Vidalia readies for onion festival - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Vidalia readies for onion festival

Workers will pick, pack and ship 30 million pounds of onions this season. Workers will pick, pack and ship 30 million pounds of onions this season.
The Blue Angels return once again to liven up the skies over Toombs County. The Blue Angels return once again to liven up the skies over Toombs County.

VIDALIA, GA (WTOC) - The Vidalia onion festival kicks off Thursday night. The onion brings attention and dollars to the region each season. Workers at Stanley Farms will pick, pack and ship 30 million pounds of onions this season.

Brian Stanley, a third generation farmer, says the crop's market and fame grow bigger and bigger. "We're sending things to the UK, to Alaska, some new business there this year and from the east to the west coast," Stanley explained.

To celebrate the crop, as many as 50,000 people will gather over the weekend for the Vidalia Onion Festival.

"It does showcase the sweet Vidalia onion that's known world wide and we think this helps people know we're pushing the product," noted Vidalia mayor Ronnie Dixon.

Besides the onion, one of the biggest attractions is the festival air show. The Blue Angels return once again to liven up the skies over Toombs County.

"We're the smallest town they perform in," said committee member Polly Ann Martin. "For us to get them here every other year and for them to want to come here is a coup."

But pilots like Lt. Frank Wiesser say it's one of the best shows they see. "They are fabulous and it's a pleasure to work them and to be here," he said.

Everyone hopes all the attractions help tempt any taste buds that haven't tried their favorite crop.

For a complete list of events, visit www.vidaliaonionfestival.com

Reported by Dal Cannady, dcannady@wtoc.com

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