Celebrate National Rice Month in Weiner, Arkansas
Arkansas celebrates its rice industry’s heritage—and its future—with the 45th annual Rice Festival, set for Oct. 9 in downtown Weiner.
The all-day event is packed with fun activities, including a parade, live entertainment, carnival rides, contests, demonstrations, rice tasting, cook-off events, and more.
Held in conjunction with National Rice Promotion month, the festival draws more than 4,000 people annually to this community of fewer than 800 residents. It was begun in 1976 as a way to acknowledge and celebrate the impact of the industry not only on Weiner, but around the state and country.
The Rice Industry in Arkansas
With farmers in more than 40 Arkansas counties growing rice, the Natural State continues to rank as the number one rice producer in the country, accounting for about 50 percent of all American rice.
To get an idea of just how much rice that is, the 2020 numbers show that Arkansas farmers harvested 238 million bushels of rice from 1.4 million acres. The Arkansas Rice Federation reports that homegrown rice contributes more than $6 billion annually to the state’s economy and employs more than 25,000 Arkansans.
The State Agricultural Trade database released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture reports that Arkansas rice exports accounted for $722 million of the state’s agricultural exports in 2019, (the latest available numbers), ranking Arkansas first in the U.S. in rice exports.
Arkansas Rice Festival Details
|When||Saturday, October 9, 2021|
|10AM – 10PM|
|Where||Downtown Weiner, Arkansas|
This family-friendly event celebrates the state’s enormous tie to the American rice industry with a day filled with live entertainment, carnival rides, contests, demonstrations, a parade, and much more.
Rice Festival Events
From 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., a full schedule of events includes:
- Live entertainment (including Piano Man Jack, the Vikki McGee Band, the Paul Thorn Band, Glendil Griffin, and many others)
- Food and craft vendors
- Rice Festival pageant
- Rice cook-off
- Rice tasting lunch
- Carnival rides (all rides are free)
- Car show and competition
- Art shows
- Kids activities
- Street dancing
- Truck and tractor pull
- Old-time rice threshing demonstrations
- Photo contest
- Haunted scavenger hunt
- Weiner dog race
- Karaoke contest
Come out to Weiner and support Arkansas’s thriving rice industry by visiting the annual Rice Festival, the biggest hometown rice celebration in the nation.
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