Last weekend, members of the Flag Pond Ruritan Club and their families took to the mountains of Unicoi County, rounding up as many wild leeks as they could carry. The same thing was done the Saturday before, and in all, more than 40 pounds of ramps were harvested in preparation for this weekend’s celebrating the spring vegetable.
The 29th annual Flag Pond Ramp Festival, sponsored by the club, will be held Saturday at the old Flag Pond School from 11 a.m.-5:30 p.m.
Admission to the festival itself is free. Attendees may purchase a dish for $8 that contains fried ramps and potatoes, cornbread, soup beans, bacon, cole slaw, a dessert and a drink.
The flavor of ramps has been described resembling that of an onion mixed with garlic. For the more faint of heart, hamburgers, hot dogs and nachos will be available for purchase.
As it has in the past, the festival will also feature live entertainment. This year’s acts are set to include the Dandy Lines dancing group, the Spivey Mountain Boys, the Millers and the Unicoi County High School Bluegrass Band.
“We usually have a good turnout,” Flag Pond Ruritan Club President Richard Waldrop said. “It’s something good for the community.”
To get to the festival grounds, take Exit 50 off Interstate 26. Turn left at the stop sign and then right at the next stop sign. The old Flag Pond School will be on the right.