VIDALIA, Ga. — The British royal wedding was “the other party” on April 29.

The real party, as Vidalia onion officials saw it, was the grand opening of the Vidalia Onion Museum.

“I’m a grower, so this project is close to my heart,” said Anthony Cowart, co-owner of Cowart Farms, Lyons.

Cowart was one of about 200 people attending the grand opening.

“This museum represents my whole family’s livelihood for about the last 30 years, so it’s an important event for us. It’s a milestone we’ve reached,” he said.

Vidalia onion museum opens to sweet success

Dan Galbraith

Delbert Bland, (left), president, chief executive officer and owner of Bland Farms, Glennville, Ga., and Troy Bland, asset and transportation manager, examine the "Pioneers, Problems and Promise" exhibit during the opening of the Vidalia Onion Museum April. "I haven't seen this before. It is pretty cool," says Bland, watching a video on the history of the crop, featuring himself and other growers.

Vidalia onion museum opens to sweet success

Dan Galbraith

Wendy Brannen, executive director of the Vidalia Onion Committee, cuts the ribbon at the grand opening of the Vidalia Onion Museum April 29.

The museum, in the same building as the Vidalia Onion Committee offices and the Vidalia Visitors Bureau, is billed as an educational tribute to the vegetable that has blossomed in national popularity in recent years and is basically what the city of Vidalia is built around.

A giant display featuring antique farm equipment used to first plant, harvest and process the crop in the early 20th century, paired with video interviews from members of the industry telling their stories, is the highlight of the museum.

“It’s really neat. It’s interesting to see how it (the Vidalia onion industry) all started, and it should do a good job of furthering the reputation of the onion,” said University of Georgia Extension Service area onion agent Reid Torrance. “The old newspaper clippings and the videos are my favorite part. They really bring back a lot of memories.”

Other features include an interactive exhibit for children that allows them to experience the sorting and grading process of Vidalia onions in a playful way, and a display showing a gigantic Vidalia onion in detail.