Celebrating Arkansas - Segment 2
PurpleHull Pea Festival, Emerson, Ark. - The PurpleHull Pea Festival began in 1990 when Emerson resident Glen Eades decided his town needed a little "shaking up". Since then Emerson hosts one of the most unusual festivals in the south each June. The festival includes tournaments, crafts, games, a purple hull pea dinner with all the fixins, a purple hull pea shelling contest, the million-tiller parade, and the highlight of the festival, the World Championship Rotary Tiller Races. For more information call (870) 547-2707 or (501) 315-7373. You can also visit www.purplehull.com.
Hope Watermelon Festival, Hope, Ark. - Hope has been sharing its unique southern hospitality and watermelon through some form of festival since the mid-1920's. During four days each August, 30 to 40 thousand people gather to enjoy music, arts and crafts, games, entertainment and of course ice cold watermelon. Among the many activities people can be seen playing hillbilly horseshoes, arm wrestling, wall climbing, and competing for prizes in the watermelon seed spitting contest and the watermelon-eating contest. Call (870) 777-3640 or link to their website at www.hopemelonfest.com.
Annual Bean Festival and Outhouse Race, Mt. View, Ark. - Each year people from all over come to down town Mountain View to participate in this very unique Arkansas festival. Folks can enter the famous bean cook-off or just come to eat the free beans and corn bread. There is also arts and crafts, a children's amusement park, talent shows, live entertainment, and as always folk music can be heard everywhere by the countless groups of musicians who gather to share songs passed down through the generations. http://www.mountainviewcc.org.
What makes Bean Fest so unusual is it's Great Arkansas Championship Outhouse Races. Contestants come from across the south to show off their racers in the parade of outhouses and a chance to walk away with the gold toilet seat trophy. For additional information call the Mountain View Chamber of Commerce at (870) 269-8068 or visit http://www.mountainviewcc.org/. You may also contact the Ozark Folk Center at 1-800-264-FOLK for lodging and (870) 269-3851 for information or log on their website at http://www.ozarkfolkcenter.com/.
Arkansas Senior Olympics, Hot Springs, Ark. - The Arkansas Senior Olympics is a multi-sport competition that promotes physical fitness, good health, and excellence through competitive athletics and education for Arkansans aged 49 and up. Events include archery, badminton, basketball, bowling, cycling, golf, horseshoes, racewalk, racquetball, 5k roadrace, shuffleboard, swimming, softball, tennis, triathlon, and volleyball. Other events are scrabble, baggo, football throw, softball throw, stationary cycling, mile relay and fun walks. Call 1-800-720-7276 (AR only) or (501) 321-1441 or http://www.srsports.org/.
Tontitown Grape Festival, Tontitown, Ark. - This celebration of the humble and difficult beginnings of Tontitown has grown from a ceremony of thanksgiving for the harvest of 1898 to a major event. A queen and her court reign over the festivities, which include a spaghetti dinner for about 8,000 people, a pancake breakfast, a foot race, a book sale, carnival rides, live entertainment, arts and crafts, and a "rustic relics" display. Call (479) 361-2615 for more information or contact the Tontitown Historical Museum at (479) 336-2498.
Eureka Springs Fat Tire Festival, Eureka Springs, Ark. - The Ozark Off Road Cyclists present the annual Eureka Springs Fat Tire Festival at Lake Leatherwood Park in Eureka Springs. The festival includes citizen class races, trial events, live music, and camping. Along with the Lake Leatherwood Classic is the Race to the Lake, a point to point race from Basin Park in downtown Eureka Springs to Lake Leatherwood. Both races are part of the Arkansas Mountain Bike Point Series and are sanctioned with the National Off Road Biking Association. $5,000 in cash and prizes makes this festival one of the highest attended mountain bike races in the region. Classes for racers include beginner, sport and expert. This event is very spectator friendly and exciting with an emphasis on family fun. For more information about the festival contact David Renko at (501) 582-3472 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also find information on the web at www.ozarkoffroadcylists.com. For information on lodging and Eureka Springs, call the chamber of commerce at (501) 253-8737.
Living History Festivals at Old Washington State Park, Petit Jean Mountain State Park and Berryville, Ark. - Throughout the year, groups from across the state gather to celebrate and relive the past. Relics dating pre-1840's set the stage for these Rendezvous', from the authentic buckskin dress of 19th century European settlers to the teepees of Native Americans. Fur trading, Native American dance, firing of antique guns, and Civil War reenactments are among the activities experienced by visitors to the festivals. These events occur all over ARkansas from Old Washington, which wa sthe confederate capitol of Arkansas, to Berryville, Helena, Petit Jean, Cadron Settlement and many other locations. For a listing of events throughout the year, visit www.arkansas.com. For information on Old Washington State Park, call (870) 983-2684 or email email@example.com. For information on the Saunders Muzzleloading Matches at Berryville, contact Jimmy Wilson at (870) 545-3402. For information on the Petit Jean Mountain Man Rendezvous, call (501) 727-5441 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.