Emerson, Arkansas: PurpleHull Pea Festival and World Championship Rotary Tiller Race

Every June at the festival, souped-up rotary tillers race each other -- like nitro-burning funny cars -- on a dirt drag strip.

Emerson High School

AR Hwy 98, Emerson, AR
U.S. Highway 79 to Emerson, Arkansas, 6 miles north of Louisiana state line. Turn west onto Arkansas Hwy 98. Go about 200 yards, and festival will be on the north, on and near grounds of Emerson High School.
Event: June - last F-Sa, 8 am - midnight. (Call to verify)
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Purple Hull Pea Festival

The other post gives good concrete information, but let me just say that this festival has a wonderful feel to it, worth a long drive out of the way. The food is excellent. Purple Hull peas are like Black-eyed Peas, only a little different. The chow-chow they put on top is a must, vinegary and sweet. I wish I were there now.

The cafeteria had folks singing. There was a wide range of talent.

The races were conducted like those between nitro-burning funny cars -- two at a time elimination rounds. These tillers are super-souped-up. The dirt was kicked up taller than the folks running behind them.

[Jason Burke Murphy, 06/25/2004]

Lauri Waller,  two-time defending champion in the ladies division of the World Championship Rotary Tiller Race.

PurpleHull Pea Festival, World Championship Rotary Tiller Race

A one-of-a-kind event that pays homage to a local delicacy in most south Arkansas backyard gardens, the purplehull pea, and hosts the world's fastest garden tillers at the World Championship Rotary Tiller Race. Takes place on the last Friday and Saturday in June. Arts and crafts, World Cup PurpleHull Pea Shelling Competition, Great PurpleHull Peas and Cornbread Cookoff, Million Tiller Parade, pea meals, Pea-Stompin' Street Dance featuring Cummins Prison Band.

[Bill Dailey, 05/28/2004]

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