the kids?

Our boys LOVE football so we have several football camps that we are attending this summer. We spend every Sunday afternoon after church on the boat at the lake.

Where are your favorite places to play in NWA?

Tanyard creek in Bella Vista, the kids love the waterfall and the hiking trails. The Razorback greenway and we see a lot of movies during the summer so Malco theater at the Promenade.

We hear you decorate some pretty awesome cakes. We’d love to know more!

cake 1

One of Christina’s cakes

I started decorating cakes for the kids’ birthdays and the more I did the more people asked what kind of cake I was making instead of what the child wanted as a gift.

I started making them for friends and family and have had the pleasure of becoming a part of people’s lives through cake.

I was a part of their wedding, first child, and kids’ birthdays.  It’s pretty amazing thing when you bring someone joy through something you enjoy doing!

It has also become a part of my identity. I’m not just a wife, not just a mother, but I have an interest that’s all mine.  I think every mother needs something like that, a Zen thing if you know what I mean.

What was the last thing you laughed out loud about?

Our house is full of laughter!

You have to have a sense of humor with kids, especially when you’re outnumbered or else you’d lose it! My kids have great comedic timing! Whether it’s an obscure movie reference or an impersonation they keep me laughing all day!

If you could vacation anywhere in the world this summer, where would you go?

cake 2

“I’m awesome at sweet, terrible at savory!”

I’ve always wanted to take the kids to Israel.  The travel in the footsteps of Jesus.

If you could magically have a new skill, what would it be?

I would love to be able to cook the way I bake!

People automatically think since I bake these yummy treats that I can cook, but so not true! I’m awesome at sweet, terrible at savory!

What’s something your friends might not know about you?

My husband and I love to swing dance. He entered several competitions before we met and he taught me. We love going to weddings and events where there is dancing so we can show off.

What’s your go-to when you need some down time?

Riding the bike with my hubby! Time together is a MUST and working out together is so much fun!

What’s one thing you’d want people to remember about you?

My faith. My love for my Savior and my willingness to share it with others!

One word to sum me up:

I went to the kids on this one, which I totally recommend to all Moms because I felt pretty good about myself after this!

  • Ethan said creative
  • Grace said determined
  • Luke said hardworking
  • Tessa said amazing
  • Zane said helpful
  • Owen said Mom
  • Reed has no input as of yet…
  • I have to admit Owen hit the nail on the head! I’m Mom and I couldn’t be happier being anything else!!