Kimberly J. Williams, travel writer
Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism
Thanksgiving may be all about the turkey… but the day AFTER Thanksgiving, in the Arkansas Delta, it’s all about the duck! Stuttgart welcomes thousands to the annual World’s Championship Duck Calling Contest and Wings Over the Prairie Festival, which celebrates 82 years in 2017. The festival officially kicks off on Friday, Nov. 24, but related events will be held throughout the week. You can see the full schedule of events here.
The festival is one of the most well known in Arkansas. Visitors from around the region “flock” to Stuttgart for the event. There’s literally something for everyone, ranging from the duck calling contests to the carnival midway to the World Championship Duck Gumbo Cook-off. There’s also the outdoor exhibits, an arts and craft fair and the Great 5K/10K Duck Race.
The carnival and midway officially open at 3 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 22. On Thanksgiving Day, the midway also opens at 3 p.m. Armbands for the midway will be available for purchase from 5 to 9 p.m. on Wednesday and Thursday.
Friday, Nov. 24, is chock-full of exciting events and activities. The exhibits, midway, arts and crafts fair, and the sporting collectibles show open at 10 a.m. The 2nd annual Trap Shoot Competition, held at Mack’s Prairie Wings, also begins at 10 a.m. At 11 a.m, it’s the Chick and Sophie Major Memorial Duck Calling Contest; at noon, the Arkansas State Qualifying Duck Calling Contest (Arkansas residents only); at 2 p.m., it’s the Intermediate World’s Championship Duck Calling Contest; and 3:30 p.m. is the Last Chance Regional Duck Calling Contest.
On Saturday, Nov. 25, it’s the Great 5K/10K Duck Race beginning at 8 a.m. The exhibits, booths, carnival and the sporting collectibles show open at 9 a.m. The duck calling contests begin at 9 a.m. from the main stage. The World Championship Duck Gumbo Cook-off begins at 11 a.m. The carnival and midway opens at noon, and the 82nd annual World’s Championship Duck Calling Contest begins at 2 p.m.
To find out more, visit the World’s Championship Duck Calling Contest and Wings Over the Prairie Festival Facebook page here or log on to www.stuttgartarkansas.org/duck-festival/index.aspx.