Fort Smith Bicentennial Celebration


Our rich culture of arts and history is a huge influence within our community. During these months, we will focus on bringing life to artifacts and exhibits that make up our past, present, and future. We will also focus on uncovering new artists and talents based right here in Fort Smith. During these months outstanding musical performances as well as art shows and more!


Western Heritage is in our blood. During these months, we will be celebrating what truly makes us the Top True Western Town. Everything you would expect, and more!

APRIL 2018 – Civil War Period

Month long events:

*Three lectures; one on events leading to Arkansas secession and the other two on major battles in and around Fort Smith.

*Two re-enactments featuring different accepts during the Civil War affecting Fort Smith.

* One period dance

The month of April 2018 will focus on the Civil War period in Fort Smith. There will be three different presentations given by three local academic experts covering the events in Arkansas leading up to succession and its effects on Fort Smith, the Battle of Backbone Mountain, and the Battle of Mazzard Prairie. There will be two days of living history events with local re-enactors portraying actual people living in Fort Smith during the war telling their stories adapted from primary sources. Then lastly, there will be a Civil War Ball featuring The Camp Followers Band who will teach four period dances. Everyone is encouraged to wear period dresses and Union or Confederate uniforms or come as you are.

One-time events;

April 5:    Lecture in the evening from 6-8pm by Bill Higgins will discuss events leading to Arkansas Succession at Fort Smith National Historic Site in the Frisco Station building. Will be book signing at end of presentation. Free of charge.

April 7:  Candlelight tour:  Six vignettes covering succession to Union occupation of Fort Smith featuring local re-enactors portraying Fort Smith residents who lived during the Confederate and Union occupation of Fort Smith held at the National Historic site parade grounds. The event runs from  6pm to 8:30pm. Every 30 minutes a group will be led by a guide to the stations. We will keep groups to 25 if possible. Last tour will start at around 8:00pm. $7 per person.

April 12: Lecture by Col. Tom Waller on the Battle of Devil’s Backbone in the evening 6-8pm at the Frisco Station. Free

April 14: 19th Century Living History Ball at the Fort Smith Museum of History with Camp Follower band from 7-9pm. It is encourage to dress in 19th Century attire of your liking or come as you are. $10 per person.

April 21:  Recreation of one of the Union General Hospitals at the Clayton House from 10:30am to 4pm. Special  presentations by Doug Kidd. Kids activities included.

April 28: Lecture on the Battle of Mazzard Prairie by Cody Faber at the Fort Smith Museum of History. from 7-9pm.


During these months, we will be focusing on “Homecoming.” We are encouraging those who have a rich family heritage in Fort Smith to plan family reunions and get-togethers. Those who were born here, raised here, or currently live elsewhere are encouraged to come back home to appreciate all Fort Smith has to offer.


We love where we’ve been and where we are. It’s easy to focus on who we were, but during these months we will be focusing on where we are going. We will explore what the future holds for you and our great community.