Arkansas September 03, 2015
Only People From Arkansas Understand These 10 Crazy Traditions
They aren’t so crazy to native Arkansans, but activities such as calling for hogs during a sports game or measuring how far a toad can jump might look a little weird to an out-of-towner. If you know and love the Natural State though, you know what we mean when we snack on fried pickles or can point out all the best places to see holiday lights at Christmas!
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10. Celebrating Jonquils
Historic Washington celebrates spring annually with an event that has been popular for over 42 years. The Jonquil Festival features thousands of blooming jonquils, many planted by early settlers, as well as, arts, crafts, music, surrey rides, food, and many more attractions.
9. Coveting the Golden Boot
If you're not a sports fan and don't know the history behind The Golden Boot, don't worry, there are plenty of armchair quarterbacks and part-time historians out there who can fill you in! There's been a long-standing rivalry between the University of Arkansas and Louisiana State University ever since the turn of the 20th century. In 1992, both school's teams started going head to head in conference battle. The Golden Boot, resembling Arkansas and Louisiana, is a 24-karat gold statue that weighs nearly 200 lbs. Both LSU and Arkansas fans look forward to facing each other yearly to see who takes the trophy home!
8. Lighting Up Entire Towns
Lights of the Ozarks turns downtown Fayetteville into a twinkling party every year. Celebrate the holiday season this year with horse-drawn carriage rides and holiday music as you enjoy the sights. Each year Fayetteville Parks and Recreation workers spend a dizzying amount of time decorating the downtown square with hundreds of thousands of lights.
7. Bonding through the Fight Song
The University of Arkansas fight song has been a tradition nearly as long as people have been calling the Hogs. Razorback freshmen are said to learn the song during two-a-day practices. The fight song has become a very big deal especially with Razorback victories and remains a way for Arkansans to bond through song.
6. Feasting on Fried Pickles at the State Fair
The Arkansas State Fair is only a month away and already people are getting ready for the diverse (and sometimes unusual) menu of fair food. It's become a tradition to enjoy fried pickles among other deep fried delicacies at the fair, and it's only right for fried pickles to be a culinary tradition in Arkansas, as the origin of the dish is based in Atkins.
5. Singing the U of A Alma Mater (even if you're not an alum)
One of the oldest University of Arkansas traditions is singing the alma mater, speculated to have been written in 1909. The alma mater is played before basketball and football games. Keeping in line with the custom, students point to Old Main (the U of A's administration building) at the end of the song.
4. Holding Toad Jumping Contests
Toad Suck Daze is one of Arkansas's biggest annual festivals, held in Conway every spring. The event has become a tradition for many Arkansans and out-of-towners to attend, and in addition to a huge amount of arts, crafts, food, and rides to enjoy, kids and families enjoy entering hopeful and lively toads in a toad jumping contest.
3. Watch the Razorbacks Run through the A
A special tradition at the University of Arkansas especially for the marching band and players, the "Running Through The A" is a pregame performance where the band concludes in a huge "A" formation in representation of the Natural State. The Razorbacks come marching through the A and the fans go wild. If you're ever at a game at War Memorial Stadium or up at Razorback Stadium, watching the run is a really fun and memorable moment.
2. Holding Watermelon Eating Contests
Many Arkansans make it a point to attend the annual Watermelon Festival in Hope, a tradition that's been held since 1926 and ongoing each year since 1977. Watermelon eating contests as well as seed-spitting contests are fun activities and shouldn't be missed!
1. Calling the Hogs
Arkansas Razorbacks fans have been calling the hogs ever since the 1920s. The well-known cheer has been heard all the way from Fayetteville, Arkansas to Fairbanks, Alaska and if you don't know how to do it, just watch! Start by raising both hands high in the air and waving your fingers. Get loud as you "WOOOOOOOO" along with others (or by yourself if you're bold) and put your arms down as you shout "PIG!" Raise your hands in a fist when you shout "SOOIE!" At the third round of cheering, you'll shout "RAZORBACKS!" for all you're worth. This is a true Arkansas standard!
So, no – these traditions aren’t crazy. Different? Maybe, but considering the rituals practiced by other states, what we do in Arkansas isn’t so strange after all. Leave a comment and tell us about some other Arkansas-based traditions you’ve participated in or heard about!