The Mississippi Delta Rice Industry will celebrate National Rice Month with its 24th Annual Rice Tasting Luncheon, Sept. 19, 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. at Delta State University’s Walter Sillers Coliseum in Cleveland, Miss.

About 1,000 people from Mississippi and other states attend the annual event, which this year will feature more than 300 rice dishes.

As with all Delta events, good food is accompanied by fellowship with friends and family. The food is prepared by local rice-growing families and Delta restaurants. Informative exhibits are also part of the Rice Tasting Luncheon.

Most recipes served at the luncheon can be found in the rice cookbook Between the Levees, which will be on sale at the luncheon for $10.

Delta Rice Promotions, Inc., a group of individuals representing farmers, agri-businesses, farm organizations and government agencies, is the host of the 24th Annual Rice Tasting Luncheon.

Delta Rice Promotions began in 1991, when a group of Extension Service clientele and Farm Bureau members from Bolivar County met at the Bolivar County Extension Office to discuss how to celebrate the first ever nationally proclaimed Rice Month to be held in September of that year. That first meeting led to expanding the Rice Tasting Luncheon sponsored in past years by the Bolivar County Farm Bureau.

Today, Delta Rice Promotions’ mission is exclusively for the promotion of the Mississippi-produced rice. Its activities have included 23 National Rice Month luncheons, the awarding winning cookbook Between the Levees, grocery store promotions, educational programs, speaking to various groups about Mississippi RICE, and the Mississippi Rice Cook-Off.

In 1995, Delta Rice Promotions won the first-ever USA Rice Federation Award for the best September Rice Month Promotion. In 1996, Delta Rice Promotions was presented with the Award of Excellence by the USA Rice Federation for rice promotions in the state.

For more information about the Rice Tasting Luncheon, call (662) 843-8371.