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Arkansas Goat Festival returns in October

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Like many good ideas, the Arkansas Goat Festival stemmed from a series of “what ifs” that spiraled into reality. Perryville residents Sarah French and Liz Van Dalsem were casually brainstorming about what kinds of activities to feature in the town’s monthly “Saturdays on the Square” gatherings, when French, a goat-lover through and through, had an “a-ha” moment to include a goat parade. Then she thought it would be fun if the goats were in costume…because of course there’s going to be a costume contest…right after the obstacle course and the cheese-making demonstrations. And thus, the inaugural goat festival was born. The rural community, home to Heifer Ranch, the educational farm and retreat of Heifer International, responded enthusiastically—as did the rest of the state, as well as folks a few others. More than 1,000 attendees to the fledgling festival—many of them with goats in tow—doubled the town’s population for the day, turning out to enjoy all the goat fun and antics. While there are a handful of other goat-related festivals in the country, Perryville’s appears to be the only one held purely out of a love and appreciation for goats. This year's festival promises to be bigger and better, so mark your calendars for the first Saturday in October.