On Thursday I'll be heading up to the 111th Annual Tontitown Grape Festival. It's one of Arkansas' oldest festivals... and what might surprise you is that the "star" of this food festival isn't the mighty grape but incredible spaghetti. As in homemade pasta with homemade sauce. As in made by hand by folks who have been doing it for decades. As in eight thousand dinners -- that's how many are expected to be made over the next few days. That's a whole heck of a lot of pasta.
I've been before, back in 2000. I remember perusing the wares of what felt like an unending parade of vendors, before ducking into the sanctuary of what I thought was a church. Well, yes, it is part of a church, but the large room that greeted me was filled with every sort of book you can imagine. I took home cookbooks and novels and a book on Arkansas history and (don't ask me why; the reason now escapes me) a textbook on animal husbandry, for less than $20. I've been meaning to make it back up there ever since, but life has happened.
I'm planning to stick around for that dadgum dinner... and I'll let you know how it goes. Oh, if you can't make it up Thursday night to dine with me and a couple thousand others, no matter. Spaghetti dinners will also be served up Friday and Saturday -- $10 for adults, $5 for kids. Check out the website for more information.