There was no shortage of food, fun and floats in the small city of Glennville, as they recently celebrated another successful harvest with their 47th annual Sweet Onion Festival. And the thousands in attendance were treated to not just all the festivities, but also a chance to catch up with old friends and family on this special weekend.
“Well, they’re going to get an opportunity to socialize, get some Vidalia onions or some Glennville onions, whatever you want to call them and just socialize with their neighbors and friends here,” says Wayne Dasher, Chairman of the Glennville Sweet Onion Festival. “Every, community, every family needs a family reunion, so to speak. So, here, it’s Mother’s Day weekend. What a better day could you have to bring all the folks in to visit their families and their mothers and show honor to them and come to the Glennville Onion Festival and get some treats for them or some gifts.”
Even though Glennville might not have their name on the bags at the grocery store, it is actually the birthplace of Georgia’s official state vegetable.
“The original onion originated in Glennville. There was a man from New York that brought the onions down and married a local woman here and started growing them here fifty years ago,” says Dasher. “Piggly Wiggly Southern was in Vidalia and they were the ones that bought the onions. And on their bags, they furnished the bags, and they had on there the sweet onions, the pride of Piggly Wiggly Vidalia, Georgia. So, that’s where it picked up the name from.”
While this event is designed to recognize all the hard work that goes into producing this world-famous product, it’s also shining a spotlight on just how much impact the entire agricultural industry has on this community.
“There’s a lot of economic growth out of it. You know, the workers that are here, the people that these larger farms – Bland Farms, G & R Farms, two of the largest growers here in the county, each one of them probably employs two hundred people each. You know, we’ve got other industries here. We’ve got the Rotary Corporation. They’re the largest manufacturer of lawn mower blades in the world. They have about three hundred employees total all over. It’s just an opportune time to come and share this fruit with our neighbors,” says Dasher.
By: Damon Jones