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As I reflect upon last weekend’s jaunt to the rolling hills of the Battenkill Valley region of upstate New York, I can’t help but smile at the number of farmers’ markets and road side stalls, with trust boxes, selling everything from zucchinis and tomatoes to bulbs of pungently aromatic garlic. And while some find the end of summer to be bittersweet, I look forward to the warm afternoons and crisp evenings of fall. But,

Purchased at the Cambridge, NY Farmers’ Market

before the apple and harvest festivals kick in, the lag time between mid/end of summer and early October is garlic festival season and here in the northeast there are plenty to choose from. The Garlic Seed Foundation has a complete list; however, for those traversing the countryside of the northeast, a condensed list follows:

September 1 – 2
The Pocono Garlic & Harvest Festival (Shawnee, PA) – celebrating its 24th year, Shawnee Mountain Inn hosts food and craft vendors that offer everything from garlic vinegar and garlic ice cream to garlic-themed pottery and paintings.

The Garlic & Herb Festival (Bennington, VT) – Celebrating it’s 23rd year, this festival has been featured in Yankee Magazine, U.S. News & World Report, and Reuters. Garlic lovers flock to this picturesque town to sample garlic and herb inspired food and crafts from hundreds of vendors.

September 15 – 16
Long Island Garlic Festival (Riverhead, NY) – Long Island’s only garlic festival, featuring the wonders of ‘Garliciana’ with vendors showcasing a wide variety of garlic inspired foods, crafts and music. The festival will feature a garlic eating contest as well as a Junior Iron Chef competition for the kids.

The Garlic Festival at Olde Mistick Village (Mystic, CT) – In its 11th year, this award-winning festival will showcase all things garlic with local restaurants, merchants, artisans, authors and artists as well as village merchants who will offer garlic-related activities and products at their stores. Note, this is one of the few festivals that is free.

September 22
Susquehanna Valley Garlic Festival (Milford, NY) – With garlic varieties from around the world, all grown locally, the Susquehanna Garlic Festival features braiding demonstrations, growing tips and other educational sessions, and live entertainment for young and old alike.

September 29 – 30
Hudson Valley Garlic Festival (Saugerties, NY) – A local tradition, this festival hosts tens of thousands of visitors each year.  The event is a “fun celebration of the harvest of what garlic aficionados lovingly refer to as the ‘stinking rose’.”

The North Quabbin Garlic and Arts Festival (Orange, MA) – “The Festival that Stinks” is celebrating 20 years of ‘Peace, love and garlic’ and is held on a beautiful historic farm amidst the rolling Massachusetts countryside.

October 6 – 7
Easton Garlic Fest (Easton, PA) – Festivities include the Gastric Garlic People’s Choice Contest, Dangerous Dessert Contest, Farm to Table Iron Chef Cook-Off, over the top 3 Mayors Cook-Off and the exciting First Responders Cook-Off.

Connecticut Garlic & Harvest Festival (Bethlehem, CT) – In its 14th year, the Connecticut Garlic & Harvest Festival will showcase cooking demonstrations and lectures, and will have a variety of garlic and fall provisions available for purchase.

Our friends at the Hudson Valley Garlic Festival include a fantastic listing of the varieties of garlic on their webite as well as what to look for when shopping for garlic, check it out.

The festivals listed above feature educational lectures and demonstrations, vendors selling garlic and a selection of arts, crafts and games for the little ones. Most have an admission fee that, in the grand scheme of fees, appear to be reasonable.

So, with the summertime waning, I encourage you to hit the road and check out a not-so-typical festival for those who love the stink, and the taste, of garlic!