Weekend Adventures: Little Rock Cornbread Festival

Do you ever have little moments in your life that just feel serendipitous?

I spent this weekend at a trade show in Little Rock, which is about two hours west of Helena in central Arkansas. Saturday we were given a small window of free time, so I decided to head to the South Main (SOMA) neighborhood to look for a birthday gift. For years the neighborhood was run down and desolate, mostly the result of white flight during and after the desegregation of Central High School. However, in the last several years it’s had a comeback, and is now home to a number of cute shops and restaurants.

When I pulled into the area, I happened upon the Arkansas Cornbread Festival. The main business strip was blocked off; vendors and cooking teams lined the street while a bluegrass band strummed away. Families and couples danced away under the watchful eye of the event’s mascot, what else but a bizarre anthropomorphic cornbread in a cast-iron skillet.

I love little moments like this. Happenstances that brighten an otherwise nondescript day and feel just a little bit magical.

The festival started four years ago and is centered around a competition between both professional and amateur chefs for the best cornbread in three different categories: traditional, nontraditional, and sweet. A ticket to the festival buys you a taste of every entry and a vote for your favorite in each category. I arrived too late to taste more than a couple of the entries, but what I had certainly was tasty. I spent the next hour and a half strolling around, soaking in the sun, browsing at vendor stalls, and people watching. Here are a few pictures from my lovely afternoon.





I just realized that I’m wearing my dorky name badge in that picture. Cringe. Anyway, how was your weekend?



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