Onion Festival Returns To Dry Tears

An East Texas tradition returned to its roots Saturday, as the Noonday Sweet Onion Growers Festival returned after a one-year absence. Because of concerns about parking, they skipped 2002, but hundreds came back for the festival.

They were buying their favorite vegetables by the handful and the bag full. There were also booths and exhibits, but for the people who attended the festival, it was all about the sweet onion that's become an East Texas tradition.

"I bought two bags of onions," Tyler's Tracy Smith says. "One I'm sending my stepdaughter in Missouri because she really loves them and misses them, I'm sending them to her and husband."

"And the other bag is for my husband to eat this weekend," she admits.

"We have a faithful following," onion grower Clay Smith says. "I ship them to Michigan, Ohio, and all parts of the country. These people who moved out of the area still want us to ship them to them."

Reid Kerr (rkerr@kltv.com) reporting.