Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Asparagus Takes Root in America

The Tenth Annual Asparagus & Flower Heritage Festival will take place on the West Brookfield Common on Saturday, May 19,2012 from 10AM-4PM. This unique celebration originally focused on “Asparagus” as the spirit of spring but seven years ago “Flowers & Heritage” were added. The event is, once again, sponsored by the Quaboag Historical Society and the West Brookfield Historical Commission.

Why Asparagus?? In 1790 Deiderick Leertouwer, a Dutch Consul, was sent to the new state of Massachusetts and New England to promote trade. He settled in West Brookfield, which at the time was vying to be the county seat of Worcester. Legend has it that he missed his beloved asparagus and had roots sent to this country which he planted near Foster Hill in town. Asparagus patches appear each spring and several people claim to have the original patch!

This year's Festival is free to the public. Over 100 local growers, artisans, businesses and organizations are expected. Live music is provided by Dick Chase. A Maypole Dance takes place at 1:00pm followed by a Frog Jumping Contest at 1:30pm. Kids, bring your biggest frog! Free kids activities take place all day.. “Ed the Wizard”, a stolling magician, will return again this year and expect to see a lifesize “Asparagus Stalk”. Enjoy lunch in “Asparagus Alley” where a variety of asparagus dishes will be available in addition to other lunch selections.

Come! Meet local plant growers! Sit on a hay bale and enjoy the music! Have lunch with a touch of asparagus. And don’t forget to say hello to Deiderick Leertouwer, he’ll be strolling the Common.

For vendor information contact asparagusfestival@charter.net or phone 508-867-9400 Tues-Fri, 10am-5pm only.

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