Whether you strap on ruby red shoes or put on your prettiest pink, there is no shortage of events and causes to attend in the month of October.
• Red Shoe Shindig
The first weekend of the month will kick off with the third annual Red Shoe Shindig on Oct. 4. Benefitting the Ronald McDonald Family Room at Mercy, this year's event is all about the "Roaring Twenties."
The evening will begin at 6 p.m. with cocktails and photo booth fun in the "Red Shoe Speakeasy." Dinner will follow, along with a short program, then music and dancing.
Ronald McDonald Family Room supporters Michael and Michelle Hadley will also be honored at the shindig with the Lily Pruitt Award. Named in memory of infant Lillian Paige Pruitt, the award honors an individual or group whose work has touched the families who stay in the Ronald McDonald Family Room.
The Red Shoe Shindig will be held at Hardscrabble Country Club. All proceeds go to the RMFR in Fort Smith, which provides a place for families to stay within Mercy while their newborns or children are hospitalized.
Individual tickets can be purchased online for $125. Corporate tables are also available.
• Paint the Park Pink
Supporters in the River Valley will celebrate Breast Cancer Awareness Month with the seventh annual Paint the Park Pink on Oct. 5. This year's event will be held at the University of Arkansas at Fort Smith.
The morning's festivities will begin with a Survivor's Breakfast at 8 a.m., where local breast cancer survivors and their co-survivors will be honored. It will held in the UAFS Reynolds Room located in the Smith Pendegraft Building. The honorees will then take part in a Survivor's Parade, followed by the "Family Fun Walk" at 10 a.m.
The walk will begin at the UAFS Bell Tower and will extend approximately one mile around the university's campus. At the finish line, participants will be treated to live music, as well as games and a children's area.
Following the walk, the Lady Lions will play in the "Dig Pink" Volleyball match against opponent St. Edward's University. The game will begin at noon in the Stubblefield Center.
Proceeds from Paint the Park Pink benefit the Ozark affiliate of the Susan G. Komen Foundation, which supports breast cancer research, education, screening and treatment for underserved women and their families in the Fort Smith area and Northwest Arkansas.
• Fort Smith Symphony 90th Anniversary Gala
The Fort Smith Symphony will kick off the season by celebrating a major milestone – its 90th anniversary. The opening concert promises to recognize "through music both the legacy of the Fort Smith Symphony’s past and its bright outlook for the future."
The "Celebration Season" opener will include the debut of a specially commissioned piece entitled Borderline by local composter Charles Booker. Borderline celebrates the city's rich history and pays tribute to the symphony's presence in Fort Smith over the last 90 years.
Pianist Alan Chow will also play Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 3, op. 37 in C minor. The concert will close with a thrilling performance of the Second Symphony by Russian composer Sergei Rachmaninoff.
Evening festivities will also include a pre-concert dinner and reception, where guests will be entertained by a string quartet and harpist. Nationally acclaimed opera singer Rebecca Shorstein, most recently featured in the New York Lyric Opera, will also perform.
In honor of the Symphony's anniversary, Newton's Jewelers has designed a commemorative diamond and sapphire-encrusted pendant that will be donated for auction. Attendees can purchase tickets for a chance to win the piece, with all proceeds benefitting the symphony.
The dinner, reception and concert will all be held at the Arkansas Best Performing Arts Center in Fort Smith. Tickets can be purchased by calling 425-7575.
• Biggest Buck Best Rack Competition
A to Z in Alma will host the Biggest Buck & Best Rack Competition on Oct. 5, followed by a free concert featuring The Swon Brothers and Kristen Kelley.
Members of the Kansas City BBQ Society will be on hand grilling up their best dishes. For $5, individuals can sample BBQ from the numerous competitors. Winners will be selected in four categories; chicken, pork ribs, pork, and beef brisket. A Grand Champion and Reserve Grand Champion will also be named.
A Kids Zone will be open all day and with blowup games and activities. There will also be a talent show, as well as a "Best Beard" and "Tobacco Spitting" Contest. Several local non-profits will also be on hand selling treats and drinks.
A to Z is located at 3625 North U.S. 71 in Alma. Activities will begin at 8 a.m. and last throughout the day. The stores will close at 6 p.m. and the featured acts will take the stage later that evening.
For more information, call Brad Trent at (479) 632-2656.
• 50th Annual Wiederkehr Winefest
Wiederkehr's Winefest is turning 50 and the winery is celebrating its golden anniversary with a day full of tours, food, dancing and of course, grape stomping.
Activities will be held throughout the day, beginning with tours of the historic wine cellars starting at 8:30 am. Visitors will be able to hitch a ride on one of the open trams to take a trip through the Wiederkehr vineyards.
Authentic German food will be served at Wiedekehr's legendary Weinkeller Restaurant located on the winery grounds. Those looking for other International faire can hit up one of the numerous food other concessions that will also be set up at the festival.
Polka-enthusiasts will have the chance to throw on their dancing shoes and enjoy traditional German music, which will be provided during the Festival Banquet. The banquet will last from 2 to 7 pm and will include Weinkeller's famous spaghetti and Back Hendel Vienna (a chicken specialty) with salad and bread.
The always-popular grape stomping championship will be held in the afternoon, along with the "Stein Stemmen" stone toss contest and the "Baum Stossen" log toss competition.
Wine tasting is free, as is entrance into the festival. Tickets for the festival banquet can be purchased upon arrival.
For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 479-468-WINE.