BENTONVILLE, Ark., June 22, 2023 – Registration is open now for active military, veterans, first responders, and their families to take part in events and activities at the inaugural Honor Fest on July 10-16, 2023, in Bentonville, Arkansas.
Honor Fest is a week-long festival filled with a wide variety of unique and interactive activities and entertainment for the military and first-responder communities.
- Workforce and Entrepreneurship Training with Walmart and Sam’s Club
- Networking Expo and IdeaFame Elevator Pitch Contest
- Job Seeker Engagement
- Unique opportunities to enjoy outdoor recreation in Bentonville
Many events are free and several offer discounts for active military, veterans, first responders and their families. Registration and event details are available at www.visitbentonville.com/events/honor-fest.
Honor Fest 2023 is presented by The University of Health and Performance. Based in Gentry, UHP is a U.S. military veteran-owned and operated organization that focuses on preparing individuals for health and fitness education careers through courses that include certified personal training and integrated health coaching. The institute was named as a partner by the Department of Labor Vets for its role in supporting workforce development for veterans. The programs not only offer training, but guarantee employment placement for vets.
UHP founder Matt Hesse said in a recent interview on the “A New American Town” podcast that the culture in Bentonville epitomizes servant leadership, which is integral to a life in the military, as a first-responder, or as a military family.
“This is such a family-friendly community with a heart for service,” Hesse said. “There are a lot of veterans who live in this town and Walmart is one of the biggest [employers] of veterans, as well as J.B. Hunt and Tyson. When you collect these things together, you’ve got a community that is, I think, driven to serve in general.”
You can listen to the full podcast interview here.
- Monday–Tuesday, July 10–11:
- 8–11 a.m. Memorial Park Wall Beautification Service Project: A community service gardening project presented by Sheep Dog Impact Assistance.
- Wednesday, July 12:
- 8 a.m.–3 p.m. Workforce & Entrepreneurship Development with Walmart and Sam’s Club (Guest Speakers): Walmart/Sam’s Club in partnership with Start Up Junkie Consulting will be presenting a variety of educational sessions tailored toward entrepreneurs and small business owners.
- 4–9 p.m. Networking Expo & IdeaFame Elevator Pitch Contest: An opportunity for veteran and first responder entrepreneurs to showcase their ideas to businesses, industry leaders, and Northwest Arkansas locals.
- 6:30–8:30 p.m. “MVP” Movie Screening with Nate Boyer at Skylight Cinema: A special movie screening of MVP (2022) with actor/producer Nate Boyer. Presented by Merging Vets and Players. Tickets required, $20 per person.
- Thursday, July 13:
- 7–7:45 a.m. Circle of Remembrance and 5k Run/Walk: A Circle of Remembrance followed by a 5K Run/Walk honoring the service and sacrifice of fallen American military heroes. Presented by wear blue: run to remember. Free, registration requested.
- 8:30 a.m.–3:30 p.m. Continuation of Wednesday's Workforce & Entrepreneurship Development with Walmart and Sam’s Club (Guest Speakers)
- 4–6 p.m. Job Seeker Engagement: An educational opportunity for active military, Guard & Reserve, and military spouses in search of jobs to learn more about job-seeking skills and consult with subject matter experts.
- Friday, July 14:
- 12–1 p.m. Enlistment Ceremony at Thaden Field
- 1–5 p.m. Aircraft Haul at Thaden Field: A fun competition to see which team can pull a plane the fastest. The competition is open for public viewing, but registration is required for teams to compete. Presented by Sheep Dog Impact Assistance.
- 3–7 p.m. Family Fun Area at Osage Park: Enjoy family-friendly activities like bounce houses, food trucks, fishing, community resource booths, touch-a-truck, and the playground at Osage Park in the Family Fun Zone. Presented by REBoot Recovery. Free event. Register for the Pond Hopper Nation fishing event Register for the Pond Hopper Nation fishing event on Friday here.
- Saturday, July 15:
- 7:30 a.m.–1 p.m. Bentonville Farmers Market: The Bentonville Farmers Market includes a fresh selection of local fruits, veggies, meats, cheeses, crafts, and more. Presented by Downtown Bentonville, Inc.
- 8 a.m.–4 p.m. Take a Mountain Bike Ride with The Dirt Therapy Project: This group ride led by Dirt Therapy will take you on some of the most popular trails in Bentonville. Please bring your own bike and helmet. Presented by Dirt Therapy. Join the ride for free, no registration required. Liability Waiver
- Meet up locations:
- 8–11 a.m.: Coler Mountain Bike Preserve at Grove Parking Lot
- 1–4 p.m.: Slaughter Pen Bike Trails at NW A Street Parking Lot
- 10 a.m.–3 p.m. Family Fun Area at Osage Park: Enjoy family-friendly activities like bounce houses, food trucks, fishing, a kid's NERF competition, community resource booths, touch-a-truck, and the playground at Osage Park in the Family Fun Zone. Presented by REBoot Recovery. Free event. Register for the Pond Hopper Nation fishing event on Saturday here. Register for the NERF competition.
- 8 p.m. Live Music at The Momentary: Grammy Award-winning country artists Brothers Osborne will take the stage at The Momentary. This dynamic duo’s boundary-breaking country songs have always mixed the twang of southern music with the groove and guitar-driven swagger of rock & roll. Tickets are $49.50 or $39.50 for active military and veterans. Purchase at The Momentary website here.
- Sunday, July 16:
- 6–10 a.m. 21-Mile Salute Ruck at Osage Park: Camp Alliance Inc.’s 21-mile Salute memorial event offering remembrance to those who have fallen on the battlefield and recognizing the sacrifices of Gold Star family members. Registration is available at www.21milesalute.com/greenway
Presenting Sponsor: The University of Health and Performance.
Powered by Walmart, Honor Fest is being organized by the City of Bentonville,, J.B. Hunt, Tyson Foods, Inc., Camp Alliance, Sheep Dog Impact Assistance, Merging Vets and Players, REBoot Recovery, The Dirt Therapy Project, Pond Hopper Nation, wear blue, Startup Junkie and Visit Bentonville.