When we head into a state we have a pretty good idea of where we are going and what we want to do – but make sure to stop at a state welcome facility to see if there are things we did not know of. We left St. Augustine about a week ago with the plan of staying outside of Savannah and spending a few days seeing the area.
When we crossed the border into Georgia we stopped at the state welcome facility and spent a little while looking around. We discovered that there was an Onion Festival this weekend in Vidalia Georgia. Never been to an Onion Festival so we decided to take a detour and head to Vidalia. Onions are big business in Vidalia they ship out about 200 million pounds of sweet onions a year.
Friday we left Savannah and drove to Mt. Vernon, Georgia which is right down the road from Vidalia and has a nice little 12 site RV park on the edge of the Brewton-Parker College. After we got set up we headed into Vidalia to find some dinner and then went by what was part of the festival. It was a little site with a few kids type rides and some festival food vendors. We wandered around a little while and got an Italian Ice.
The Vidalia Onion Festival has a number of events starting on Thursday and going thru Sunday. They have a 5K run, car show, a well-respected air show, arts and crafts festival, motorcycle rally, carnival, rodeo, and this year Kelly Pickler in concert. Today we wandered thru the arts and craft area. There were a good number of vendors there, some with interesting wares. We purchased some jams and of course a 5 pound bag of sweet Vidalia onions.
Since we were in Vidalia we looked to see what else might be around the area. About 25 miles down the road is Claxton, Georgia. Claxton is a small town that has a big reputation – it is the fruitcake capital of the world. In 1910 an Italian immigrant opened the Claxton Bakery. The bakery sold all kinds of baked goods and ice cream and during the holiday seasons made fruit cakes. In 1945 the bakery was sold to Albert Parker, a longtime employee. Parker recognized that many traditional bakery items were being marketed in business other than bakeries and decided to focus on fruit cakes. We actually did not get to visit the bakery – it was closed even though the website said it is open on Saturdays until 5 pm. I guess I will have to wait so sample some fruitcake