Empire will celebrate 17th annual Asparagus Festival virtually

Amidst the Coronavirus pandemic, the Empire Chamber of Commerce will hold favorite events online for annual festival

From staff reports

The third weekend of May is typically one of the busiest weekends of the year in the village of Empire. Each spring the Empire Chamber of Commerce hosts the annual Asparagus Festival to celebrate the arrival of the season––and the asparagus crop––with local food, beer, and music on Front Street in the village. This year, due to restrictions put in place to encourage social distancing amidst the Coronavirus pandemic, the festival will be held virtually.

Photos courtesy of Mae Stier / Empire Chamber

Participants can still enjoy some of the long-standing traditions of the festival–the Kick Yer Ass-paragus 5k Fun Run/Walk (register here), asparagus recipe contest (enter here), and “Ode to the Asparagus” poetry contest—wherever they are. The 5k welcomes runners or walkers to participate by registering online and sharing a photo from their route on social media. 5k participants will all receive a 2020 Asparagus Festival t-shirt mailed to them. T-shirts will be available for sale online as well; proceeds go to support the Empire Chamber of Commerce.

Recipe contest

The recipe contest invites participants to send in their favorite asparagus recipe. Entries will all be compiled into a digital recipe book, available for free on the Empire Chamber website at the end of May. Winners will be randomly selected to receive prizes from Grocer’s Daughter Chocolate’s.

To enter, simply email the recipe to your favorite asparagus dish, along with the completed entry form, to maestier (AT) gmail (COM) com. Entries must be received by 11:59 pm on Sunday, May 17. Three recipes will be randomly selected to be cooked and judged upon by local caterers Mel & Fell. Winners will be announced on Friday, May 22. Prizes will be mailed to the winners, featuring items from Grocer’s Daughter and other Empire businesses.

Poetry contest

As in year’s past, asparagus-enthusiasts can submit their “Ode to the Asparagus” poem submissions to info (AT) glenlakelibrary (DOT) net. Poems must be received by 5 pm on Friday, May 15; a virtual poetry reading will occur on Saturday, May 16. Winning poems will be published in the Glen Arbor Sun.

Full details on how to participate in each event can be found on the Empire Chamber’s website. You can follow along with updates about the event, including information on how to watch the virtual poetry reading or to see the t-shirt design revealed, at the Empire Chamber’s Facebook page and Asparagus Festival Facebook page.

This ad sponsored by the Leland Mercantile.