For Immediate Release
Contact person: Bill Dailey (501) 315-7373
Web site: www.purplehull.com
It wasn’t easy keeping the good news from Mildred Beene.
It had already been on the radio.
But Beene, chairman of the Emerson PurpleHull Pea Festival for the past
three years, had no idea when she entered the festival’s committee meeting
Thursday evening that the members would present her this year’s ALFie Award
trophy for “Festival of the Year.”
Fortunately, Beene doesn’t listen to the radio very much.
“I was surprised,” said Beene.
She was also very happy. So
were members of the committee.
The Emerson PurpleHull Pea Festival & World Championship Rotary
Tiller Race won the “Festival of the Year” title earlier this week at the
annual meeting of the Arkansas Festival Association, held in West Memphis.
Previous winners include much larger festivals such as Little Rock’s
Riverfest, the Hope Watermelon Festival, and Conway’s Toad Suck Daze.
“It’s a huge compliment to the PurpleHull Pea Festival,” said
festival spokesman Bill Dailey.
"The key is that the judges look at not only the size of your
festival, but how well a festival performs with the resources it has.
And we do an awful lot with very little.”
In fact, according to the Arkansas Festival Association, the Festival of
the Year award is presented “to
a festival or other special celebration, which stands out among all the
festivals in Arkansas, by its creative approach, crowd appeal, media coverage,
and/or enhancement of community pride, thus benefiting the state’s quality of
referred to as the ALFie Awards (Arkansans Love Festivals) are given in various
categories each February at the Arkansas Festival Association’s annual
meeting. Their purpose is to “honor the best and brightest of
Arkansas’s festivals and special events.”
Attending this year’s meeting were Bonita Ferguson and Crista Mosley of Emerson. After winning the top prize, they decided to keep the news a secret and surprise “Ms. Mildred” at Thursday’s committee meeting.
In previous years the PurpleHull Pea Festival had won ALFies in categories including "Best New Festival," "Best New Idea" (twice), and the "Community Trademark Award."
This year, in addition to winning the top award, the festival was also
runner-up in the “Community Trademark Award,” which is given to “those
communities that have achieved success toward the enhancement of their local
resources through imaginative and innovative festival development efforts.”
Camden’s BPW Barn Sale won this year’s ALFie in this category.
“A whole lot of folks around Emerson and the
surrounding communities put a huge amount of time and effort into the PurpleHull
Pea Festival and its tiller race,” said Dailey.
“The reward is being able to pull off a fun, quirky festival.
But it’s also nice to be recognized.”
For more information about the PurpleHull Pea Festival, phone Mildred
Beene at (870) 547-2707, or go to the festival’s Web site at
www.purplehull.com, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The PurpleHull Pea Festival will be a two-day event this year, June 28
and 29. The festival’s feature
event, the World Championship Rotary Tiller Race, will be Saturday, June 29.
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