Day 5 brings faith and community at the 25th annual Tennessee Soybean Festival

MARTIN, Tenn. — The aroma of fair food and happiness filled the air at the 25th annual Tennessee Soybean Festival.

“We call the soybean around here the magic bean,” said David Belote, executive director of the Tennessee Soybean Festival.

It’s an event that, organizers say, draws tens of thousands of people from across the country.

“It celebrates the farmer, it celebrates what the farmer does for the community,” Belote said, “and also celebrates what the soybean does, not only for us here locally, but for the world.”

Wednesday’s theme was faith and community. The Martin Area Ministerial Alliance passed out free hamburgers and hosted a puppet show and trivia competition.

“This is just one of the things that we do during the year, and we just want people to see that no matter what church background you come from, we can all work together to make our community a better place,” said Dave Reinhard, president of the Martin Area Ministerial Alliance.

With games, music, and delicious food, there’s something for everyone.

“You just swirl it around,” said festival food chef Tony Webb as he made a funnel cake.

Webb says over the 8 days, he plans to make hundreds of this best seller.

And along with festival food, comes festival rides and games.

“Tell me a little about your strategy,” asked WBBJ 7 Eyewitness News Reporter Amanda Gerry.
“Bounce it off the table at an angle and then just hope and pray it goes into one of them bowls,” said festival guest Bailey Kilburn.

Organizers say throughout the weekend there will be concert events, novelty shows, and the Tour of the Arts.

The turnout has been fantastic. It really has,” Belote said. “We seem to increase our numbers every year that we’ve been doing the festival.”

Organizers say the festival amphitheater seats 3,100 people. Wednesday night the Jackson Symphony Orchestra performed. There are different artists scheduled throughout the week including Foreigner and Gretchen Wilson.

You can find a full schedule of events and performances for the Tennessee Soybean Festival at

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