In Arkansas, there are no delis (not in the Zabar's sense), you can't buy bagels that aren't just circles of bread with a hole in the middle, and you need your own meat processor if you want chopped liver. So, the Jewish Federation of Arkansas's Jewish Food Festival is pretty much Christmas for us.
The huge, daylong event is intended to serve three purposes: Bring Jews from around Arkansas together, provide Jewish delicacies and live music not normally available in the state, and share Jewish culture with non-Jews. It's held in an open-air pavilion in Little Rock's River Market District on the Arkansas River. Historically, the event has drawn 8,000-10,000 people. Given that the Jewish population in the entire state is estimated at around 1,800, it's a huge success to bring in so much interest from the general community.
The options included blintzes, kugel, potato knish, stuffed cabbage, filafel, hummus, kebabs, corned beef and pastrami sandwiches on rye, and pastries such as hamantashen, apricot strudel, cinnamon schnecken and mandel brot.
Aside from the food, temples and synagogues from around the state sold beautiful Jewish gifts, seder plates, menorahs, mezuzahs and jewelry, and we had live entertainment from temple music groups and a klezmer band.
Some of the wares:
Here's a link to a local news story that prefaced the event:
We're two days from Arkansas' primary, so we had visits from a few of the candidates - David Boling, Shane Broadway, Joyce Elliott, Bill Halter and Dustin McDaniel.
That's all for now, so......