Since its inception in 2011, the Arkansas Cornbread Festival has exploded in popularity, far exceeding the first year’s modest expectations of founder and South Main Street advocate Anita Davis, who hoped to “bring people in our community together for good food, music and conversation.”
Some might ask, “Why cornbread, and why South Main?” Davis has easy explanations. “Cornbread is an integral part of our southern heritage, and we live in a community steeped in history and tradition. It just seems to be a good fit for a festival in Little Rock.”
As for the South Main (SoMa) location, “one of the reasons the Festival is important is to bring people to our area who have not seen the changes in our part of the city.” Once people see what’s happening, they want to come back – the changes are happening almost daily at this point. Instead of the somewhat blighted, definitely ignored area of a few years back, SoMa is now hopping, something many people in the city didn’t realize until attending the Festival.
The Arkansas Cornbread Festival, a 501(c)(3), has continued to grow year over year with attendance in 2016 of 3,570. Organizers provide new and exciting activities to an already diverse grouping of offerings such as the cornbread competition for home cooks as well as professionals, outstanding musical acts, local breweries, and vendors selling Arkansas-made food, crafts, and gifts.