Noonday Onion Festival Controversy

Published: Jun. 10, 2003 at 10:20 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 11, 2003 at 2:48 AM CDT
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Who knew the Noonday "sweet onion" could be so controversial, but the festival bearing its name is causing some feuding.

The Sweet Onion Growers association has pulled out of the original festival. They say the city run festival had to many demands they couldn't fulfill.

Now the growers have started their own. The city of Noonday is still going on with their onion festival. Both are this weekend starting June 14th.

It was just last year the Noonday Sweet Onion Festival was cancelled all together because it had become such a crowd favorite there just wasn't ample parking. Now East Texans must choose between opposing onion festivals.

"All I can tell you is the onion growers are having theirs and we have the original," Dick Miller, Noonday Onion Festival.

"They wanted us to do other things besides sell our onions," says Clay Smith, Noonday Sweet Onion Festival and a grower. "We just didn't have the physical manpower to do it and we decided to have our own onion festival and just focus on the onion, bring it back to the roots of the festival."

The city's Noonday Onion Festival is at Fire Mountain on Highway 155. That starts Friday at noon. The festival also runs Saturday from nine to 6.

Just down the road, the growers, "Noonday Sweet Onion" Festival is going on at the Red Barn Trade Days, on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Times are flexible, but Saturday and Sunday they'll be there from 8 to about six.

Both festivals will have onions and craft booths.

Dana Dixon Reporting