Take one large onion, add about 40 Utah County beauty queens, fold in several marching bands and drill teams, sprinkle to taste (liberal or conservative) with politicians, and bake for one hour in the hot sun.
That's the recipe for the Payson Golden Onion Days Parade.The parade Monday was led by a huge onion with amazingly human-like arms and legs. Horses, antique cars, and cloggers followed, to the delight of more than a thousand spectators who lined Main Street.
A Dixieland band played from the back of a truck, and clowns trailed drill teams, trying to imitate the precision movements of the sequined 4-year-old members. Gymnasts flipped down the turn lanes. About a dozen of the 100 entries featured oddly-dressed strangers who threw candy to trusting Payson children.
Payson has been celebrating Onion Days since 1928, when Utah's governor offered a cash prize to any town naming its festival after an agricultural product. Payson had just had a bumper crop of the tear-jerking vegetables, so a tradition was born. Pleasant Grove began celebrating Strawberry Days and Santaquin chose Cherry Days about the same time.
Golden Onion Days ran from Friday to Monday, and an estimated 10,000 people attended.