Two traditions of The Pink Tomato Festival are the tomato eating contest and the All Tomato Luncheon. Contestants of the contest start with a bag of tomatoes, which they aren’t allowed to rip into until the clock starts. The bag is weighed before and then once again, after the contest is over. Whoever has the least amount left is the winner. It’s pretty funny to watch and maybe one year, I’ll have the courage to enter and see just how many I can consume.
The All Tomato Luncheon is a benefit for people to come and purchase a ticket to receive a plate lunch featuring dishes that have or are made out of tomatoes. This was my first year to attend. Although I didn’t actually eat, everything looked very appetizing.
Often, the luncheon is a place for people to reunite or meet for the first time.
Ms. Jean Frisby, who was in charge of the Bradley County Home Extension Office, for many years. She retired a few years ago, but still attends when she can.
And this lovely lady is Michelle Carter. She took Ms. Jean’s place and is in charge of many, many things including putting together the luncheon. She has many volunteers who help, but she is a very busy lady.
As usual, she did a fantastic job and deserves a lot of credit. Way to go Michelle!!
I still have more photos coming, so keep checking in. Til next time.
Do Well and Do Good
One thing Bradley County is famous for is the Pink Tomato Festival. It’s been going on for 59 years and that makes it one of the longest running festivals in the state of Arkansas. There’s quite a bit of history behind it too.
Farmers in Bradley County have been raising tomatoes for sale since the 1920s. They chose a variety of tomato that would ship well if picked when the tops of the fruit just barely turned pink. In 1956, a group of Warren merchants decided to host an event to celebrate the tomato industry and to help promote business in the area. The Bradley County Pink Tomato Festival was born. It has since become a major summertime event!
Since that first celebration in 1956, the festival has evolved into one of the most well known and respected events in Arkansas. Many people have contributed to the success of the annual event, from those present at that first celebration to the dedicated volunteers today. The Festival Parade and Pink Tomato Beauty Pageants were added in 1957. The All-Tomato Luncheon and Street Dance have always been crowd favorites. Other events have included: Arts & Crafts show, Tomato Eating contest, 5K Race, and the Pink Tomato golf tournament. Thanks to the vision and creativity of those involved, new attractions are added each year.
From a one-day event the festival has grown to a week long celebration, with activities for all ages. The Pink Tomato Festival is now attended by 30,000 people each year and many are Bradley County natives who come home to be a part of the giant homecoming celebration.
There are so many events going on at one time, I decided that I would post each one in separate blog posts.
Friday night, we were pleased to welcome past winner from NBC’s The Voice, Craig Wayne Boyd, as entertainment. Before the concert, he did a meet and greet where a few people got to talk to him and get his autograph. He was a pretty nice guy and was happy to sign many posters and even a guitar that was to be raffled off.
His concert that evening, was a lot of fun and a great show. I enjoyed myself and I know many others who visited the festival did as well.
There are many more photos from the whole event to come, so keep checking in. Til next time.
Do Well and Do Good