Goodbye, summer! School’s back in session, but that’s not the only way you can tell that autumn is on its way to Arkansas. People from around here practice certain habits, participate in certain local cultural traditions, and wear certain things that let you know that fall is on its way to (if not already in full swing throughout) the Natural State.
9. Pants, skirts, sleeves, and hair get longer
You can't quite tell it by the September weather in Arkansas, but just give it a few weeks. Once October hits, it hits hard weather-wise, and any Natural State native with sensitive sinuses can tell you so. That's when people start exchanging cargo shorts for their favorite jeans and wearing a warm sweater or jacket over the everyday t-shirt.
8. Kids Start Watching Their Behavior
The practice of using print catalogs to mark off your holiday wish list may be out of style these days, but kids will (almost) always improve their manners as fall approaches and Christmas gets closer. Not only is a holiday and the promise of gifts a reminder that kids should stay well behaved, but now that school is back in and the first report card is sent home in October, many Arkansas kids go from having spent a wild summer back to walking the straight and narrow path pretty quickly.
7. Thanksgiving And Christmas Decorations Are Forced Upon You
It's not strange to see Christmas decorations an aisle away from the scattered Halloween assortments at local Arkansas stores these days...in mid-September. There used to be a time when merchants set up displays according to the holiday's month of October, November, or December - many smaller shops still practice this style - but many department stores have started bundling the holiday season into one big package that sets itself up at the beginning of autumn.
6. Endless Cornucopias of Cornucopia
It's beautiful to see a homemade cornucopia on a Sunday dinner table - but does nearly every household around the Natural State need to have one of these on display from September until January? Whether it's on a table or in a magazine, the cornucopia has become a months-long reminder to everyone who visits that the holiday season is either around the corner, upon us, or has just ended.
5. Halloween Costume Displays At Stores
Once the aisles of your local Walmart start getting cluttered with masks or stray bags of candy that have lost their place on the shelves, you really know fall has arrived in Arkansas. Halloween costumes are popping up in chain stores as soon as the end of August, heralding the end of the back to school shopping season.
4. Fayetteville, Conway, and Jonesboro Traffic Gets Annoying
An Arkansas Autumn dawn is beautiful, but trying to navigate morning traffic in college towns can get frustrating. Not only are residents re-adjusting to the influx of students biking or driving to their classes again, but campus construction is always an ongoing activity at these institutions and your work route can often take a few detours because of road and lane closings or other obstructions.
3. Sunday Dinner Menus Get Elaborate
When the weather cools down, whipping up delicious dishes in the kitchen doesn't seem like such a daunting task. Many Arkansans still sit down to weekly dinners with family members, and fall is the time of year many cooks start preparing for the holidays by adding more and more to the menu.
2. Footballs, Footballs Everywhere
Much to the chagrin of school teachers who have to confiscate footballs during class time, it's that time of year again around Arkansas schools. Football fever arrives soon after school starts back, and sports fans enjoy making trips to watch the Hogs play on crisp fall weekends or even to watch their kids look like future stars on Friday nights at the home and away games.
1. Fair Anticipation
The Arkansas State Fair will take place from October 9-16 this year in Little Rock, and the annual attraction draws a big crowd every year to celebrate the arrival of fall. Fair food, midway games, and a fast ride on a cool October night make a great memory!
Do you keep pumpkins on the porch or take a ride out on the Pig Trail to check out the change of colors in the autumn foliage? You’re in great company! Many Arkansas residents really enjoy these signs that signal the change of the season!