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The World Championship Garden Tiller Races at the PurpleHull Pea Festival, in Emerson, Arkansas Photo courtesy of Arkansas Media Room. By Tam McClure
Staff Writer

Arkansas has some of the most unique summer festivals in the nation. Pictured above is the small town of Emerson, Arkansas and their World Championship Garden Tiller Races during their yearly Purple Hull Pea Festival. The small town of less than 500 grows many times over during this fun event that sports a country fair feel. This is just one of the many great festivals Arkansas has to offer this summer.

May 20-22: 32nd Annual International Greek Food Festival, Little Rock:Billed as the largest ethnic festival in the state, it features a huge array of homemade items from various culinary traditions. Both savory and sweet dishes are offered. Since its beginning, the Greek Food Festival has raised and donated over one million dollars to more than 20 charities.

June 3-4: 35th Annual Portfest Rollin’ on the River Festival, Newport:Portfest is a family-friendly, outdoor event, featuring live music, carnival rides, craft booths, a bass tournament and more. The event ends on Saturday night with a live concert followed by fireworks. The event is held at Jacksonport State Park.

June 10-11: 60th Annual Bradley County Pink Tomato Festival, Warren:The festival includes an all-tomato luncheon, tomato eating and packing contests, a carnival, a parade, a Miss Pink Tomato pageant, arts, crafts, an antique car show, live music and street dance.

June 25: PurpleHull Pea Festival, Emerson: The town of Emerson, plays host to one of the most unusual award-winning festivals in the south. The Purple Hull Pea Festival which hosts the world championship sporting event, the garden tiller race pictured at right. Contact: 1.870.547.3500,

July 19: 75th Anniversary of the Historic Arkansas Museum, Little Rock:On July 19, 1941 the efforts of Little Rock resident Louise Loughborough led to the formation and opening of what is now the Historic Arkansas Museum. You can tour the historic grounds and visit a pre-civil war neighborhood and see first-hand how early residents lived.

July 21-23: 75th Annual Johnson County Peach Festival, Clarksville:Taking place on the Clarksville court square from July 21-23 this festival includes a scavenger hunt, contests and competitions plus peach food related events and a parade. www.JoCoPeachFestival.8m.com
July 30: 30th Annual World Championship Cardboard Boat Races, Heber Springs: Boats of all shapes and sizes compete for speed and design at the World Championship Cardboard Boat Races at Sandy Beach in Heber Springs. Also enjoy food vendors, contests, and fun activities for the kids.

Aug. 11-13: 40th Annual Hope Watermelon Festival: The festival includes watermelon eating and seed spitting contests, the Watermelon Olympics, live music, fishing, archery, arm-wrestling, horseshoe tournaments, craft and food booths, a car and motorcycle show and more.

Aug. 30-Sept. 1: 63rd Annual Clothesline Fair: Ozark Arts & Crafts Exhibition, explore more than 100 craft booths. Living history, musical entertainment, and square dancing are all important parts of this celebration. (Mentioned in our cover story, Brave Gift: A Tree of Life.)

With all these events you are sure to have a festive summer!

BRAVE MEANING: noun: brave | 1.a brave person. | 2.to meet or face courageously:to brave misfortunes. | 3.to defy; challenge | 4.ready to face and endure danger or pain 

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