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Tag: Arkansas food festivals

PurpleHull Pea Festival & World Championship Rotary Tiller Race, Emerson AR, June 25th 2016

Purple hull peas, black-eyed peas, crowder peas — they’re all types of cow peas, also known as southern peas. The pea pod of purple hull peas is, guess what, purple. All of these peas are thought to have arrived in America with African slaves. Although Africans liked to eat the peas, white Americans used them as a forage crop, hence the name cow peas. Eventually, the entire American south was won over by the taste of these cow peas. Emerson (population 368), Arkansas’ PurpleHull Pea Festival & World Championship Rotary Tiller Race is an homage to this signature food of the South. Continue reading

Bradley County Pink Tomato Festival, Warren AR, June 4th through 11th 2016

A pink tomato festival. With no prior knowledge of the event we would have assumed that this is a celebration of a locally grown tomato that ripens to a pink (rather than deep red) color (there ARE such tomatoes). But no… what they are celebrating, here in Bradley County, Arkansas, is a variety of tomato that ships well if picked when the tomato tops just barely turn pink (ripening further after picking). That pink tomato is now the official state fruit and vegetable of Arkansas. Continue reading

Tontitown Grape Festival, Tontitown AR, August 4th through 8th 2015

The year was 1898. 18 families from Genoa, Italy had arrived in Arkansas over the previous three years, That summer they held a harvest celebration of thanks, an annual tradition which continues to this day as the Tontitown Grape Festival in Tontitown, Arkansas. The 117th edition of that celebration begins tomorrow, Tuesday, August 4th and runs through Saturday the 8th. It’s a grape festival, alright, and there are plenty of grapes to be found, but the festival is perhaps most famous for their spaghetti dinners. Continue reading

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