BPW Barn Sale - It’s a Barn Raising Good Time - Held the last Saturday in September.
Each year approximately 14,000 people attend one of south Arkansas’ major tourist attractions, the Camden BPW Barn Sale. Since 1968 the Camden Business and Professional Women’s Organization has sponsored this annual event. From it’s beginnings as a flea market, it has grown into South Arkansas’ largest Arts and Crafts Show.
The massive old oak trees provide plenty of shade as you stroll beside the historic old barn while listening to an old-fashioned gristmill grind cornmeal throughout the day. Watch a potter or woodcarving artist at work or purchase a newly made treasure from one of the 160 crafters. All crafts are original and handmade. Expect to find hand crafted wooden pieces, ceramics, paintings, floral arrangements, handmade clothing, jewelry, stained glass, and much more.
Free entertainment takes place throughout the day as each year entertainers volunteer and share their talent to delight the audience at the Barn Sale. Many of these entertainers are local favorites and over the years have become regular performers on the Barn Sale stage. Other activities are the Antique Car Show, Beauty Pageant, Children’s Activities, and great food vendors. Click here.
Camden Daffodil Festival - The Most Beautiful Garden Show in Arkansas. Held annually on the second week-end in March, the festival will celebrate its 17th year on March 12-13, 2010. Annual attendance is approximately 14,000 people from all over the United States. Click here.
The festival was founded in 1994 as the result of a group of women to help raise enough money to restore the old dilapidated Missouri Pacific Train Depot and turn it into a historical site that would house the Camden Area Chamber of Commerce. The word went out via flyers, radio, newspaper, and word of mouth inviting the public to tour the private Daniel Daffodil Gardens. Hundreds of people drove out to see this rare sight and paid $1.00 admission to a “lady volunteer sitting in the back of a pick-up truck”. They were allowed to drive or walk through the thirteen acre Japanese Garden covered with hundreds of thousands of daffodils. The garden was created and planted by the Daniels family in honor of their son and the men serving on a Navel ship during the Gulf War. The sight was spectacular and the public clamored for more; thus the Camden Daffodil Festival was born.
Over the years additional gardens have been added to the festival. The two day festival is held on the second week-end of each March. We offer garden tours, historic home tours, an antique quilt show, art show & sale, Civil War Re-enactors, Historic Oakland Cemetery Walk and arts and crafts. The event is concluded with our Annual Championship Steak Cook-off with celebrity judges and live entertainment.
The purpose of the Camden Daffodil Festival is to promote tourism in Camden and Ouachita County. This is done by showcasing our assets, such as our private daffodil gardens, our many beautiful historic homes and Civil War history, and our recently developed River Walk. The profits made from the festival are donated back into the community to further promote tourism and help sustain the McCollum-Chidester House Museum built in 1847.
The festival is made possible by the hard work of many local volunteers dedicated to helping our community promote its history and promote tourism in Ouachita County. There are several hundred people involved each year. There have been over 100,000 daffodil bulbs planted along our roadsides entering Camden. Our volunteers include our local garden clubs, master gardeners, retired teachers, and private citizens. These people bought the bulbs, and planted them.
Annual SAKC Dog Show - Held in February each year, the South Arkansas Kennel Club was formed in 1989 to promote the sport of purebred dogs and responsible dog ownership in South Arkansas. The kennel club held local non-sanctioned dog shows up until the year 2000 when the club was granted licensed status to hold sanctioned all-breed dog shows and obedience trials. The American Kennel Club estimates the annual dog shows brings in $75,000 per day to our community. Shows have an estimated attendance of 5,000-7,000 visitors annually and have had exhibitors representing as many as 31 states each year. The February 2010 Show expects to have a minimum of 900 dogs participating in the event.
All Hallows Eve Cemetery Walk - Held annually the 3rd week in October, this event is held at night in the historic Oakland Cemetery which was established in 1833. Costumed reenactors portray the characters of people buried in the cemetery during the 1800’s. Oakland was one of the first cemeteries in Camden, and it contains the graves of many members of pioneer families in this area. Many of the early monuments erected there were imported, and they are unique and irreplaceable. Approximately 350 people participate in the Walk during Halloween.
The Cemetery Walk is also held during the Daffodil Festival and is one of the main attractions of the festival.
Bargin' On The Ouachita - An annual river barge tour sponsored by the City of Camden, the Camden Area Chamber of Commerce and the Corp of Engineers. The tour is designed to promote a better understanding of the Ouachita-Black Navigation System among local citizenry -- and to have simply have a great time on a beautiful river. Each year during the Vicksburg District Corps' annual inspection of the Ouachita River, several river cities coordinate barge rides on Vickburg District Inspection Barge. Tours are open to the public and Camden's Bargin' on the Ouachita includes dinner, entertainment, and a brief discussion by the Corps about improvements, maintenance and future plans for the river. Teachers are encouraged to arrange for class tours of the barge during the day. This event has approximately 350 participants each year.
Juneteenth Celebration - An annual event celebrating the emancipation of slaves in the South. Event features many activities in the community and is participated in by approximately 400 people.
Unity Fest - A new event started in 2007 to celebrate Martin Luther King Day and designed to bring the community together. Event features many community activities, such as a parade, talent show, multicultural workshops, and comedy show. Approximately 500 people participate in this event annually.
Fourth of July Star Spangled Spectacular - Large fireworks display held each year at the Camden Airport and features music, activities, concessions and a large fireworks show. Approximately 1,200 people attend each year.
Summer Jam -A celebration for the Camden area which includes special events such as AAU basketball tournament, dog costume show, a Blues Concert, Rock concert, Gospel concert and a fishing derby. Approximately 500 people participate in this event.
RE Max Long Drive Golf Tournament - A long drive tournament that is part of a national event and is held at the Camden Country Club. Attracts golfers from all over Arkansas and out of state vying for this title. Activities include the RE Max hot air balloon rides. This event is attended by approximately 300 people.
Ouachita County Fair - Annual county fair attracting several thousand people enjoying the large carnival, the livestock shows and a show and contest for the county fares such as “best jellies” and best flower arrangements. The Ouachita County Extension Service holds a great agriculture show featruing the best produce grown in the county and contest and displays of best “everything” in the county. The fair runs for one week in September each year. Approximately 3,000 people attend this event annually.