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Are you a tomato fan? Then get down to Warren June 14 – 15, where the Bradley County Pink Tomato is celebrated. The first festival was held in 1956, making this one of the longest running festivals in Arkansas. Each year, nearly 30,000 people come to Warren for the party. This year, the 63-year-old event hosts its inaugural Tour De Tomato bike ride and also becomes part of the Arkansas Steak Trail of Champions Cook-Off.
The tomato is one of several varieties that have been produced in the county for generations. Back in the 1960s, some 900 farms grew the fruit there. Today, nine farms remain, but they’re still putting out the light red, flavorful fruit.
The festival kicks off its newest event, the Tour De Tomato bike ride, June 8, the Saturday before the Festival weekend. The three competition lengths are 15-miles, 30-miles and 62-miles (100 kilometers) and are open to riders of all ages. Participants will be riding through the heart of Bradley County. For more information, contact Randy Rawls at https://runsignup.com/Race/AR/Warren/TourDeTomatoBicycleRide
The festival’s main events take place Friday and Saturday in downtown Warren. There are all sorts of activities, including turtle races, pageants and baby contests as well as a tomato packing contest, tomato eating contest and the Great Bowls of Fire salsa competition. There’s also a quilt show, 5k run/walk, car show, Festival parade, the steak cook-off and so much more.
On Saturday, June 15, the festival marks its first time as part of the Arkansas Steak Trail of Champions Cook-Off with its Walmart sponsored, annual steak competition. To register for the competition, go to www.pinktomatofestival.com
For this tomato fan, a highlight of the event is the All-Tomato Luncheon. This is the chance to enjoy lots of great tomatoes grown right in Bradley County. Run by the Bradley County Homemakers Extension Clubs, every item includes tomatoes in some form or fashion.
This year, Restless Heart will take the stage in downtown Warren Saturday night, June 15. Hometown group, Fortunate Sons + One, will be opening for the group. On Friday, June 14, Blane Howard and Parker McKay will be entertaining.
Little Miss Pink Tomato 2019
The Little Miss Pink Tomato 2019 Pageant will be held at 2:30 p.m. in the Warren Cultural Center. Applications are available at the Bradley County Chamber of Commerce office in Warren or at www.pinktomatofestival.com.
Eligible participants must be 4 or 5 years of age June 1, 2019, and reside in Bradley, Drew, Dallas, Calhoun, Cleveland, Union, Ashley or Lincoln County. Registration deadline is Friday, June 7, 2019.
The grand finale of the festival will be Saturday night with their Giant Fireworks Show. For more information, check out the Bradley County Pink Tomato Festival website.
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