The 46th Glennville Sweet Onion Festival was blessed with sunny skies and warm temperatures that reached the mid-80s. Another blessing was the massive crowds who attended the event, sampling the dozens of food choices and shopping the dozens of craft vendors.
The day began with the 7:30 a.m. 1-mile run followed by the 5K (3.1-mile) run at 8 a.m. Overall winner in the one-mile was 15-year-old Axel Sierra of Glennville, with his time of 5:33.5, followed by 33-year-old Evan Fountain of Augusta a half second behind him. Top overall female winner was Emily Fountain, age 30, of Nashville, Tennessee, with her time of 6:21.9.
In the 5K, Evan Fountain took the overall win with his time of 18:34, followed by Jayden Grimes, 16, of Glennville, with a time of 18:52.1. Top overall female winner was Emily Fountain with a time of 20:38.7.
Over 60 entries participated in the 10 a.m. parade, with Kim Craft chairing this year’s parade for Anchorpointe Mission Team. No awards were presented this year.
Over a dozen Shriner entries were a hit of the parade, including Tattnall’s own Shrine Unit.
Crowds lined the street to wave at the beauty queens and politicians as spectators scooped up an abundance of candy tossed to them.
The parade followed its usual route from South Tattnall Middle School down Barnard Street and then turning left at the Hwy. 301 traffic light onto the corner of Banks Street and Hwy. 301 where the parade ended.
Peighton White, 2022 Miss Georgia Sweet Onion, rode the City of Glennville float along with several other onion royalty. White graduated from Pinewood Christian Academy at 9 a.m. that morning, barely making it to the parade.
12 p.m. Program
The 12 p.m. program was held at the Stage at Barnard, and this is the second year the festival has been held on downtown Barnard Street from Hwy. 301 to Tillman Street. Vendor booth spaces were added on Gross, Railroad, and Caswell Streets to accommodate the hundred plus vendor spaces.
Pastor Mike Howard gave the invocation, followed by the Presentation of the colors by the 3rd Infantry Division Color Guard. The 3rd Infantry Division Band played the National Anthem. Glennville City Manager Stan Dansby led in the Pledge of Allegiance, followed by a warm welcome from Glennville Mayor Bernie Weaver.
Miss Georgia Sweet Onion Pageant Director Anita Dasher introduced White, who spoke to the crowd on enjoying the day of festivities and the pride she felt in representing the Vidalia Sweet Onion crop. Ms. Dasher also introduced the other “onion royalty” on stage.
Will J. Sheffield, President and Chief Executive Officer of Glennville Bank, announced this year’s Largest Onion Contest winners as follows:
1st place, Jacob C. Durrence, age 11months old, with a 19-1/4” circumference onion; 2nd place, Alissa Blocker, 18-1/2”; 3rd place, Hattie Blocker, 17-3/4”; and 4th place tie, Logan Bland, 16-3/4”, and Riley Dasher, 16-3/4”. They were presented with awards by President Sheffield as follows: 1st place, $100; 2nd place, $75; 3rd place, $50; and 4th place, $25.
Glennville Sweet Onion Scholarship Winners
Glennville Sweet Onion Festival Co-Chair Shellie Smith announced the onion run winners, followed by her announcement and presentation of $500 scholarships from the Onion Festival Committee to seniors Walt Banks of Tattnall County High School and Rebekah Whiten of Pinewood Christian Academy. Walt is the son of Joe and Valorie Banks, and Rebekah is the daughter of Alan and Angie Whiten.
Entertainment followed the brief 12 p.m. program, which began with Studio South Dance Academy dancers at 12:30. Next, the talented and Glennville’s own Osjha Anderson Domenicone, who was Miss Georgia 1999, sang several selections for the crowd, accompanied by her daughter, Gia, and Osjha’s brother, Chris Anderson.
Country singer Leah Rucker, who recently performed at the Sweet Sound of Country on April 30, entertained with several favorite country hits.
Several groups from Dancers Edge of Claxton also performed.
Gospel singer Betty Martin sang several songs, moving some in the crowd to tears.
The Tattnall County High School Battle Creek Concert Band performed several selections to an appreciative audience.
Country singer Tavontae King sang next.
Closing out the afternoon of entertainment was the talented and versatile Noah Butler, both a vocalist and guitarist. He was accompanied by Dean Wells, Jr., also a guitarist and vocalist.
The festival closed at 5 p.m.
Other events included a train ride, face painting, reverse bungee jump, and several inflatables, which the children enjoyed.
The 2022 Glennville Sweet Onion Festival was sponsored by Grand/Title Sponsor ($2,500) Optim Medical Center-Tattnall and other sponsors as follows:
Platinum level ($1,000 +): Bland Farms, Glennville Bank, Brannen-Kennedy Funeral Home, and Badcock Home Furnishings and More.
Gold Sponsors ($500) are Tattnall Insurance, South Georgia Bank, Mascot Pecan Company, Georgia Power, New York Life Agent Charlton Rogers, Southeastern Supply, Strickland's Pharmacy, Wiregrass Designs, McDonald’s of Glennville, Reeves Construction Company, The Supply Company, and M&L Forest Products, Inc.
Silver Sponsors ($350) include G&R Farms, Canoochee EMC, City of Glennville, Folsom Farmhouse Restaurant, Mercer Brooks Interiors, Ray Farms, and Friends of Law Enforcement.
Friends Sponsors ($250) are as follows: Adams Poultry & Hardware; Onshore Outsourcing; Botanical Sciences, LLC; Law Office of Hugh J. McCullough, P.C.; Tattnall Printing/Russ Rhoden; Tattnall Trio; Palm Coast Utilities; Tattnall Magazine; State Farm Agent Caughey Hearn; and Dubberly Law Firm, LLC.