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Events & Festivals

Daffodil Festival

Welcome spring in a south Arkansas town and see millions of daffodils spreading over many acres of four large daffodil gardens.See our stagecoach museum, winding river, antebellum homes lovingly restored, walk in our historic cemetery with costumed actors enchanting you with the real stories of early settlers who rest there. You can travel by vans from location to location and leave the driving and stories to us.

Held annually on the second week-end in March.

Click Here for more information.

Camden Barn Sale

It’s a Barn Raising Good Time

Each year thousands of people attend one of south Arkansas’ major tourist attractions, the Camden Barn Sale. 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 for more information.

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.

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 re-enactors 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.

 

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

This even began 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.

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.


Parks

Camden Parks are for Fun!

Camden’s parks are as unique and as diverse as any Parks System in the southwestern part of the county. The City of Camden has over 80 acres of parks, paved and natural walking trails, athletic fields, basketball courts, a swimming pool and a skate park, all of which provide something for everyone.

Camden’s parks are designed with you and your family in mind. You will find parks to fit every need, and equipped for all sorts of activities: picnicking, boating, swimming, tennis, soccer, softball, baseball and more. And you can enjoy all that Camden parks have to offer, free of charge! Camden parks are the perfect place for public events such as our summer concerts. Parks are also ideal for private gatherings, like birthday parties, holiday outings and family reunions. In July 2013, the City of Camden formally dedicated the new ¼ mile walking trail at Ivra Clark Park.

In partnership with the City Council and the Chamber of Commerce, the Parks and Recreation Department contributes to many city recreation programs, such as the Boys and Girls Club and league sports. It is all part of our commitment to improving the quality of life for the people of Camden, now and forever!

Camden Parks and Recreation…Come join the fun!

Park Rules

  • Park hours (all City of Camden parks): Daylight until 10:00 p.m.
  • Trash must be placed in proper receptacles
  • No alcoholic beverages are allowed in parks
  • No soliciting, vending or peddling
  • Motorized vehicles on paved roads only
  • Park in designated areas only
  • No disfiguration or removal of property
  • No fires except in fireplaces or grills
  • No hunting
  • No overnight camping
  • Observe City of Camden noise control regulations
  • Leash and clean up after pets

Parks and Recreation Reservations

Camden has gazebos and overlooks located in city parks that can be reserved for free (a nominal deposit may be required). All gazebos and overlooks are reserved on a first come-first-served basis beginning on January 1 of each calendar year.  Gazebos and overlooks are available for company get-togethers, family reunions, or just for a “day at the park.” Park amenities (including available electricity and water) are listed.

CARNES PARK

Carnes Park

Carnes Park is named after Jack Carnes (1896–1958) who was also known as Samuel Jacob Carnes.

Samuel Jacob (Jack) Carnes was the founder and owner of Camark Pottery, one of Arkansas’s premier art pottery companies. Camark pottery has become highly valuable to collectors and is featured in museums such as the Old Statehouse Museum and the Historic Arkansas Museum in Little Rock (Pulaski County).

Jack Carnes worked as an investment broker in both the oil and real estate fields and was active in the civic affairs of Camden and other areas. He was president of both the Camden Chamber of Commerce and the Camden Rotary Club, raised funds for the Camden Hotel (a public service), contributed heavily to the War Memorial Stadium, and donated the land for Camden’s Carnes Park, where the town’s first public swimming pool was built.

 

Carnes Park Aquatic Facility

Carnes Park Aquatic Facility is the only municipal pool operated in the City of Camden. Although the Aquatic Facility may be the only pool, it provides a wealth of atmosphere for your swimming experience. Tucked into one of Camden’s most popular parks, Carnes Park Pool is surrounded by shade trees and beautiful landscaping.  Activities offered, in addition to recreational swimming sessions, include popular water aerobic exercise and swim lessons. The pool is also available for private parties.

Memorial Day 2017, we also had the Grand Opening of our Carnes Park Splash Pad! Reminiscent of those days when we used to love to play under the sprinklers, this colorful sprinkler system provides cool refreshment on a hot summer day! There is no charge to play on the splash pad, but it CAN be reserved for parties!

Pool Hours

2017 Pool Hours – Tuesday through Sunday 12 till 6

Swim Lessons

Red Cross certified swimming lessons are available to children and adults of all skill levels. Classes are available for young children and high-level instructional lessons for more advanced swimmers. Swim lesson registration is handled at the pool office only.

Private Parties

The Carnes Park Aquatic Facility is available to rent for your next birthday, office, school, team, neighborhood or family party! The pool can be reserved for hours before or after normal pool hours. For example, hours are after 8:00 pm during the week or before 1:00 pm on Saturday. Rental fees depend on number of hours and number of guests.

For more information:

Call – (870) 837-5577

Amenities

  • BBQ Grills
  • Picnic Areas
  • Playground
  • Skate Park
  • Aquatic Facility
  • Splash Pad
  • Gazebo
  • Baseball Fields
  • Basketball Courts
  • Walking Trail
  • Restrooms
  • Community Building
  • “Planting a Seed” Summer Program for Children

Contact Info

(870) 837-5577 – Aquatic Facility

(870) 836-3369 – Fax

Carnes Park Road

Camden, AR 71701

FORT SUTHERLAND PARK

Fort Sutherland Park
Civil War Monument at Fort Sutherland Park.

Fort Sutherland (formerly known as Fort Diamond) and Fort Lookout were both part of the formidable fortifications started by Confederate troops and improved by Federal soldiers during their 1864 occupation of Camden. Fort Sutherland is accessible to the public and has picnic areas.

Amenities

  • Picnic Areas
  • Walking Trail
  • Playground

Contact Info

Office – (870) 836-6426
Fax – (870) 836-6400
Bradley Ferry Road
Camden, AR 71701

 

 

IVRA CLARK PARK

Ivra Clark ParkIvra Clark Park was named after Ivra Allen Clark. He was a graduate of Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tennessee in 1914.

Amenities

  • Picnic Areas
  • Playground
  • Baseball Fields
  • Tennis Courts
  • Basketball Courts
  • Community Building

 

CAMDEN RIVERFRONT

The River Front Park opened in 2005 and is expected to be a bright spot on the Camden economic horizon. Due to the proposed placement of the Interstate 69 corridor nearby it is anticipated that this will restore Camden’s historic role as a transportation hub.

Amenities

  • BBQ Grills
  • Picnic Areas
  • Boat Ramp
  • Docking Areas
  • River Walk
  • Fishing Spots
  • Amphitheater

 

SANDY BEACH PARK

Located on the Ouachita River in Camden, Sandy Beach sees plenty of activity during the summer months with its boat ramp, picnic areas, and a playground for the youngsters. For those with access to a boat, there are small sandy beaches to spend those hot summer days right on the Ouachita River.

Amenities

  • BBQ Grills
  • Picnic Areas
  • Playground
  • Gazebo
  • Overlook
  • Basketball Courts
  • Fishing Areas
  • Boat Ramp
  • Walking Trail
  • Restrooms

 

STINSON PARK

Amenities

  • Park Benches

Attractions

Here are just a few attractions Camden has to offer.

Camden’s mild climate and proximity to nearby lakes, (some of the best fishing spots in Arkansas), reservoirs, state parks, and the Ouachita River offer unlimited opportunities year-round for picnicking, boating, camping, hunting, and fishing.

Sandy Beach

Located on the Ouachita River in Camden, Sandy Beach sees plenty of activity during the summer months with its boat ramp, picnic areas, and a playground for the youngsters. For those with access to a boat, there are small sandy beaches to spend those hot summer days right on the Ouachita River.

White Oak Lake State Park

A short 22-mile drive from Camden, offers camping grounds, swimming areas, fishing, scenic nature trails, picnic areas, and a playground.

Click Here to Learn More

Hunting

Thousands of acres of land in and around Camden provide some of the best deer hunting in this part of the country. This paradise for sportsmen also boasts abundant quail, turkey, hog, squirrel, rabbit, and dove hunting. Many sportsmen from other areas travel to Camden just for the hunting seasons in our serene and abundant environment.

McCollum Chidester House Museum

One of the oldest houses in Camden today documents much of the unique history of Camden, Ouachita County, the State of Arkansas, and even the South. This house was constructed by slave labor in 1847; after a land grant was signed by President James K. Polk legal ownership of the property was transferred to Peter McCollum. McCollum had moved into Camden six years earlier to manage a mercantile business that was owned by his brother. Once the construction was completed, he lived in the house for almost sixteen years before it was sold to John T. Chidester in 1862 for the sum of $10,000 which was paid in gold.

Chidester and his wife, the former Leah Minerva Crocker, had furniture for their new home shipped to Camden from New Orleans. They also added two large rooms to the east and west wings of the home to accommodate their needs.

John Chidester subcontracted a part of the Memphis to Fort Smith stage route from John Butterfield in 1858. During that same year he began to operate the Chidester, Reeside, and Company as a four-horse stage line. The following year he established the Chidester, Rapley, and Company to operate stage lines in North Louisiana and South Arkansas. This company offered four-horse coaches capable of carrying nine passengers with connections to Gaines Landing, Washington, and Hot Springs, Arkansas and Trenton and Homer, Louisiana by way of Magnolia, Lewisville, Pine Bluff, Arkadelphia, and Antoine.

During the Civil War the house was used by Confederate General Sterling Price while Camden was the site of a large Southern military presence. Then, during the eleven-day occupation of Camden, Major General Frederick Steele used the house as an outpost during the Battle of Poison Springs.

The Chidester family owned the house until 1963, and during that time, three generations of children were born there. The Ouachita County Historical Society purchased the house in 1963 from Dan and Tom Lawrence Chidester.

Today, the Society operates the house as an historical museum with guided tours, and the house still contains many of the furniture items John Chidester purchased when he moved into it. Also, the McCollum-Chidester House serves the Society in its effort to preserve yesterday for tomorrow.

Approximately 2,500 people visit the McCollum-Chidester House annually.


Visitor Info

Camden welcomes visitors and we want to make sure you have the best experience possible. Please review the materials provided below to help you plan a great trip to the Camden Area! Some of the historic homes on Washington St and the vicinity are available for tours by appointment.

[Link to Visitor Information Packets]


Lodging

Americas Best Value Inn 

942 S. Adams Ave.
Camden, AR 71701

(P) 870.836.2535

Comfort Inn 

1 Ridgecrest Drive
Camden, AR 71701

(P) 870.836.9000

Holiday Inn Express 

1450 US Hwy 278 West
Camden, AR 71701

(P) 870.836.8100

MINI PARKS

Madison-Clifton Mini-Park

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[Park Photo]

Van Buren Mini-Park

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[Park Photo]

Washington Adams Mini-Park

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