Imperial holds annual Sweet Onion Festival

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The Newman band lights up downtown Imperial Saturday night during the city’s Sweet Onion Festival.

IMPERIAL – Kicking off the annual Market Nights for the 2016-2017 season, Imperial held its Sweet Onion Festival Saturday with locals experiencing family fun including live music, an onion eating contest and a craft-making “funion” zone.

Located in the traditional spot of Imperial and Barioni avenues, the competitive nature came out for most during the onion eating contest. The contest incorporated different age groups that spanned children all the way to adults. To keep the competition fair, the size of the onions being eaten were in line with the age levels competing. Competitors were required to sign up by 5 p.m. at the city’s booth.

In the new “fusion zone,” attendees were given materials to craft hats resembling a bag of onions, and getting people in the spirit of festival.

“This was a great addition for the market that allowed me and my son to have a fun and creative activity,” said Brandon Avila.

Other vendors at this year’s festival included a beer garden provided by Alford’s Distributing, as well as new additions from the Pentagonal and Humble Farmers Brewing Company who opened their doors to the community to check out what they had to offer.

Adding to the events for children, the Imperial Valley Discovery Zone hosted booth to encourage getting children involved in the STEM program with interactive activities in the four aspects of science: science, technology, engineering and math.

Also, one of the more popular booths for the evening was Mari Lynn’s Country Store which offered jams and jellies as well as Mari Lynn’s pickled vegetables.

Closing out the evening, the Newman Band from Orange County lit up the night with their take on rock and roll with a touch of country music that got the townsfolk dancing.