Trout Fest, Ramp Festival, Flame Azaleas

We’ve had a little drizzle overnight, but Saturday is forecast to be a beautiful day. There are still some dogwoods in bloom, but most of them have faded. The flame azalea is still in bloom in most locations. There may still be some spring ephemerals (wildflowers) in the woods. I had a report on the Wagon Train Trail at Brasstown Bald, and as of a week ago, it seemed that it was still a little early there due to the elevation – some trillium, some Trout Lily.

The Blue Ridge Trout Festival and Outdoor Adventures is tomorrow in the downtown park. It’s not just for people who fish trout. It is also of interest to naturalists and to everyone who appreciates a good festival with good food trucks. The Atlanta Fly Fishing School will hold morning sessions in the education tent, with some of the local guides taking over in the afternoon. From 12:30 to 2:30 Chef Zak Lennox will talk about making smoked trout dip and trout with fennel and arugula salad.

I’m having trouble embedding the website, but if you Google the festival, there’s a schedule of the educational sessions and a complete list of vendors with food trucks. In terms of the food, Cousins Maine Lobster – if you can get near it – and Williamson Bros. Barbecue have been very popular in the past. It looks like Devil’s Backbone is the official brew. Admission is $5.

The Polk County Ramp Festival is tomorrow, starting at 10:00. This is a wonderful local tradition that’s been going on since 1958. From Blue Ridge, figure an hour or so to get there. You would go to Ducktown on Hwy 5 and Hwy 68, then through the gorge on Hwy 64/74. When you start to come out of the gorge, where Parksville Lake starts, look for the right turn to Reliance. It is signed either Hwy 315 or Hwy 30. You can’t miss the festival, which is at the old 4-H Camp McCroy. You can get some ramps, bacon, eggs, and beans and you can usually buy ramps by the bunch.

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