Asparagus festival back to full lineup for 2022.

June 6, 2022

2019 Asparagus Queen Alysha Sullivan, pictured left, and First Runner-Up Lori Beggs. There has not been a National Asparagus Festival Royal Parade since 2019 due to COVID-19.

Asparagus festival back to full lineup for 2022.

By Allison Scarbrough, Editor.

HART — The National Asparagus Festival returns to a full lineup this weekend, June 11 and 12, after COVID-19 canceled the 2020 event and scaled back the 2021 festival.

The 2020 event would have been the 47th annual NAF. 

The celebration kicks off Saturday, June 11, with the Ryan Walsworth Spear It 5K in Silver Lake. Registration begins at 7:30 a.m., and the race starts at 9 a.m. at the Silver Lake Chicken Shack. Participants can also register online at Ryan Walsworth Spear It 5K

“This event is in loving memory of Ryan Walsworth, a former local asparagus farmer who was a faithful contributor and donor to NAF as well as supporting the asparagus and agriculture community here in Oceana County and beyond,” states the NAF website about the late farmer. “We are honored to recognize Ryan’s hard work and community spirit through the 5K.”

The arts and crafts fair on the courthouse lawn returns to NAF this year, running from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. 

“Each year, our arts and crafts fair is one of the most popular craft shows in the area,” states the NAF website. “We host a wide variety of more than 60 crafters traveling from all over the state of Michigan to display hundreds of products that are truly one-of-a-kind.” 

A farm tour departs from the NAF office downtown at 9:30 a.m. Saturday.

A Kids Zone with fun activities for children will be set up in the parking lot next to the Hart Commons from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 3-5 p.m. Saturday. This year’s event is being planned and organized by the Shelby Public Schools Football Program. “We are super excited for this new partnership and cannot wait to see what Coach Phillip Fortier and the Shelby Tigers have planned,” said NAF Queen Coordinator Jessica Woodworth.

The Taste of Asparagus Competition will take place at Heritage Hall in the Hart Historic District from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Competitors prepare samplings of asparagus dishes vying for honors in three categories — Commercial, Non-Commercial and People’s Choice Award. A shuttle will be available to transport people to the event. Apply at Taste of Asparagus Application

The highlight event of NAF is the Royal Parade, which begins at 2 p.m. The event begins at the Oceana County Fairgrounds at the corner of Polk Road and State Street in Hart and proceeds down State Street to the downtown. Watch for the newly-crowned Asparagus Queen Grace Huffman and Runner Up Chelsi Walicki.

A Hoe Down, which is a new NAF event, is set for 4-5 p.m. at the Hart Commons.

On Sunday, enjoy a Fly-in Pancake Breakfast from 7:30 a.m. to noon at the Oceana County Airport on Baseline Road in Shelby. There will be aircraft displays and door prizes. 

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