Vidalia onions, festival put town in the spotlight - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Vidalia onions, festival put town in the spotlight

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Rusty McLain is one of those Toombs Countians too busy to take in all the events of the Vidalia Onion Festival.

He and other farmers are usually busy this weekend getting the onion crop out of the fields and on to market. 

"I can't speak for other farms, but here we can turn out up to 700,000 pounds of onions per day at the peak of season," he explained.

Farm tours are among the most popular attractions during the onion festival.

Visitors from outside the 20 county "Onion Belt" can visit the farms and packing houses to see some of the operations. McLain likes the increased interest by many customers to see where their food originates.

"I've never had anybody tell me it was exactly what they thought it would be," he laughed. "It's always mind blowing to people what all goes into making this product."

McLain said they get notes and questions from customers as far away as Canada and the Netherlands. The world famous crop brings all sorts of recognition for the town and region.

"No matter where I go, people want to know if they can get some onions or how the onions are doing," said Vidalia mayor Ronnie Dixon.

The 37th annual Vidalia Onion Festival includes an amusement midway, arts and crafts, cooking demos and live entertainment. For more information, visit

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