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Announcements and publicity associated with the Arkansas Food Hall of Fame

6 Most Unique Arkansas Food Festivals

Department of Arkansas Heritage - Friday, September 08, 2017

Mount Nebo Chicken Fry


Image courtesy of Tie Dye Travels

Arkansas loves chicken! Dardanelle, home to Tyson chicken, throws an annual festival in honor of the bird, complete with a chicken feast, a lawnmower race, and other chicken-themed activities. When you visit, make sure to stay for the chicken race, chicken call and, of course, the Chicken Dance dance-off.

Annual Bean Fest and Great Arkansas Championship Outhouse Races


Image courtesy of GypsyNester.com

Some say the best part about Bean Fest might be consuming all the endless combinations of beans and cornbread that your little heart desires. However, others might say the best thing about this Mountain View festival is the Outhouse Race. Yes, it is exactly what you think it is. Festival attendees can compete in building a mobile outhouse and race it to the finish line. The grand prize? Cash and a shiny golden toilet seat. (This event was a 2017 finalist for the Arkansas Food Hall of Fame in the Food-Themed Event category.)

Picklefest


Image courtesy of PeopleForABetterAtkins.org

According to its website, Picklefest started in 1945 when the Goldsmith Pickle Company invested $75,000 to build a pickle plant in Atkins. Apart from the popular pickle juice-drinking and pickle-eating contests, there’s also a beauty pageant where winners are crowned Mr. Dill Pickle and Mrs. Sweet Pickle.

Gillett Coon Supper


Image courtesy of Topix.com

The Gillett Coon Supper is an Arkansas legend. This festival is one of the state’s most anticipated events and helps to kickoff the political-campaigning season. The event is more of a large supper than a festival. Attendees gather around a tables inside the Gillet High School gym, and feast on hams, a multitude of sides and, of course, ‘coon. (This event was a 2017 finalist for the Arkansas Food Hall of Fame in the Food-Themed Event category.)

World Championship Squirrel Cookoff


Image courtesy of OnlyInArk.com

Hosted in Gravette, squirrel lovers hold the event to promote one of history’s most important food sources and to end the stigma against eating squirrel meat. Competitors get creative in the kitchen, whipping up anything from squirrel pizza to squirrel ramen. The World Championship Squirrel Cookoff has gained a significant amount of coverage over the past few years, making it one of the largest and most-followed wild game cookoffs in the world. (This event was a 2017 nominee to the Arkansas Food Hall of Fame in the Food-Themed Event category.)

Cave City Watermelon Festival

 

Image courtesy of Arkansas.com

The Watermelon Festival has been going strong since 1980 in Cave City, Arkansas. This summer celebration draws crowds from around the state and country to enjoy free entertainment and activities such as a fishing derby, car show, Melon Dash 5k and other watermelon games. Guests enjoy free helpings of the “World’s Sweetest Watermelons” and lots of fun at this special event. (This event was a 2017 nominee to the Arkansas Food Hall of Fame in the Food-Themed Event category.)


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