Puyallup Herald

The rhubarb pie capital of the world gears up for annual homage to tart vegetable

Sumner is crowning a vegetable with a weekend full of music, food, fun and bake-offs.

The Rhubarb Days & Vintage Market in Sumner’s Main Street commemorates its rhubarb-infused history on July 27 and 28. The nation’s rhubarb pie capital geared up all year for its 9th annual festival.

Pierce County fields and hothouses account for 15 percent of the nation’s rhubarb. Sumner claims to be the nation’s largest supplier, with crops growing for more than 130 years.

Some downtown eateries will have rhubarb-inspired food, like Craft-19 with strawberry-rhubarb crepes, Sumner Café for rhubarb pie, muffins and crumble; Hometown Charm Café with variety of rhubarb pies; and strawberry-rhubarb milkshakes at Main Street Dairy.

The Vintage Market hosts more than 100 vendors selling clothing, upcycled housewares, antiques, furniture and trinkets. Local bands will perform all weekend from three stages at Heritage Park and Main Street. Kids can grab a rhubarb stalk, and compete in rhubarb car or rocket races. Washington State Fair’s Mabel the Milking Cow will be in attendance.

The weekend will have a beer garden, a bake-off, rhubarb pie-eating contest. Saturday night will end with the fourth-annual Beer, Brats and Bingo.

Folks can buy a “VIP Bundle,” including a room at the Holiday Inn Express, two tickets for the Saturday night event, rhubarb pie coupons, and a complimentary jar of rhubarb jam.

Josephine Peterson covers Pierce County and Puyallup for The News Tribune and The Puyallup Herald. She previously worked at The News Journal in Delaware as the crime reporter and interned at The Washington Post.