Festivals celebrating a community point of pride were not commonplace in 1954 when the Cosby Ruritan Club of Cocke County decided to establish a celebration centered around the ramp, a wild plant which was a common spring staple in this Appalachian Region of southern Tennessee. The festival originated in the desire of the Cosby locals who "deplored the fact that the Cocke County acreage of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park had been largely neglected and unpublicized since the park's founding," and sought a "gimmick" with which to focus attention on the area and generate tourism.
The result was a two-day weekend festival honoring the potent mountain ramp, "the sweetest tasting and vilest smelling vegetable in Mother Nature's bounty." An edible member of the onion family, the ramp is alternately called the wild leek, taking its name from a similar plant, the rampion, which also has a fleshy tap-root. Believing the ramp to possess the revitalizing power of a spring tonic, the mountain folks looked forward to the return of the ramp after a winter of eating mostly dried foods. The ramp's flavor, though sweet with a hint of garlic, is accompanied by a potent odor so objectionable school children with "ramp odor" were known to have been excused from school for a few days.
naw, ramp festivals don't have anything to do with ramps. emerald, i got your point the first time. i just didn't think that it was much of one.