The Annual Empire Asparagus Festival will be held this weekend (May 16-18, 2014) and features a slew of asparagus-themed events including a Street Dance & Pig Roast from 7-10 PM Friday, a fun run (or walk), Asparagus Eats/Wine and Beer Tasting, Asparagus recipe contest, the Asparagus Parade, chalk art, music & dance and kids games on Saturday and a 7 PM Finale Fun Food with Live Music on Saturday night.
You can get all the details on the tasty eats and drinks below!
A feature by Susan Bayer Ward titled The Empire Strikes Back… With Asparagus explains:
There’s a reason Empire touts itself as the apex of asparagus-a vegetable whose short growing season begins in early May and flows into June. The area’s sandy soil, plentitude of water and temperate microclimate-fostered by Lake Michigan, make this the perfect place to nurture wild and farmed asparagus. In fact, Michigan ranks third behind California and Washington as a producer of this commercial crop which garners the state a surprising $29 million annually.
Truth be told, only one local farmer, Harry Norconk, runs a 240-acre asparagus-growing business south of town. But what the heck, this slender green harbinger of spring grows wild all over the place. And while surrounding towns, for years, positioned themselves as prime purveyors of cherries, morel mushrooms and wines, Empire decided to become the Valhalla of that savory veggie-the asparagus.
- Scalawags Fish & Chips
- Stone House Bread
- Norconks Asparagus/Fresh & Pickled Asparagus
- Empire Village Inn
- Gemmas Coffee Shop & Baked Goods
- Joes Friendly Tavern
- Bay Town Kitchen
- Horizons N Sunsets
- Black Star Farms Hearth & Vine
- La Becasse
- Arts Tavern
- Deerings Market and Bakery/Asparagus Brats
- Black Star Farms
- Right Brain Brewery/Asparagus Beer
- Left Foot Charley
- Little Traverse Inn
- St Ambrose Cellars
- Forty-Five North Winery