All Things Tomato: Part 4 (Steak cook off and Lonestar)

This year at the Pink Tomato Festival, the first annual steak cook off.  Let me just say, it smelled beyond good when I walked down that street.  If I could’ve stayed there the whole day, I would’ve.  But there were just to many events to cover.  I did, however get to taste a sample of some ribs that were cooked that day and they melted in my mouth.  I’m not sure how many contestants there were, but tents lined Main Street in Warren.  This was the first time I had ever seen Main Street closed down.
But just around the corner was the main stage, where Lonestar played. And it was a great concert too! They sang songs that everyone knew and a few new ones also. Along the way, they threw in a few including Margaritaville. The whole crowd was singing along and some even had their phones out, waving them back and forth in the air like lighters. One of my favorite sights, though, was a man who had a baby in his arms. He was rocking the baby back and forth while the baby slept. So precious!

DSC_6454DSC_6461DSC_6465DSC_6471DSC_6499DSC_6513DSC_6533DSC_6546DSC_6573DSC_6602DSC_6652DSC_6656I was honored to get to capture so much and I hope that I’m asked back next year to do the same. Until next year, Pink Tomato Festival.

Do Good and Do Well

J

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All things tomato: Part 1

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.
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There are many more photos from the whole event to come, so keep checking in.  Til next time.

Do Well and Do Good

J