engines of the world’s fastest garden tillers will be roaring during the PurpleHull
Pea Festival & World Championship Rotary Tiller Race this weekend (June
29-30) in Emerson.
tiller race is schedule for Saturday at 2:30. I got a chance to catch the
race last year with a co-worker. I’m including a few videos from the
day. If you plan to check out the races, be sure to get there on time as the races are over pretty quickly. Where else in the world can you see souped-up garden tillers?
small town of Emerson, population 368, high-performance tillers racing down a
straightaway has become an annual tradition.
idea for a pea festival with tiller racing was first proposed by Glen Eades,
who at the time was a columnist on Emerson-area news in the Magnolia
Banner-News. The festival now garners exposure and pays homage to purple hull peas, a local
delicacy found in most south Arkansas backyard gardens. Kat Robinson is headed to Emerson to check out the festivities this year. She wrote a Tie Dye Travels story about the festival and captured the footage in the last video below.
If there is one thing the festival is
known for – besides peas – it’s the World Championship Rotary Tiller Race. The
world record for covering 200 feet of plowed ground was set four years ago by
Shane Waller of Junction City, who piloted a modified tiller over the course in
5.72 seconds, an average speed of almost 24 miles an hour. The world
championships are the highlight of the tiller racing season, but then again,
they are the tiller racing season.
scheduled throughout the festival also include the Great PurpleHull Peas &
Cornbread Cook Off, a Pea Shelling competition, and the Million Tiller Parade.
is located in south central Arkansas six miles north of the state’s border with
Louisiana and 12 miles south of Magnolia via U.S. 79. More festival
information, including a complete schedule is available at purplehull.com.
Or you can call 870-547-2707. Enjoy!