If you’re getting itchy feet and know an RV adventure is in the cards, then let it be to the Old Fort Days Rodeo in Fort Smith, Arkansas. The Old Fort Days Rodeo at Harper Stadium has been an integral part of the area’s history since it became a city and has continued to bring thousands of visitors since the early 1930s.
While there aren’t any RV camping opportunities at the stadium, that doesn’t stop motorhome enthusiasts from choosing this rodeo as their vacation destination. There’s saddle bronc riding, calf roping, barrel racing, bareback riding, and more.
Visitors can also experience free entertainment on the Old Fort Days Stage, a rodeo parade complete with a rodeo clown, a Super Kids rodeo, and a salute to veterans. There is plenty to keep you enthralled and amazed.
After six days of rodeo action, you’ll be pleased to take a break and see what else the area has to offer. Fort Smith is proximate to the beautiful Ozark National Forest and is also home to the Fort Smith Trolley Museum, National Historic Site, and Parrot Island Waterpark. There is plenty to do to keep the whole family entertained.
Take a break, dust off your RV, and set off on an adventure of a lifetime.
A range of ticket choices is available for those looking to attend the Old Fort Days Rodeo. You can buy these in advance online, at the gate, or by phone. If you’re the early bird and buy online, you may be able to save money on your purchase. In the past, tickets on the day for adults were around $15, and children were under $10. You can also purchase VIP packages with various perks to appeal to the rodeo enthusiast.
Fort Smith is nestled between the Ozark and Ouachita National Forests on the Arkansas-Oklahoma border. It’s central to both the Arkansas and Poteau River and is under 200 miles from the heart of Oklahoma City. This well-appointed city is not only central to all life’s necessities, but is easily accessible from I-40, I-540, and other minor highways. As the rodeo happens during spring and summer, you are likely to experience a pleasant drive.
However, to be on the safe side, download a traffic app such as IDrive to stay up to date with changing weather, delays, and construction. When you reach Fort Smith, Old Fort Days Rodeo is centrally located at 4400 Midland Blvd.
There are over 1,000 available parking spaces at Harper Stadium. However, due to the number of people who attend the night rodeos, RVs and oversized vehicles may not be welcome. If that’s the case, consider parking at your accommodation and making use of public transportation or bringing a tow vehicle to get you to and from the stadium daily.
While there are no dedicated shuttles or travel services in operation for Old Fort Days Rodeo, that doesn’t mean you’ll have to walk to the rodeo from your campsite. Once you park and organize your site, you can arrange for a taxi or rideshare service to deliver you to the venue then return you home again.
Onsite camping is only available in the vicinity of Harper Stadium when there are no events scheduled. Therefore, RV-goers and motorhome enthusiasts will have to look elsewhere for somewhere to camp during the Old Fort Days Rodeo. Fort Smith is full of different campground options, including those for off-the-grid camping. You can plan to bring a tow vehicle, if you have a larger setup, or arrange public transportation from your location to the stadium.
Within a 20-mile radius of Harper Stadium, RV-goers can enjoy an expansive range of campgrounds and RV resorts that more than satisfy your requirements. Even as close as four miles from the rodeo, there’s a high-quality facility that’s surely in hot demand. To avoid missing out on your first pick, make sure you book weeks in advance.
The Old Fort Days Rodeo is held at a well-planned facility with 9,000 seats. Even though it covers a fairly sizeable area, it won’t require the use of motorized transportation. You can easily navigate this site on foot and take breaks in many of the seating areas when you require them.
When you’re packing for an RV trip to Old Fort Days Rodeo, it’s a good idea to take clothing that’s suitable for all four seasons. While the days are generally hot in Fort Smith, many of the rodeo events occur at night. Therefore, you may require long sleeves and pants paired with your best cowboy boots. Sleeves and pants are also helpful against mosquitos as evening sets. It also wouldn’t hurt to pack a few extra blankets in case the nights turn cold, especially in the spring.
When it comes to planning what gear you take to Old Fort Days Rodeo, it pays to think about what’s going to be most comfortable and convenient for you. The more you take, the longer you may remain in the security screening process. Bring your wallet with cash and a credit card, any medication you require, and your admission tickets. Consider leaving your camping and cooking equipment, and everything else back in your locked RV.
For your visit to Old Fort Days Rodeo, and even while you’re on the road to Fort Smith, always be conscious of your health and safety. Carry sunscreen and sun supplies for use during the day, and pack a first aid kit and medical supplies in your RV for an emergency. You never know what you may come across on your vacation.
It’s natural to have a hankering for loaded potatoes, toasted marshmallows, and hot dogs while you’re camping, but check before you light a fire. Campfires and charcoal grills may not be permitted at every campground, so it’s always best to ask. You can, however, make full use of your onboard RV kitchen appliances. If you’re short on supplies while in Fort Smith, there are plenty of supplies along the city’s main streets.
Even though there’s a lot of delicious offerings at Harper Stadium, the City of Fort Smith has plenty to offer as well. Follow Midland Boulevard from Old Fort Days Rodeo to find a range of fast food outlets and privately owned dining establishments. Allow extra time for service and plan to enjoy a delicious evening out with your crew of rodeo fans.
The grandstands overlooking the rodeo performances are certainly impressive, but so is the food at the Old Fort Days Rodeo. Leave any soggy sandwiches back in your RV and load up on delicious vendor offerings. Make sure you bring both cash and a credit card, so you have the means to buy what stands out the most to your taste buds. There’s plenty from which to choose at this family-friendly event.
With thousands of people descending on Harper Stadium for the rodeo, it makes sense for security to be in place. There will be personnel on each entrance to usher visitors through the gates. You can speed up this process by providing access to any bags you bring in, or by traveling light. Remember to share a smile and thank the security officials for keeping everyone safe.
Even though spring is slowly turning to summer for the Old Fort Days Rodeo, you can still expect some scorching hot temperatures. Days in May and June average around 82 to 84 degrees. Nighttime temperatures in Fort Smith, however, can drop to around 50. Bring a few extra blankets in your rig just in case.
If you suffer from a minor injury while at the rodeo, don’t be afraid to approach an official. There is a first aid facility on site with trained medical staff to help with most minor injuries. For anything more serious, dial 9-11. You can also head to the nearest medical center which is three miles from Harper Stadium.