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VARDAMAN, Miss. (WCBI) – Perfect fall weather and a near record crowd helped kick off the week-long Vardaman Sweet Potato Festival, Saturday, to celebrate the harvest in the self-proclaimed Sweet Potato Capital of the World.

Contestants came from as far away as Missouri but local residents won all three pie-eating competitions.

One of the reigning Sweet Potato queens was on hand to greet those who were buying in bulk from local producers.

While the locally grown vegetable is the focus, vendors offered everything from crafts to holiday gifts and of course food of all kinds.

The festival continues all week with the crowning of kings and queens and ends next Saturday with the annual recipe competition.

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