Garlicfest is a Massive Community Effort
The Southern Vermont Garlic and Herb Festival, nicknamed Garlicfest, will return to the Camelot Village grounds on Route 9 in Bennington on Labor Day weekend, August 31 and September 1. Gates will open at 10 a.m. and go until 5 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday.
Known for its 200-plus vendors, kids’ activities, food trucks, beer and wine garden and live music by regional bands, Garlicfest has won the coveted Top 10 Fall Events for Vermont for the last couple years, and is considered to be one of the best garlic-themed festivals in the world. The affordable ticket cost is one of the many reasons why this festival continues to grow. This year patrons can purchase a family pack of tickets online for $20, which includes two adults and unlimited children per day. If individuals purchase an online day pass or two-day pass ($12), they get fast and easy access to the festival in a lane manned by the Shires Young Professionals. Children at the gate, if a family doesn’t purchase a family pack online, remain at $2. To purchase tickets, visit lovegarlic.com.
Food vendors will offer something for everyone, incuding Asian- Jamaican- and Thai-inspired cusine. Demonstrations on both days are how to make homemade garlic powder at 11 a.m.; working with black garlic at 12 noon; everything you want to know about olive oil at 1 p.m.; intro to mushroom micrology at 2 p.m.; and a mystery demo at 3 p.m. Kid’s activities include the Roaming Railroad, which circles the grounds of the festival, and much more. The beer and wine garden organized Ramuntos, will offer giveaways and fun specialty drinks. As has been the case for every year, parking is free. Over 30 volunteers work shifts of four to eight hours each day. “We see about 6,500 cars in a given weekend, that’s a lot of cars but our volunteers are up to the task” says Tom Dailey and Brenda Jones, co-captains of Garlicfest parking. Only service dogs are allowed onto the festival grounds. If dogs or other animals are found in cars, police will be notified. Additionally, no coolers are allowed both in the parking area, as well as in the festival. People are encouraged to bring chairs though.
Attendees get a wealth of information including a map, recipes, vendor listings and more in the program guide; the Rotary Club of Bennington has taken on the publication in partnership with the Chamber and Garlicfest Committee this year.
Garlic Fest is organized by the Bennington Regional Chamber of Commerce serving The Shires of Vermont, and is supported by local sponsors.
“I hope people see a community come together to create something amazing,” says Lindy Lynch, chair of Garlicfest for over 12 years. “This is a world-class garlic festival due in large part to our volunteers. That’s something to be very proud about. It takes a community to pull this off and I think you can see from parking, to WiFi, to entertainment, to recycling – all of it – it couldn’t be done without this awesome community. On behalf of the chamber and the Garlicfest committee, we just want to say thank you again and again.” Perhaps unknown to many attendees, the Norshaft Lions Club partners with the Garlicfest committee to feed festival volunteers and vendors on the Sunday of the event with a big pancake breakfast.
To learn more, you can contact their offices at 802-447-3311, or visit lovegarlic.com.