2017 Arkansas Bean Fest & Outhouse Races October 27-28th! (Posted by Ginger Smith)
A hint of autumn in the air means outhouse racers are being constructed and bean and cornbread recipes perfected for the Arkansas Bean Fest and Great Arkansas Championship Outhouse Race, to be held Friday and Saturday.
Early Saturday morning the fires are lit under about 30-40 large antique cast iron pots loaded down with 2,000 lbs. of Great Value pinto beans on the north and west sides of the court square. The cooking teams sometimes dress as clowns or ghouls to compete for the title of Best Beans. At the noon dinner bell, cups of beans are served with cornbread and onion, all for free.
Special guest this year is Jana Jae. Jana Jae is an American country and bluegrass fiddler. She gained national fame by appearing on the nationally broadcast CBS/syndicated television series Hee Haw as part of Buck Owens’s band in the 1970s. She will be performing on the Courthouse stage Saturday night at 7pm with her band. She will also be one of our Bean Judges.
Things step up a notch with the Parade of Outhouses around 1 p.m. The crowd gathers to cheer for their favorite “people powered potty” team of driver and pushers. The wheeled outhouses are outfitted with a steering device for the driver (while sitting on a potty seat), with power provided by two pushers. Teams get into the spirit by dressing in costumes to fit the theme of their privy.
All sense of decorum is abandoned as the racers line up and run in heats on Jefferson Street south of the court square to determine the fastest privy in the Ozarks. Teams compete for the revered Gold, Silver and Bronze toilet seat awards and cash prizes.
Contest Rules and Applications for Bean Cooking, or the Outhouse Race, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For Craft Vendor Applications email: email@example.com
For Merchandise Vendor Applications email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Also 10th Annual Artisans on the Square Market!
Ginger Smith joined OGTC in 2014 as a volunteer, and has lived in this area since 1972 when she moved to be near her parents, the late Doss and Vivian Burgess. Her late father was Independence County Appraiser and any time family, whether kids or grand kids, came to visit for even a short time, he would take them to A.D. Hill’s grocery store, and get them a soda pop and candy bar, see the talking bird there, and end up “checking out the great White River.” All the kids and grands have played on the banks there, picnicked, and played on the old train. Ginger is adamant, since she moved to Batesville, there is just no other place to raise a family. Her love for the area and desire to help promote it in her professional capacity led her to seek volunteering, and Charlie Morris, whom she met when she was a typesetter at the Daily Guard Newspaper, put her in touch with Cathy Drew, Executor Director of OGTC. She has been on board since then and says she has loved everything she has done and is proud to represent North Central Arkansas.
The last 20 years of her employment she worked for the late County Judge David Wyatt, West Elementary School Principal Jerry Harris, and Circuit Clerk Claudia Nobles and Judge John Kemp. At the Guard Office she says she made friends for a life time, and then the West Elementary teachers, students, and their families grew close to her forever. Her last job she was hired in a newly created position to collect felony fines and restitution. She was so proud that after three years she more than tripled the annual revenues that she retired! Her part-time retirement job was with the ortho docs, Drs. Allen and Angel where she also met many people from all over the area, and made another set of new friends! She is a published writer and has also written feature articles for the Batesville Guard TV Guide and the Arkansas Democrat Gazette.
She has a daughter, Misty Long Sparks, son-in-law Dloyd Sparks, and three grands, Dalton Lee, Victoria Lynn and Anna Rose, who own her heart, and three more heartbeat grands, Nico and Corbin of Washington, and a late granddaughter, Ginger Savannah. Her late husband, Ken Smith, was the Batesville Postmaster.
Totally retired now, Ginger offers her time and writing abilities to OGTC as she travels around the state and visits with so many nice folks, writes reviews, and tries to be a worthy representative for Ozark Gateway Tourism. She is a people person who really cares for all God has blessed us with in our beautiful state of Arkansas in the United States of America.