Ramp Tramp celebrates 53 years

Ramp Tramp celebrates 53 years

April 29th, 2011 By Paul Leach/Correspondent in Chattnow Outabout

IF YOU GO

What and when: Bluegrass & Beans, 7 tonight; Ramp Tramp Festival, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday.

Where: Camp McCroy in Greasy Creek community, 2.5 miles off Highway 64 on Highway 30 between Ocoee and Ducktown, Tenn.

Admission: Free to festival; meals $8 adults, $4 children under 12.

Phone: 423-338-4503.

Website: www.polkagextension.com/ramppage.html

GREASY CREEK, Tenn. - Polk County's annual celebration of the ramp, a wild member of the lily family, gets cooking tonight at Camp McCroy.

Bluegrass & Beans gets under way at 7 tonight. Attendees may eat bowls of cornbread, white beans and raw ramps while enjoying bluegrass and gospel music performed by County Line and The Fredonia Bluegrass Band.

The main event, the Ramp Tramp Festival, begins at 10 a.m. Saturday with a flag-raising performed by area veterans.

The Fredonia Bluegrass Band will return to perform for ramp trampers; Whistle Stop Bluegrass and Steel String Session also will be joining the day's bill.

Of course, the festival's highlight will be delicacies such as fried ramps in eggs, streaked meat (side meat), fried potatoes, white beans and cornbread.

Greg Paxton, director of the Polk County Agricultural Extension Service, which sponsors the festival with Polk County 4-H clubs, said he expects 15 to 20 vendors of handmade crafts such as quilts, carved wood and jewelry to attend the festival.

He anticipates about 800 festivalgoers, who will consume 600 ramp meals on Saturday.

In addition to folks from the immediate area, the annual festival draws visitors from as far away as the Midwest and West Coast.

Polk County Executive Hoyt Firestone, who will attend the Saturday event, said the festival "brings us together. It's a good opportunity to reunite and reconnect."