The museum consultant countered, "Really, an onion museum?" That was five years ago, before learning the "sweet" history behind the humble, mild-mannered Vidalia onion. The Vidalia's intoxicating layers have been peeled back to uncover its growth from modest cash crop to inspiring a multitude of food products marketed worldwide -- and to being named Georgia's state veggie. See it all when the Vidalia Onion Museum opens to the public at 3 p.m. today!
The 1,300-square-foot space is stuffed with an interactive array of educational exhibits highlighting the sweet onion's economic, cultural and culinary significance. Exhibits trace the vegetable's history, why it's so sweet, the fight to protect name and fame, the year-round job of producing the prized onions, "Onion Town" and the economic impact of the Vidalia onion on the state, pop culture, marketing, menus, a "Sweet World for Kids," and the living exhibit of the smallest registered Vidalia onion field right there on the premises.
Adding more spunk to the mix, the Vidalia Onion Festival also takes place this weekend with festivities, pageants, parades, concerts, car shows, onion-eating contests and arts and crafts. Since these are Vidalia onions we're talking about, it's a given that you can play all day without shedding a tear -- unless they are tears of Vidalia joy and appreciation! After its 3 p.m. opening today, the museum's regular operating hours will be Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. with Saturday hours available for tours. For more information, visit www.vidaliaonion.org or the museum's Facebook page.