PurpleHull Pea Festival and World Championship Rotary Tiller Race

212 Grayson Street
Emerson, AR 71740


The existence of the PurpleHull Pea Festival - and its tiller race as well - is due to one man.

In early 1990, Glen Eades decided his little community needed some shaking up.

"We were so boring we didn't even have a cop," says Glen.

Glen started to work to gain support for an idea he had. He approached Mayor Joe Mullins about beginning a festival that would pay homage to the one major delicacy grown in every local backyard garden of any worth, the purple hull pea.

A meeting was called of some of the area's finest citizens. And thus, the PurpleHull Pea Festival was born.

At one of those early meetings, Glen proposed the idea of a tiller race. Mayor Mullins remembers thinking, "Glen, I don't know what you've been drinking, but you need to change brands."

Thankfully, Glen's ideas prevailed, and now Emerson is host to one of the most unusual - some would say weirdest - award-winning festivals in the south.

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