Since 1992, the Atkins Picklefest has been a highlight on the calendars of locals and visitors alike. While pickles are a household staple for many families, their popularity is not the reason the Pope County city of Atkins, Arkansas celebrates them.
In 1945, Goldsmith Pickle Company invested a significant sum of money in building a pickle plant in Atkins. The townspeople raised even more to both build and equip the plant. It then sustained the local economy for over 50 years.
As a way to thank Goldsmith Pickle Company and honor the humble pickle’s significance, the People for a Better Atkins (PBA) committee got together and decided a pickle festival would be fitting.
Now, celebrations take place over two days in spring in downtown Atkins. In the vicinity of Northeast 1st Street at North Church Street, you can find pickle eating and pickle juice drinking competitions, tractor pulls, talent shows, family activities, arts and crafts, and more. There has even been a rodeo in past years.
The Atkins Picklefest is held annually on the third weekend of every May. If you’re looking for somewhere exciting to travel in your RV, then this small city in Arkansas may be the ticket.
In the past, visitors to Atkins have been able to visit Atkins Picklefest without having to purchase a ticket. Volunteers run the event, and it’s all in the name of celebration and fun. However, you can view updated information on schedules and ticketing on the organizer’s website. Some activities and competitions within the event may cost extra.
Atkins Picklefest is in the heart of Atkins, which runs alongside U.S. Highway 64 and Interstate 40. Whichever direction you’re traveling from, you’re sure to find the roads are well signposted and easy to navigate.
Temperatures are also historically in the high 80s, which means you’re unlikely to strike adverse weather conditions on your travels. If you want peace of mind and updated travel information, then consider downloading Arkansas traffic apps such as IDrive or ArDOT. You can then remain up to date with traffic, any delays, and construction information. Upon arriving in Atkins, the Atkins Picklefest runs one street back and parallel from E. Main Street.
Atkins Picklefest is held in downtown Atkins, which might make parking tricky for an RV traveler. While local businesses might open their doors for visitors to park in their lots, these spaces may have dimension limitations. The best thing you can do is take a quick drive around Atkins and see if you can find a large enough parking spot before the event kicks off. Otherwise, park at your accommodation and arrange transport from there.
The small size of Atkins means there are limited public transportation options. If you need to navigate the township, you will need to use your RV or tow vehicle or perhaps download a private ride service app to book a ride. The latter may be convenient if your accommodation is not within walking distance of Atkins Picklefest.
Atkins Picklefest is held on the city streets, which means there are no options for onsite camping. Before the event kicks off, you will need to book at your preferred RV resort and make travel arrangements to get to the festival. Fortunately, there are plenty of RV-friendly accommodation providers near Atkins.
From Woolly Hollow State Park to Cove Lake Recreation Area; you’re not short of camping options in the vicinity of Atkins. However, many of the available campgrounds are within half an hour to an hour’s drive away from the center of Atkins. Book in advance to get your first pick and keep in mind that you may need to travel quite a distance to get to the festival over both days.
Atkins Picklefest packs a lot into a small area, which means you may not have trouble navigating the area on foot. What’s more, it’s on an asphalt and gravel surface to make it easier to walk on in comfortable footwear. There may be no need for bikes, scooters, or golf carts.
In the past, Atkins has often turned on the weather so that the sun’s shining throughout May. You’ll need to pack light, breathable layers, comfortable footwear, and shorts and t-shirts to achieve that beautiful sun-kissed look. If historical weather patterns are anything to go by, there’ll be no need for a rain jacket.
Atkins Picklefest is a low key event with no significant rules and regulations. You can bring a light backpack with cash, credit, and plenty of space for pickle-related purchases. When it comes to camping, prepare to camp off the grid just in case. Bring all your camping and cooking gear.
With scorching hot temperatures fairly common at the festival, it pays to be sun smart. Pack sunscreen, plenty of water, sunglasses, a hat, and even bug spray. Make sure you also have all your medical supplies, prescriptions, and toiletries for the number of days you will be away from home. A first aid kit tucked away in your RV wouldn’t hurt either.
Rules for cooking at different accommodation providers can vary. Bring along your barbeque, but make sure you ask permission before you use it. You can, however, use your onboard RV kitchen appliances.
The conservative size of Atkins means any groceries you require are never too far away from the festival site. There’s a fresh food market within a half-mile walk of the festival and prepared foods across the road from it.
If you tire of pickle-related food at the festival, then a trip into the heart of Atkins is in order. Here, you’ll find many privately owned cafes and restaurants, and a few chain stores as well. You’ll never go hungry in Atkins when you know where to look. Much of what you require is within walking distance of Atkins Picklefest.
From fried pickles and pickle juice, through to all manner of pickle-themed goods, you won’t go hungry at Picklefest. Even non-pickle lovers will want to try at least one pickle-related snack though to complete the trip. It would also help to have both cash and credit in case visiting vendors prefer one or the other. There will also be plenty of arts and crafts for sale as well.
Atkins Police Department is a mere three-minute walk from the event site, so you’ll likely see them patrolling the area to make sure everyone is having a good time. If you require any assistance, you can visit the department or approach an officer or festival official. Security screening may be required upon entry to the venue.
Even though much of the country battles spring weather changes, Atkins has often skipped some of the extremes. Instead, Picklefest visitors might be treated to consistent temperatures in the high 80s. Even at night, past temperatures can remain between 50 and 60. While there’s no harm in bringing extra blankets just in case, you may not need them.
A pickle-related injury is likely to be rare, but you never know; approach an official at the festival for help with any accidents or injuries. For anything more serious, dial 9-11 or make your way to the nearest medical facility in town. There is a pharmacy in Atkins around one mile away from the Picklefest.