Rumbles: Arkansas Cornbread Festival, Chili Fights, Downtown on the Farm

Festival season continues this weekend with a slew of some of Little Rock’s most popular events. One of our personal favorites here at Rock City Eats is the Arkansas Cornbread Festival, which is Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on South Main St. Your admission ticket will let you taste all the cornbread dishes at the festival; previous competitors have included Loblolly, The Capital Hotel, South on Main, The Root and many more. There will also be plenty of vendors, live music (including Dazz and Brie). Advance tickets are on sale now for $8; that price goes up to $10 if you order at the gate. For $15, you can get the “Cornbread Connoisseur Package,” which includes a cornbread tin, koozie and bottle opener. That package is $20 on Saturday. Get your tickets today to save money and enjoy what should be another wonderful Cornbread Festival.
Sadly, you’re likely going to have to choose between two of the city’s better events, because Chili Fights in the Heights 2019 is also on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Dozens of businesses and amateur competitors will be offering up samples of their best chili recipes. There’s also plenty to do for everyone, including a kids zone, live music, craft beer and lots more. Admission to Chili Fights is free, though it’s well worth the $10 to get a tasting kit and sample all the chili you care to enjoy. Proceeds from Chili Fights in the Heights go to benefit the Arkansas Foodbank, which works to fight hunger and poverty in the state.
And the very next day, there’s still more to do with Downtown on the Farm presented by Arkansas Rice. Downtown on the Farm is noon until 6 p.m. Sunday in the River Market Pavilion. The event is an interactive agricultural experience that’s free to attend. A number of Arkansas restaurants will be there, including South on Main, Allsopp and Chapple, At the Corner, Cathead’s Diner and more. There will also be live music, food trucks, a petting zoo, pumpkin painting and more. Arkansas Rice represents the state’s rice industry, including farmers, millers, merchants and the Arkansas Rice Council.
With all those events, you might not even think about the big parties Little Rock breweries will be putting on this weekend. We featured Lost Forty’s Festival of Darkness and Rebel Kettle’s Hell Camino Album Release Party in this week’s Growlers, so make sure to check those out as well.
And if you find yourself wanting a quieter event to enjoy this week, there are still tickets available to tonight’s wine dinner at Petit and Keet. The restaurant is featuring the wines of Trefethen Family Vineyards in Napa with a five-course wine-pairing dinner. Courses include a jasmine rice panna cotta, ahi tuna with chanterelle mushrooms and a teres major stead with chimichurri, all paired with a special wine from 2016-2018. Tickets are $95 each. Call 501-319-7675 to get your reservation for tonight at 6:30 p.m.
One of Little Rock’s most consistently excellent bars has debuted its new fall cocktail menu. We stopped in at Big Orange Midtown for a sneak peak at the bar team’s tribute to classic Hollywood.

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