PASCO, Wash. — Asparagus ice cream is one of the items on the menu for the annual asparagus festival.

“Everybody rolls their nose at that, but it actually is really good,” said Gary Larsen, a Pasco, Wash., farmer and chairman of the Washington Asparagus Commission. “

Now in its third year, Asparagus Fest and Brews is 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. May 12 at Middelton’s Six Sons Farms, at 1050 Pasco-Kahlotus Road in Pasco. Cost is $10.

The festival includes two bands, food trucks, alcohol, meet-the-farmer hayride tours, free samples, fried asparagus, grilled asparagus and pickled asparagus.

The festival will give away 50 Washington Asparagus shirts.

“Of course, to earn those shirts, you have competitions you have to go through,” Larsen said.

The festival was created to bring attention to the crop, he said.

“Most people don’t understand when asparagus season is,” he said. “The grocery stores ... they want the buying people to think all of the asparagus comes from the same field year-round, and we all know it’s not true.”

Washington’s asparagus season is typically April 1 to mid-June. Asparagus in stores before and after typically comes from Mexico, Peru and a little from California, Larsen said.

More than 300 people attended the first festival, and 350 the following year. Ten thousand people are showing interest, Larsen said. He hopes 400-500 people will attend this year.


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