For the Love of Garlic
The Southern Vermont Garlic and Herb Festival has been stinkin’ up Vermont every Labor Day weekend for 22 years. The event is known for its 200-plus garlic vendors, kids’ activities, food trucks, beer and wine garden, and regional live bands. Attendence reached 15,000 attendees last year! Garlic Fest, as it’s affectionately known as for short, is held on the grounds at Camelot Village and Antique Center, 66 Colegate Heights, Bennington, on Saturday and Sunday, September 2 and 3, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Free parking is available to all patrons. Entry is only $6 if purchased online through brownpapertickets.com, or $8 at the gate for adults; children 12 and under are $2.
The kids’ activities make it a great family weekend, and include face painting and activities hosted by the Gamer’s Grotto, Vermont Wooden Blocks, The Incredible Larry and Home Depot. The Roaming Railroad will circle around the grounds throughout the festival, and a bounce house will be set up in the inflatable zone. The Beer and Wine Garden will be organized by Ramuntos; they will have some giveaways and fun speciality drinks to try.
Live music includes Blue Jazz at 10 a.m., Hill Hollow at 11:30 a.m., July Shea at 1 p.m. and The Legato Blues Band at 3 p.m. on Saturday; and Ray Gifford at 10 a.m., Carma at 11:30, Roadhouse at 1 p.m. and Beard and Glasses at 3 p.m. on Sunday.
There will be demonstrations both days, including ‘Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Olive Oil,’ a cocktail demonstration and tasting, ‘How to Make Homemade Garlic Powder’ and more. All of the participating vendors, and a full schedule of events are listed at bennington.com/garlicfest.
“This is a magnet event for the region and the Northeast,” says Matt Harrington, executive director of the Bennington Area Chamber of Commerce. “We have people come from all over the world, but especially our weekenders from New York, New Jersey, the Capital Region, the Berkshires and Connecticut. We really see returning visitors both in vendors and attendees … and now Vermont’s Garlicfest in Bennington is seen as one of the best in the world. Our members see a jump in sales across the board because of this event. (They) comment that events like this help them attract young talent to the area and creates a sense of community. We believe Garlicfest is a good economic development driver. People come here to Bennington and instantly fall in love with the lifestyle of southern Vermonters.” For details, contact Marie at [email protected] or call 802-447-3311.