On Sunday, April 27, the Jewish Federation of Arkansas will hold its annual Jewish Food Festival. This year’s festival will be in a new location, War Memorial Stadium in Little Rock. The festivities kick off with a classic Jewish breakfast of lox, bagels and cream cheese, plus blintzes and kugel, at 8:30 a.m.
The full festival begins at 10 a.m. and ends at 4 p.m.
Admission to the festival is free.
The festival is preparing to host more than 15,000 visitors, hoping to surpass its 2013 attendance record. The festival will include traditional Jewish foods: corned beef sandwiches, kosher hot dogs, cabbage rolls, blintzes, latkes, kugel and more, as well as homemade Jewish treats including rugelach, honey cakes, challah and mandel bread. Israeli dishes, such as kabobs, falafel and Israeli salad, will be available, too.
Visitors are invited to bring not only their appetites but also a donation of non-perishable food items to donate to the Arkansas Foodbank booth in order to receive a free Jewish Food Festival shopping bag.
The Jewish Food Festival will also feature booths on Jewish and Israeli culture. At the ever-popular ask-the-rabbi booth, visitors can learn about Judaism itself, from Jewish holidays to life-cycle customs. At a replica of the Western Wall, visitors can leave a note of prayer, just as people do at the actual wall in Jerusalem. Judaica, jewelry, and other gift items created by local Jewish artists will be on display and for sale. Inflatables and other activities will be available for kids.
Entertainment throughout the day will include contemporary and traditional Jewish music by local and regional musicians.
This year’s organizers said War Memorial Stadium will include ample free parking. Indoor concourse locations for vendors and the football field will be open to children looking for a place to play.
"The large majority of the festival’s patrons are not Jewish," said Scott Levine, long-time Co-chair of the Jewish Food Festival, in a release. "We are proud to have people from the entire community and state who look forward to this unique cultural and culinary event every year."
Proceeds from the festival go to benefit Jewish Federation of Arkansas’s work in the community, which includes Jewish and non-Jewish charitable organizations, financial assistance to Jews in need, scholarships and other resources for Jewish children and families, and funds to support charitable work in Israel.