Fort Smith area gears up for Stuff the Bus and a Grape Festival

Summer is in full swing, meaning it is time to help Stuff the Bus, figure out "Who's Got Game" at The First Tee, and throwback a glass at the annual Altus Grape Festival or Fort Smith's Ale on the Border. It's a good month when golf, wine and beer are on the schedule.

• Stuff the Bus
The first day of school may be a few weeks away, but United Way of Fort Smith Area is helping families in need get ready with its annual Stuff the Bus school supply drive. Buses ready to be "stuffed" with supplies will be parked at Walmart locations throughout the Fort Smith Region on July 18 and 19, with volunteers on-hand to collect donations from shoppers.

Participating Walmart locations include the Fort Smith stores on Kelley Hwy., Rogers Ave. and Zero St.,  as well as stores in Alma, Bonneville, Greenwood, Ozark, Paris, Poteau, Sallisaw and Van Buren. The drive will be held from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Friday and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

All donations will benefit area districts and students. For more information, call 782-1311.


• "Who's Got Game?" Summer Scramble
The First Tee of Fort Smith will combine its annual "Pink Ladies" and "Boyz of the Tee" Tournaments into one premier tournament, the "Who's Got Game? Summer Scramble" on July 19.

Teams will consist of one youth, under the age of 18, and one adult. Registration will begin at 8 a.m., with a shotgun start at 8:30 a.m. There will be four flights, based on youth's age. Awards will be presented to the top team in each flight. All participants will receive a goody bag and t-shirt.

The tournament will be held at First Tee, located at 5800 Geren Road. Cost is $20 per pre-registered player. Day-of registration will be $25. All proceeds benefit The First Tee of Fort Smith. For more information, call 648-9833.

• Altus Grape Festival
Arkansas' premier wine country will play host to the 31st annual Altus Grape Festival on  July 25-26. Festivities will include favorites such as grape stomping, arts and crafts, food, wine sampling and much more.

The festival will kick off on Friday (July 25) evening at 5 p.m. and continue until 11 p.m. It will be open on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. The grape stomping competition will be held both days, with the amateur wine making competition to be held Saturday only. Arts and crafts vendors from throughout the region will be on-hand, along with delicious food and wine sampling stations.

Grape Fest will be held at Altus City Park, located at the junction of State Highways 186 and 64. Admission is free.  For more information, call 518-1963.

• Ale on the Border
Locals will have the chance to sample more than 100 beer varieties at  Ale on the Border on July 26. Hosted at Harry E. Kelley Park in Fort Smith, the event will feature micro and home brew selections, as well as live music on the Riverfront.

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The event will be held from 6 to 9 p.m.  Admission is $10. Guests must be 21 years old or older. All proceeds benefit the Antioch District Association for Youth and Family Services.

For more information, call 648-8885.

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