Okra Festival Highlights and History

 

When we hear okra we all think of the long green pods, also known as “lady fingers” or the sometimes slimy component in stews and gumbos.  But imagine a field full of okra in full bloom! That is what you could see at the Okra Fest when it was held at/around the property of Miss Barbara Evans in Burkville, Alabama.

okra            okra flower

This festival began back in 2000 as a celebration of the only crop that survived that unusually hot summer.

My first experience with it was in 2015. I went to Alabama to attend the festival with my sister, Robin, of Storm Cloud Hills. She always had a favored spot right in Miss Barbara’s front yard. We set up the tent and got all of her art out. I wandered the grounds visiting other booths that featured everything from homemade woodwork, jewelry, sewing crafts, any many other treasures.

Miss Barbaras House

 

It didn’t take long for the food vendors to start cooking up their signature dishes. Greens, catfish, barbeque chicken, pork, and of course okra. For dessert fresh pies and cakes were just some of the good eats that could be found. The vegetable wagon was set up not far from us and bags of fresh greens were cut and packaged for sale. It was a great day.

I remember two sisters came in and scooped up some of Robin’s hair pins. Another customer from the past stopped by to rave about her woven, copper bracelet that Robin’s husband Bobby had made. It has such a great artisan community feel to it. Fellow artists admiring other’s work and helping watch their tent if they need a break or to run for some food.

Here are some examples of hair pins in either the tuning fork style or the classic hair pin style. The usually go fast and can be requested as commission pieces. This allows you to order the style and colors you want.  https://squareup.com/market/stormcloudhills

tuning forkscopper hair pins

Last year my boyfriend, David and I went back down for the festival. It had moved and wasn’t quite as settled as the last time I went. I hope they get back to their roots with more handmade artwork and less mass produced/commercial items. If you find yourself in the neighborhood next year it looks like they’ve already got some details available. It’s definitely worth the visit. Try some fried okra, you won’t regret it!

Okra Festival

August 2018 (dates not updated) ?Event promoter has not updated for this year, last year’s event was August 26, 2017

Festival site in the country – Burkville, AL 36752
Show Promo­ter: Okra Festival
Show Dir.: Event Contact     Show Dir. Ph.:  Join to  view full details
Main Email: Go Pro to view   Web: Go Pro to view
Enter­tain­ment: 1 stage – Regional, Local
Music: BL RB Variety ??
   Pay: $50 to $50
Other Activi­ties: kids’ activities
Atten­dance: 3,000       # Food Booths: 30    Food Fee: Go Pro to view
# of Exhi­bitors: tba     Juried: no   Prize Money: na   Exhib. Fee: Go Pro to view
Dead­lines: Art & Craft: until full    Music: until full    Food: 08/25/2017 
Days/­Hours Open: Sat 11am‑5pm
Ad­mission: none

https://festivalnet.com/47525/Burkville-Alabama/Food-Festivals/Okra-Festival

 

 

 

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