The first Saturday in November means one thing to our family: The Vardaman Sweet Potato Festival.
If you have never been to Vardaman, Mississippi, or attended this festival, then you are in for a treat. I may be a bit prejudiced since I am from Vardaman, but the Sweet Potato Capital of the World is home to the sweetest, most cordial people of the world as well.
This year’s festival marks 50 years of celebrating Vardaman’s sweet potato farming industry. So, get ready; the party is on!
For those who wonder why Vardaman sweet potatoes are so special, it all began around 1915 when the first crops of sweet potatoes were grown in this small north Mississippi community. Today, Vardaman sweet potatoes are the leading agricultural industry of Calhoun County and are shipped around the nation and throughout Europe, greatly impacting the town, the county, and the state.
Over a century later, the area’s perfect soil and favorable climate still produce the sweetest “taters” on earth. If you don’t believe it, then visit one of the various fourth- and fifth-generation farms in Vardaman and see the loving care that goes into raising these sweet gems. Better yet, just come to the Sweet Potato Festival on Saturday, November 4, and taste for yourself.
Tasting is a big part of the Sweet Potato Festival experience, and it’s a big reason why the town is so well-known for its sweet potatoes. All year long, people stop by Vardaman’s Sweet Potato Sweets bakery on Highway 8 to sample some of the amazing sweet and savory baked goods made from hometown sweet potatoes. Online shoppers from around the world will also attest to the delectable goodness of these products.
So, make sure to check out their tasting booth and the booths of the other food vendors, artists, and craftsmen that will participate in the Arts and Crafts show in downtown Vardaman on Saturday, November 4.
But the downtown street market is just one part of the annual festival. Visitors are invited to participate in a full slate of events spread across the community, including a 5K run, an antique tractor show, a pie eating contest, a classic car and truck show, and live musical entertainment throughout the day from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
And don’t forget to buy a case or two of Vardaman Sweet Potatoes to take home, share, and enjoy for weeks to come!
For more information on the 50th Vardaman Sweet Potato Festival, go to www.vardamansweetpotatofestival.com.