The yummy onions of Vidalia

One of the many joys of spring in Georgia is that it’s the peak season for the famous Vidalia Onion, the official state vegetable known for its sweetness. Food lovers across the U.S. eagerly await the harvest each year, and the Vidalia community celebrates the occasion with a four-day festival packed with food and fun.

Taking place April 22-25 in Vidalia, Georgia, the Vidalia Onion Festival has been featured on The Food Network and recognized as one of the Five Don’t-Miss Festivals Across the U.S. by MSNBC and a Southeast Tourism Society Top 20 Event. Don’t miss this sweet celebration!

On Thursday, you can take a walk on the downtown sidewalks of Vidalia to enjoy chalk art masterpieces created by local high school students for the 4th Annual Vidalia Onion Chalk Walk.

The Carnival lasts all four days and promises a “glittering galaxy of spectacular state fair amusement rides and attractions, a mobile family fun fair and theme park for all ages.”

The Children’s Parade provides an opportunity to showcase costume creativity and patriotism thanks to this year’s theme: “Walk about America.” That evening, pull up a lounge chair for a Movie under the Stars for all ages; this year’s screening is “The Croods: A New Age.”

On Friday, one of the festival’s most popular events starts up and lasts for two days: the Firestone Bigfoot Monster Truck. Celebrating 75 years of business, Georgia Tire is hosting this event, including a car crush extravaganza on Saturday.  

The day culminates with the official Opening Ceremonies, including a street dance and fireworks, that start at 5:30 p.m. The music will be courtesy of Bogey and the Viceroy as well as Tiger Creek.

Saturday features the 43rd annual Vidalia Onion Run, which can be a run or a walk. The one-mile starts at 7:30 a.m. and the 5K and 10K races begin at 8 a.m.

Another major event of the day will be the Vidalia Onion Recipe Contest and Public Tasting, which requires pre-registration. In the afternoon, the World-Famous Onion Eating Contest kicks off at 4 p.m. along with the Saturday concert and fireworks. There will be live performances by headliners Rodney Atkins and Danielle Bradbery as well as appearances by Clayton Hackle and the Dilligaf Country Band.

In addition to the other ongoing festivities of the carnival, the monster truck show and the food tastings, there’s also an Arts and Crafts Show all day on Saturday and Sunday.

Photo credit: dominiquejames/BIGSTOCK.COM