The ramp or wild leek, is a wild onion native to North America. The bulb resembles a scallion, but the flat, broad leaves set it apart. According to John Mariani, author of “The Encyclopedia of American Food and Drink,” the word ramp comes from “rams,” or “ramson,” an Elizabethan dialect version of the wild garlic.
Ramps grow from Tennessee to Canada, and in many areas they’re considered a spring delicacy and even a reason for celebration. The flavor and odor of ramps is usually compared to a strong garlic.
The Polk County Ramp Tramp Festival was started in 1958 by 4-H club members and volunteers who ”tramped” up the Big Frog Mountain in Polk County, TN to enjoy a hike on a spring day as well as a ramp meal. Today, that same traditional spirit lives on during the annual Polk County Ramp Tramp Festival.
Today’s festival is held at the Polk County 4-H Camp (Camp McCroy) on the fourth Saturday in April.
The festival brings hundreds to the camp each year to enjoy the traditional meal while bluegrass music is played. The traditional meal includes ramps fried in eggs, streaked meat, fried potatoes, white beans and cornbread. All proceeds are used for the operation and the upkeep of Camp McCroy.
April 22-25, 2015
Camp McCroy, 1058 Hwy 30, Reliance, TN 37369