Thousands of people descended down War Eagle Road into a small valley filled with the smell of fresh kettle corn, indian tacos, and funnel cakes in search of arts and crafts.
For many, attending the War Eagle Mill Craft Fair is steeped in tradition. It's about meeting up with friends, old and new, as they browse items that can not be found in department stores and purchase new treasures.
Bethany Simpson of Centerton attended the fair with her girls, Kinley, 7, and Lexi, 2. She makes certain to take home fresh soup mixes and bread from the War Eagle Mill each year.
"I like all of the handmade crafts and the girly stuff," Simpson said as Kinley picked out bracelets and hair bows.
Ashley Moldovan of Emporia, Kansas and her friend Angie Lendo of Lebo, Kansas travel to the fair each fall.
"It's a good get away for us," Moldovan said. "It's just a lot of fun."
The War Eagle Mill Craft Fair is the “granddaddy” of craft fairs and has been coordinated by Barb Lile for 15 years. They still require handmade items despite many craft fairs allowing manufactured items. She said the Internet, including sites like Pinterest and Etsy, have enhanced the process of finding a wide variety of vendors.
“It’s easier to actually locate people,” she said.
The people attending War Eagle can also locate food. The War Eagle Mill Bean Palace Restaurant on the third floor of the Mill opens for breakfast featuring War Eagle biscuits and gravy, eggs and sausage and giant cinnamon rolls during the fair.
For lunch, the traditional special is War Eagle beans and cornbread. The cornmeal at the restaurant is ground on a 150-year old stone buhr mill on the first floor of the mill.
Link here for an indepth story on the craft fair industry in Northwest Arkansas.