Arts & Entertainment

Sweet Onion Festival set July 20-21 in Walla Walla

Before there were a slew of wineries dotted across Walla Walla farmland, there were onions.

Those onions have been known far and wide for being one of the sweetest-tasting onions on the planet. And because that Walla Walla sweet onion is so delicious, onion connoisseurs have come up with a bazillion different ways to serve it.

And that's what the annual Sweet Onion Festival is all about.

Headlining the entertainment stage at this year's festival will be Jimmy Lloyd Rae & the Switchmasters along with the Coyote Kings.

The Sweet Onion Festival runs July 20-21 on the streets of downtown Walla Walla.

The fun starts at 8 a.m. with a fun run that begins at Third Avenue and Main Street. Registration starts at 7 a.m.

The rest of the day includes sampling a mountain of onions cooked a variety of ways. There will even be a onion-eating contest for kids and adults at 1 p.m. Food demonstrations start at 2 p.m., and live entertainment starts at 3 p.m.

The Saturday night street dance starts at 6 p.m. with music by Hannah and Alyssa, followed by the Coyote Kings at 7:30 p.m. and Jimmy Lloyd Rae at 9:30 p.m.

On July 21, the festival opens at 10:30 a.m., followed by food demonstrations at 11 a.m. Afternoon entertainment includes the male quartet Glory Road.

There also will be sweet onion sack races, sweet onion bowling, a bald-as-an-onion contest and plenty of face-painting artists for kids and adults.

Admission to the festival is free. Just bring an appetite because, as organizers put it, visitors will experience a sense of culinary adventure.

-- Dori O'Neal: 582-1514;; Twitter: @dorioneal