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.
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.
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
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!
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|
|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|