9 Things You Can Expect at May First Friday


The May First Friday will be held on Friday, May 6, 2022, from 11:00 am to 9:00 pm on the Downtown Bentonville Square.  

While downtown will be bustling with families, visitors, and guests on two legs, expect to see the Bentonville Square taken over by our favorite four-legged companions during this unique event.

Here’s a list of 9 things that you can expect from May First Friday  — in pictures, of course.

1. The theme: Pet-a-palooza

Dog Chilling GIF

Dogs, cats, birds, and pets of all types will be celebrated at the May First Friday in downtown Bentonville!  

Over fifty vendor booths will cater to our furry, fluffy, fuzzy, feathered favorite creatures.  You can expect tons of treats, prizes, activities, games and great information.

2.  But first, a word from our presenting sponsor.

Best Friends Animal Society serves as the presenting sponsor for First Friday: Pet-a-palooza.  

Best Friends Animal Society is dedicated to finding permanent, loving homes for dogs and cats in America’s shelters, including here in Northwest Arkansas. In addition to daily life saving work Best Friends orchestrates, the organization is building a new first-of-its-kind Pet Resource Center.

The Best Friends Pet Resource Center represents the future of animal sheltering. Thoughtful and open in design, the center will encourage the public to easily engage with dogs and cats, and offer resources, services and events for both ends of the leash. The Center will transform the way homeless pets are cared for and serve as a nationwide model for community supported sheltering. To learn more about -- and support -- this endeavor visit bestfriends.org/nwa.

3.  And now, your First Friday jams on the Avad3 Mainstage.


5:00-5:45 Dirty Seconds/ Loethen

6:00-7:15 Saturday Morning Jazz Quintet

7:30-9:00 Adam Johnston Band

4.  Start early with lunchtime festivities.

This year First Friday kicks off at 11:00am. Here are some things that you can expect to see on the square around lunchtime:


  1. Lunch on the Square:  You asked, we delivered!  Lunch on the Square is back!  Join us at 11:00am and grab your lunch on the Bentonville Square from a variety of food trucks.  

  1. Yoga on the Square with Yoga Story:  Don’t miss Yoga on the Square during lunchtime on the beautiful lawn of the Bentonville Square. Yoga Story will host the free class at  12:00pm. All are welcome to attend.  Please bring a yoga mat and water.  

5. The activities have gone to the dogs (and cats, birds, fish…).

It’s not Pet-a-palooza without multiple animal-themed activities, right?  Here’s what you’ll find on and around the Bentonville Square.

The B.Y.O.P. (Bring your own pet)  Beer Garden:  Let your pooch play while you enjoy a beverage with Social Project Brewery, Bike Rack Brewing Co. and Bentonville Brewery. (21 & up). You’ll find the beer garden on “the field” at the corner of Central and SE A Street.

Goat Yoga: Missed out on tickets this time? Don’t worry it is just as fun to watch!  Check out Goat Yoga with Greedy Goats starting at 6:30pm on “the field” at the corner of Central and SE A Street.

Friendly Farms Small Pet Petting Zoo:  Find it in the grass within the Bentonville Square from 5:00-7:30pm

Barnyard Buddies Petting Zoo: Located on North Main St.

Barnyard Buddies Pony Rides:  Located on North Main St.

CoolWag Dog Obstacle Course & Lure Track: CoolWag will be showcasing dog sports and training techniques at Pet-A-Palooza! Staff will demonstrate activities like lure chase and agility. Trainers will be available to help volunteer participants.  This opportunity is first come first serve.

Pet Portraits: Take a photo with your favorite pet at our Pet Photo booth!

The McLarty Daniel Pet Playground:  Don’t miss the outdoor, fenced in play yard on “the field” at the corner of Central and SE A Street. Bring your friendly pooch to play in the ball pit, play catch and tug of war, and more! (Please clean up after your pet.)

Pet Food Drive with Better Homes & Gardens Journey: You’ll find them across from Spark Cafe, all food will be collected and donated to local pet shelters.

Where on the square is Harper Shea?

Search for our favorite canine influencer on the Bentonville Square during Pet-a-Palooza!

Find Harper Shea (and her human) for a chance to win some cool prizes!

How it works:  

Snap a picture with them

Share your pic and tag @downtownbentonville and @harper_shea_

Adopt a Pet with Thrive Real Estate: The Humane Society for Animals Inc. will be partnering with Thrive Real Estate on Friday.  Thrive Real Estate will be sponsoring adoptions of four dogs. Come meet your new canine companion on the SW corner of the grass on the Bentonville Square. They are also giving away 1 free month of Barkbox, 3 free months of Barkbox, a Three Dogs Bakery gift basket, & one large pet gift basket!

6.  There’s human activities too!

Free Family Fun Zone:  A First Friday favorite, don’t miss the Free Family Fun Zone in the parking lot in front of the First Baptist Church’s 412 Building on South Main Street.

The fun zone includes bounce houses, slides, games and more!

Entrepreneur Table:  Did you know we have a Young Entrepreneur Table at First Fridays?  

This month, join Slimely & Sanderly on the SE side of the grass within the Bentonville Square and find out what this young entrepreneur is working on next.

Art on South Main St:   Browse and Shop down Main Street at our Art Walk on Main St.  Several of our local artists and artisans will be set up to display and sell their beautiful work.

More fun activities:  Throughout the First Friday footprint, you’ll find a Rock Climbing Wall, Bungee Trampoline and the Gladiator Joust.

7.  Get your grub on!  

As always, First Friday showcases a wide array of food trucks stretched across the event footprint.  

Here’s what you can expect to find downtown on Friday:

Arkanthaw Ice Shavers

Bayou Boys Crawfish Shack & Catering

Cacahuzintle un pedacito de Mexico

Carsten Concessions

Downtown Dawgs

Food Therapy

For The Love

Hotrods Classic BBQ

K'Zolis LLC

Kona Ice of Bentonville & Fayetteville

Lili's Bubble Waffle

NWA BeaverTails LLC

The Smackin Shack

The Swalty Kernel LLC

8.  And now, the rules.

Please help us create a clean, safe and fun environment for everyone in Downtown Bentonville.  

9. Show it on social!

Make sure to tag us in your First Friday photos!  We want to see your pets, children, families – even a few food pictures.  

@DowntownBentonville Facebook and Instagram stories will be taken over during each First Friday by our favorite hostess with the mostess, Heather Shelton!   Follow along!