How did the Festival get started?
Poke Salat Festival was first held in 1984. Located along the sidewalks and
streets of Historic Downtown Arab, the Festival was started by the "Liars
Club", a group of men that frequented the L'Rancho Cafe - where you can
still get a taste of the greens each May during the Festival.
with Arts and Crafts, the Festival offers a food court, children's games,
demonstration and interactive booths, bake sales, civic groups, an annual pet
parade and lots of entertainment. Beginning in 2017, the Festival is home to
the Poke Salat Bluegrass Band Competition - held on the Saturday of the
Festival - which features bluegrass music all day.
Festival, which is hosted by the Arab Downtown Association, in conjunction
with the City of Arab and the Arab Chamber of Commerce, centers around the
Poke Salat dish, which is derived from the Poke Weed plant.
what is poke salat?
Pokeweed. You’ve probably seen it growing wild in pastures,
snaking up through fence lines or out in the woods. As a kid
you probably played with the berries of the pokeweed, dying
your hands with a deep purple that you had to live with for
days since it wouldn’t wash off. Sure it grows wild, but is
poke just a weed???
Not to the thousands that live on Brindlee Mountain. During
the early part of May, the folks around Brindlee Mountain
gather in the streets of downtown Arab to celebrate Poke
No one is one hundred percent sure how Poke Salat got it’s
name. Old timers have as many different stories about poke as
there are people telling them. Most agree that the word
“salat” comes from the German word for salad. There are
two common theories about the name “poke.”
Some believe that since the berries have an indentation
in the middle, that it appears someone has “poked” them,
hence the name. Others hold firm that the name comes from the
sack, or poke, used to carry the leaves when harvested. (You
know, like a pig in a poke.)
But no matter how it derived its name, folks in Arab think
it’s worth celebrating... So, whether you call it salad,
poke, or poke greens, just come eat your fill at the next Arab
Poke Salat Festival!