Dagny Kimberly, 4, gets a 'tattoo' by Niki Spraver during the 2008 Great Onion Festival. The Festival returns to Sherwood this weekend.Smiles will trump tears at The Great Onion Festival, a special community event celebrating its 26th year in Sherwood.

Held annually on the second Saturday in October, this year’s festival takes place from 9 a.m to 4 p.m. this weekend at Archer Glen Elementary School. The festival offers fun, food and entertainment for people of all ages, including a barbecue chicken dinner, contests, arts and crafts, raffles, shopping and local talent performing on the main stage.

“Ollie the Onion” will welcome kids to the festival, who can enjoy decorating mini pumpkins and participating in contests and other fun activities.

Firemen’s famous fried chicken, prepared by the Rotary Club this year, is a Great Onion Festival tradition, accompanied by a baked onion, baked beans, coleslaw and a roll. Onion rings and pie will also be on sale.

Onion lovers can enter the “Best Dang Onion Dish” contest sponsored by Wilson Orthodontics. All dishes must be prepared from scratch prior to arrival at the festival and submitted no later than noon on event day. Refrigeration and a microwave will be on hand prior to judging.

A panel of community members will judge the prepared onion dishes and present prizes to the winners. Entrants 17 and younger will be eligible for a special prize, as well as entered in the overall judging.

Kids and adults alike will enjoy the fun of the Onion Rolling Contest sponsored by Bittner Dentistry at 10:55 a.m. The popular Onion Eating Contest sponsored by Pacific Family Dental will take place at 2:10 p.m.

A variety of vendors will offer handcrafted items, jewelry, handbags, local honey, kettle corn, cookies, candies and even dragons. Businesses will also be on hand showcasing their products and services.

Local talent and contest winners will be featured on the main stage throughout the event.

Dancers in various age groups from Sherwood Dance Academy will perform at 11:30 a.m. Presto the Magician will be back this year, performing at noon. Voices of the Performing Arts will feature all five of its children’s choirs starting at 1 p.m.

Presented by the Sherwood Area Chamber of Commerce and sponsored by local businesses, the Great Onion Festival attracts an estimated 4,000 people each year.

The festival was nominated this year for the Washington County Visitors Association’s annual Stakeholder Award in the events and festivals category.

For more information about Great Onion Festival activities, volunteer and sponsorship opportunities, as well as contest rules, visit, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 503-625-7800.

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