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Flag Pond will get ‘ramp’ed up May 14

By Sue Guinn Legg

Don Shelton displays some ramps during the 2015 Ramp Festival. The 2016 festival will be held on the grounds of the old Flag Pond school on Saturday, May 14. (File photo)
Don Shelton displays some ramps during the 2015 Ramp Festival. The 2016 festival will be held on the grounds of the old Flag Pond school on Saturday, May 14. (File photo)

Ramps – the wild mountain leeks renown for the pungent wallop they pack – have hit the peak of their season in the surrounding mountains and people in Flag Pond are preparing for their annual celebration of the Appalachian delicacy.

Small but powerful, the ramp’s overwhelming raw odor precedes the sweet, green onion taste it takes on when cooked.

Locals love them best fried with potatoes in bacon drippings and served alongside soup beans and cornbread.

And so they shall on Saturday, May 14, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the annual Flag Pond Ramp Festival at the former Flag Pond School, located just off Interstate 26 on the Old Asheville Highway.

Dished up with a daylong roster of mountain music, dancing and kids’ activities, the festival annually attract upwards of 1,000 visitors to this little mountain town.

Admission is free. Heaping plates of fried potatoes and ramps, beans, bacon, coleslaw and cornbread served with a drink and homemade dessert are $8. For those who can’t get enough, bundles of freshly dug ramps can be purchased for $5 each.

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