Spring Ahead

Vegetable festivals that herald the approach of spring

When thinking of food festivals, state fairs showcasing all-fried-everything come to mind. But three produce-heavy spring festivals have us dreaming of warmer weather and the vegetables that come with it.

Yuma Lettuce Days: This two-day festival elevates the humble lettuce leaf with cooking demonstrations, contests, a harvest dinner and more. Experience "kale-gating" with a local grower, and sample artisan romaine. March 9 & 10, Yuma, AZ

Vidalia Onion Festival: Allium lovers flock to Georgia from far and wide to celebrate the sweet Vidalia onion. Activities include a Golden Onion chef competition, an onion-eating contest, tastings and live music. April 18 through 21, Vidalia, GA

Stockton Asparagus Festival: Stalkers will appreciate creative interpretations of the locally grown spring vegetable in dishes such as asparagus ice cream and asparagus shortcake. Somewhat more traditional preparations include burritos and deep-fried stalks. April 26 through 28, Stockton, CA