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
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
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
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,
specifically about the Million Tiller Parade is at www.purplehull.com/parade, or
phone (870) 547-2707.
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