The Pink Tomato Festival, held each year in Bradley County, is one of the time-honoured traditions in Arkansas. When the Tomato Festival rolls around each year, the streets are literally filled with celebration and dancing all in honour of the symbol of Bradley County
There is something for everyone — visitors to the annual Pink Tomato Festival can expect an ample selection of good foods, arts, shopping, pageants, parades, carnivals, live music, games and loads more. You will only know if you come.
If you are interested in attending this impressive spectacle, start making your plans early to take advantage of the attractions that Bradley County has to offer.
A Little Back-story on the festival
The Bradley County farmers have been growing little red orbs of zesty goodness since the early 1920s. In the summer, it gets extremely hot in the area and the winters are mild, so farmers can plant their tomatoes early and harvest several times if they wanted to.
For farmers growing tomatoes was a great way to make money. At the time, few tomatoes were grown in greenhouses, so Bradley County farmers were able to corner the early and late tomato markets.
The emergence of the little pink tomato industry
They eventually began to favour a specific variety of tomato that turned a bright pink around their tops when they reached the optimal moment for harvesting and shipping. This variety of tomato grew exceptionally well in the area, looked great, and most importantly tasted fantastic. Sweet, juicy and a thin skin that was easy to cut.
How the festival was born
Later on in 1956, a group of Warren merchants wanting to help promote the business in the area decided to hold an event to celebrate the tomato industry. Just like that the Pink Tomato Festival was born. Since then it has grown into a major event for summer fun and regional pride.
Since its initial celebration back in 1956 the Pink Tomato Festival has grown into a well-known and respected occasion throughout the state of Arkansas. Many people collaborate and contribute to make each momentous occasion even more spectacular than the last.
The Festival now includes a festival Parade and a Pink Tomato Beauty Pageant, which were included in 1957. The All Tomato Luncheon is a tomato lover’s dream and the popular Street Dances have everyone feeling light-hearted and carefree.
Not all about tomatoes
Then festival also features arts and crafts stalls, a 5K footrace, a tomato eating contests and a Pink Tomato Golf Competition. All thanks to the vision and dedication of the people of Bradley County and all the people in Arkansas who make the Tomato Festival a joyous occasion each year.
The festival is held each year in the second week of June. Every State Governor since 1956 has attended the Tomato Festival in Bradley County. The Tomato was also adopted as the State Fruit and Vegetable by state legislature in 1987. This event is always covered by newspapers and TV stations nationwide and is growing every year now more people know about it.