The Glennville Sweet Onion Festival
Glennville’s biggest annual event, the Glennville Sweet Onion Festival, will celebrate its 40th anniversary in 2016, and sunny skies have shone upon just about every one. The festive day on the second Saturday of each May celebrates the harvesting of the famous Vidalia sweet onion crop.
The day begins with a sweet onion run and walk and a downtown parade. Then on to the State Farmers’ Market on Highway 301 South for an array of arts and crafts, delightful entertainment, children's rides and games, delectable food (that includes fried sweet onion rings and blooming onions). The event draws more than 6,000 people each year.
Tattnall County, of which the community of Glennville is the largest, grows more Vidalia Sweet Onions than any of the other official Georgia Department of Agriculture Vidalia Sweet Onion growing counties, contributing approximately half of the entire state crop each year.
Prior to 1989 sweet onions grown in Tattnall County were marketed as Glennville Sweet Onions. As a result of the continued confusion over what constituted a genuine Vidalia or Glennville sweet onion, growers decided they all needed to work together.
The Vidalia Onion Act, passed by the Georgia legislature in 1986, defined the 20 counties in which Vidalia onions could be grown, and the state's Department of Agriculture was given ownership of the Vidalia name as it applied to onions. A grower referendum for the establishment of an Onion Commodity Commission failed in 1986 but passed in 1987. In 1989 the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Federal Marketing Order No. 955 gave federal protection to the Vidalia onion and created the Vidalia Onion Committee, which supports both marketing and research initiatives for Vidalia onions. Finally, in 1992 the state of Georgia became the owner of the Vidalia onion trademark.
Headquartered in Glennville, Bland Farms is the largest grower, packer and shipper of sweet onions in the United States. Bland Farms represents roughly half of the entire Vidalia® sweet onion volume, and has the largest controlled-environment storage capacity in the industry.
For more information visit http://www.glennvillesweetonion.com/