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Arkansans glad to see the Cornbread Festival tradition return



Little Rock, Arkansas – There has been a custom known as the Arkansas Cornbread Festival for approximately a decade. The festival, which had been put on hold due to the pandemic, finally returned this weekend in SoMa after months of preparation.

“We’ve got an outstanding committee… we’re small but mighty,” Cornbread Festival Co-Chair Amber Jones said. “I’m just really proud of us for doing what we’ve done in a short amount of time.”

Although this year’s event isn’t as big as previous ones, Jones said it’s still a fantastic way to revive the tradition.

“It’s two blocks instead of the traditional five blocks,” Jones said. “In some ways, it’s the same. Bring the people down here and let them see what a great neighborhood it is.”

“The Mighty Rib” food blogger Kevin Shalin also played a role in bringing the popular event back. He said the city’s growing food scene allows people to connect with restaurants.

“It’s nice for them to get in front of them, meet the ownership management and try some of their cornbread,” Shalin said. “Maybe inspire them to actually go to these places.”

Other enterprises unrelated to cornbread were also showcased throughout the event.

In its third year of operation, Utopia Deli provided food truck services to the neighborhood and stated that occasions such as the festival are essential to their business.

“As the winter season approaches, some of the festivals and things slow down,” Utopia Deli Owner Tremell Billings said. “We’re just hoping that all the small businesses here today get a nice boost.”

Everyone is just happy that the delicious custom is back, and companies can interact and profit from it.

“Exposure for local businesses to build a bond with the city’s people, and just to give them the opportunity to help provide the local economy with something,” Billings said.

The event will return the following year in an effort to carry on the tradition that many people missed.


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