The Bennington Area Chamber of Commerce welcomes the surrounding community and visitors to the 2019 Southern Vermont Garlic and Herb Festival. This year’s festival, now in its 24th year, will be held at Camelot Village on Route 9 on Saturday, August 31 and Sunday, September 1 of Labor Day Weekend. Gates open at 10 am each day and the festival closes at 5pm each day.
This farmers’ market-style festival is known for it’s cascading rows of 200 plus garlic vendors, kids activities, food trucks, beer & wine garden, and regional live bands. It has won the coveted Top 10 Fall Events in Vermont for a decade now and is considered to be one of the best garlic-themed festivals in the world by Reuters.
The affordable ticket cost, now $10 at the gate or $8 online, is one of the many reasons why this festival continues to grow and reached around 15,000 weekend attendees in the last few years.
This year patrons can also 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 access to the E-ZPass lane manned by the Shires Young Professionals for fast and easy access to the festival. Children at the gate, if a family doesn’t purchase a family pack online, remain at $2. To purchase online tickets visit: www.LoveGarlic.com.
Each year the festival welcomes over 30 new vendors to keep guests coming back to see what’s new. This year’s new vendors include: Women's Peace Collection providing fair trade, high quality clothing, crafts, baskets, and jewelry; Wild Hart Distillery providing Vermont classic gin, American dry gin, Burning Embers, and Barrel aged gin; Mettowee Valley Maple providing Certified Organic Maple syrup, maple candy, and fudge; Mariaville Mushroom Men providing fresh mushrooms, growkits, teas, coffees, and garlic powder infused with mushrooms. Second Chance Animal Center will also be present. Vermont Rocks is new to the scene. The Wine Slushie Guy will be providing wine slushie dry mix package and samples. Williams Garlic will provide even more garlic to the event, while Goodway Gourmet Bakery will be providing gourmet prepackaged rum cakes and garlicky rolls. Jakes Jammin Bow Ties, Uzume's Pots, and Atina Foods providing herbal jams, seasonal salt pickles, pastes and more will be on hand. Ancient Fine Henna will be providing henna body art.
Also included in the new vendor section is Seabird Soleil who will be selling hand crafted jewelry; Whalen's Horseradish Products will also be there; Fashion for Empowerment will be providing needlework and weaving products. Original Raphael Pottery is new as is Diane Carol Designs. Maple Leaf Design, Lizzie's Delights including herbal dip mix varieties, whisks, dip chillers and bowls, and Needi Snacks providing various flavored puffed rice snacks, popped lotus seeds will also be in attendance. Grillo Essentials who will be providing garlic scented decorative pillows, lavender bundles, heat packs, outdoor fragrance roll-ons, mists and more will compliment By-Gone Days merchandise of fall florals, wreaths, wood lanterns and signs.
There will be demonstrations throughout the festival in the Demonstration Tent. This year’s demonstrations on Saturday and Sunday include: at 11am “How to make homemade garlic powder” with Lindon Garlic Farm, at 12pm “Working with black garlic” with Rolling Rock Farm, at 1pm “Everything you want to know about olive oil” with Arlotta Food Studio, at 2pm “Intro to mushroom micrology” with Mariaville Mushroom Men and 3pm is a mystery demo!
What started out as simply a garlic festival has now grown its food category to include everything from Asian-inspired, Jamaican-inspired, Thai-inspired and more. Food vendors this year includes: The Apple Barn, Bart's Ice Cream, Burrito Revolution, Flavors of Lebanon, The Fresh Squeezed Lemonade, Good Vibes Shaved Ice, Good-To-Go Dumplings, Green Mountain Concessions, Hound Dogs, Hungry Traveler, Junior's, Lemon Love, M & J's Taste of Home, Mach's Mobile Wood Fired Pizza, One Sweet Ride, Pop's Corn, Reggae Boy Café, RJ's Famous, Sherri's Crab Cakes, Spacey Tracy's , Taste of Thai, Ramunto's Pizza, Loopy's Espresso & Crepes, and Wurst Wagon.
Beer & Wine Garden
Ramunto’s "Red, White and Blue" bar will be offering six draft beers, including a Brown's Brewing Co. Cask, Blue Moon, Oktoberfest, Coors Light, an assortment of red and white wine, and also a stocked bar offering cocktails of your choice. Don’t miss out on an opportunity to try one of the crowd favorites: Garlic Bloody Mary's & Garlic Margaritas! Also available is Ramunto’s seasonal Sangria. A tradition at Garlicfest, Ramunto’s also offers outdoor games that are sure to be enjoyed by friends and families alike. New to the festival, there will be satellite beer and wine bars set up throughout the festival for easy, fast access.
The Garlicfest has become well known for its music scene as well and this year is sponsored by The Apple Barn. The line up for the weekend includes on Saturday: Sage City Jazz Band (10am), The Hill Hollow Band (11:30am), The Julie Shea Band (1pm), and Freddi Shehadi (3pm). On Sunday the foot-stomping continues with Ray Gifford (10am), Carma (11:30am), Roadhouse Rhythm & Blues (1pm), and Beard & Glasses (3pm).
Always a kid friendly event, The Bank of Bennington is sponsoring the Kids Zone Tent which includes the Roaming Railroad train rides, Magic the Gathering (provided by Gamer’s Grotto), Home Depot Workshop, a Super Smash Bros event (provided by Gamer’s Grotto), It’s Magic with Doug Eash and the Incredible Larry.
The festival this year is excited to announce that commercial grade WiFi will be available to vendors and patrons of the festival due to the generous sponsorship of TPW Real Estate, the title sponsor of the festival. This goal has been a long time coming for the Garlicfest team, and will make credit card purchasing much easier on vendors. Patrons and visitors are encouraged to post their GarlicFest photos on social media and share this stinkin’ awesome festival with their friends and family (#Garlicfest2019). ATM’s will still be on site for customer’s convenience too.
The festival will be expanding the number of recycling, food compost, and trash stations again this year. Enforcing environmentally-friendly recycling laws and practices is one of the festivals top priorities to keep Vermont green and beautiful. The festival is also working again with Rich Earth Institute, who will be manning “pee pods” in the porta-potty area. Rich Earth Institute will recycle attendee’s “donation” of pee for organic fertilizer and ongoing studies, which benefits the environment and the world at large.
Every year attendees get a wealth of information including a map, recipes, vendor listing, a calendar of garlic events throughout the weekend and more in the program guide handed out at the Chamber and welcome centers before the weekend and at the gates on the weekend. The Rotary Club of Bennington has taken on the publication in partnership with the Chamber and Garlicfest Committee this year.
Perhaps, unknown to many attendees, the Norshaft Lions club in partnership with the Garlicfest committee feed all volunteers and vendors on the Sunday of the event with a big pancake breakfast. “Its just a great way to say thank you to our vendors and volunteers. We know they work hard all weekend pleasing our crowds and we really appreciate their participation in the festival,” states Mikaela Lewis, Garlicfest coordinator with the Chamber.
As has been the case for every year, parking is free! Over 30 volunteers working shifts of 4 to 8 hours, working two days, not to mention set up beforehand, help make traffic and parking easy. “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. Free parking is sponsored by John Ray & Sons. 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.
Community sponsors make this festival happen and that includes our Presenting Sponsor Greater Heights Tree and Land Management. Additional sponsors include Carbone Auto Plaza (video production sponsor), First Light (WiFi sponsor), The Bennington Banner (media sponsor), Hannaford Supermarket (volunteer food sponsor), GVH Studio (outdoor media sponsor), the Bennington Rescue Squad (health sponsor), Bennington County Sheriff’s Department (safety sponsor), TAM Waste Management (waste management sponsor) and 802 Restrooms (restroom sponsor).
“I hope people see a community come together to create something amazing,” encourages Lindy Lynch, chair of the Garlicfest for over 12 years now. “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.”
The festival and its hundreds of volunteers look forward to welcoming you on Labor Day Weekend (Saturday, August 31st and Sunday, September 1st this year) at Camelot Village to celebrate the 24th annual Garlicfest!
Garlicfest is organized by the Bennington Regional Chamber of Commerce serving The Shires of Vermont. If you have any questions, you can contact their offices at 802.447.3311. You can also explore places to stay, eat, and play at www.bennington.com. Camelot Village is located on Route 9 in Bennington, Vermont.
For more information visit www.LoveGarlic.com.
2018 Garlicfest (60sec) - https://youtu.be/-cIPxUa3IL4