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Tontitown celebrates 123rd Grape Festival

Tontitown's longstanding tradition of the Grape Festival is in full swing and there's fun for the whole family.

TONTITOWN, Ark. — Tontitown’s longest-standing tradition is underway this week, the 123rd annual Tontitown Grape Festival.

The event is held right off the St. Joseph’s Catholic Church campus and officially started Tuesday, Aug. 2. 

The festival started off with grape stomp competitions on Tuesday and Wednesday along with free entertainment, carnival rides and food trucks. On Thursday, Aug. 4, the arts and crafts fair will begin along with the kickoff of the highly anticipated spaghetti dinner.

Alice Walker with the Grape Festival says before social media, the event was a way for the community to reconnect before school started, and years later, it still is. 

While the festival has grown and a carnival has been added, it remains to be all about tradition.

"It’s just a great tradition for families. There’s not a lot of things you can do with a large family or even a family of four, you can come out and enjoy different things," Walker said. "There’s face painting, there’s t-shirts I mean there’s all kinds of things to do." 

One of the most famous traditions is the spaghetti dinner that they spend months preparing for.

“It’s fried chicken, where do you see fried chicken with spaghetti, salad, rolls," Walker said. “You would see great grandmothers and grandmothers and 5 and 6 year olds hanging pasta you know it’s probably one of the only places in Northwest Arkansas that you’ll see a line around the block to get into our spaghetti dinner."

The spaghetti dinner officially starts Thursday at 4:30 p.m. and will run through Saturday, Aug. 6. It's $12 for adults and $6 for kids.  

It’s also the last night for $25 armbands for carnival rides, after Thursday it’ll cost $30.

RELATED: Pasta preparations begin for the 123rd Tontitown Grape Festival

RELATED: Ozarks Home & Outdoor Recreation Expo presented by Channel 5 coming to NWA

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