June 25, 2002
For Immediate Release
Contact person:  Bill Dailey (501) 315-7373
Email: purplehull@juno.com
Web site: www.purplehull.com

 Pea Fest to Honor Glen Eades – Festival’s Founder

   If you have a good idea, and act upon it, someday you might be honored with a parade. 

   That’s what will happen to Glen Eades Saturday.

   The Emerson PurpleHull Pea Festival has announced its selection of Eades as this year’s Grand Pea Marshall of the festival’s Million Tiller Parade, to be held Saturday at 1:00 p.m. 

   “We’ve certainly come a long, long way,” says festival spokesman Bill Dailey.  “All the way from an idea in Glen’s fertile imagination, to being the reigning Arkansas Festival of the Year.”

   In February, the festival was awarded the Festival of the Year title by the Arkansas Festival Association.

   However, Eades did more than just propose beginning a new festival.  The World Championship Rotary Tiller Race – the festival’s signature event – was his brainchild as well.

   “All the fun, all the publicity, all the media attention Emerson gets would have never come to pass without Glen’s ideas,” adds Dailey.  “More importantly, he acted upon his ideas.”

   The festival that pays homage to purple hull peas began to take root in early 1990, when Eades decided his town needed a little more excitement.

   “We were so boring, we didn’t even have a cop,” said Eades.

   He approached then-Emerson Mayor Joe Mullins about the possibility of beginning a festival.  Mullins liked the idea, and a meeting of local citizens was called.

   At one of the early meetings, Eades broached the idea of having a race of garden tillers.

   Mullins recalls the room growing quiet.  “I remember thinking, ‘Glen, I don’t know what you’ve been drinking, but you need to change brands,’” said Mullins.

   Fortunately for Emerson, Eades’ ideas prevailed.

   At the time, Eades was reporting the local Emerson and Brister community news for the Banner News, a newspaper in Magnolia, Arkansas.  He began writing about the upcoming event in his column.  The idea caught on.

   Eades now lives near Texarkana, Texas.

   The PurpleHull Pea Festival’s Million Tiller Parade will be Saturday, June 29, beginning at 1:00 p.m.  Festival organizers say anyone with a tiller, or almost any other vehicle, is welcome to join the parade.  It will begin forming near the intersection of U.S. Hwy. 79 and Arkansas Hwy. 98, at 12:30 p.m.

   The PurpleHull Pea Festival will be this weekend, June 28 and 29, on and near the grounds of Emerson High School.

   More information is available at the festival’s Web site, www.purplehull.com.  Information specifically about the Million Tiller Parade is at www.purplehull.com/parade, or phone (870) 547-2707.

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