Vidalia (/vaɪˈdeɪljə/ vye-dayl-yə or local /vaɪˈdeɪjə/ vye-day-yə) is a city located primarily in Toombs County, Georgia,United States. The city also extends very slightly into Montgomery County. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 10,473.
Vidalia is the principal city of the Vidalia Micropolitan Statistical Area, a micropolitan area that covers Montgomery and Toombs counties and had a combined population of 36,346 at the 2010 census
|City of Vidalia, Georgia|
Vidalia's water tower
|Motto: "The Sweet Onion City"|
Location in Toombs County and the state of Georgia
Vidalia is the largest city in Toombs County, but is not the county seat. Like many towns in the region, Vidalia grew up around a rail yard that served farmers in the area who grew such crops as pecans and tobacco. The famous sweet onions were not an important crop until much later. In the 1950s, Piggly Wiggly grocery stores opened a distribution center in Vidalia, bringing with it a large influx of jobs as well as railroad business. At that time, Vidalia served as an interchange junction between the Central of Georgia and the Georgia and Florida (later both Southernrailroads.) For this, a large seven track yard was constructed, as well as a sizable engine servicing facility and interchange yard. The latter, smaller interchange yard is still in use to some degree by the Georgia Central railroad to this day, while the larger yard was removed sometime in the 1970s. Dot Foods currently occupies most of the old Piggly Wiggly distribution center, with smaller companies leasing space. Currently, the largest employers in Vidalia are Trane who has a large assembly plant, and Wal-Mart's supercenter which is rumored to be located on the former farm where the Vidalia onion was first grown.
The town was incorporated on January 1, 1890. The town's name, often thought to be Native American, was in fact named by the Central of Georgia's president William M. Wadley when the town was first founded (prior to incorporation) in the 1880s. The town was named in honor of his daughter, Vidalia Wadley.
Each spring Vidalia holds a world famous Onion festival. The event lasts for five days and draws in many tourists with its wide variety of activities.
The Altama Gallery is located in Vidalia, and is a museum of history and art. The gallery is located inside the restored Brazell House
Vidalia Public Schools are part of the Vidalia City School District. The school district holds grades pre-school to grade twelve, that consists of two elementary schools, a middle school, and a high school. The district has 144 full-time teachers and over 2,408 students.