GARLIC FESTIVAL DRAWS THOUSANDS
Visitors come from all over the country to Cantine Field
Thousands of diehard fans on Saturday ignored ominous skies to heed the Hudson Valley Garlic Festival’s clarion call to Cantine Field for the first of two days where there was no end to ways to prepare and consume the pungent bulb.
While visitors came from states as far south as Florida and as far west as California the core of the event appeared to be homegrown fans who in some cases believed that residents who don’t attend could
be facing trouble. “If you are stopped by the police you could be ticketed if there isn’t garlic on your breath,” Saugerties resident Jerelynn Mason said.
However, it is the draw of people coming from a wide region that Favorite Places vendors Gerald Hardy and Marilyn Davis have been seeking during the five years they have been selling
their prints of local historic and scenic sites.
“We love Saugerties and we love the Garlic Festival,” Davis said. “We’re from Connecticut and do arts and crafts festivals mostly but this the type of event that attracts people who appreciate art, the things they have in area, and are really dedicated to coming to this festival regardless of what the whether is.”
Grumpy Grater owners Lee and William Gowdy, of Fort Myers, Florida, was among the vendors making sure that visitors could not only appreciate the flavor of the festival but preserve
the flavor after completing their garlic purchases. They spent the day demonstrating porcelain ceramic graters intended to turn garlic in smaller pieces without losing the essential nutrients.
“This is has been going on 10 years and what I know is that a day without garlic is like a kiss without a moustache,” William Gowdy said.
Latham resident Charles Panza works in Ulster County and brought three friends from Albany to the festival after attending last year.
“The variety here is just unbelievable,” he said. “There’s nothing here that I’ve tasted that I didn’t like.”
Garlic chocolate, garlic vinegar, garlic dip with sour cream, garlic with hot sauce, garlic ice cream, and garlic butter spreads don’t are not even the tip of the garlic iceberg in terms of flavors.
Clothing was also centered on the festival theme, with some vendors finding the cooler weather an aid to the sales of sweatshirts and long sleeve shirts imprinted with fine art drawings of classic garlic images. Among vendors prepared for the brisk air and lower temperatures was Joe DiPasquale, who prominently displayed shirts with his wife’s painting that used “aglio” as the
Italian translation to identify garlic.
“We’ve done this for 20 years and this year we had to split up and do two shows because they move it a week later,” he said. “Right now she is in Louisville, Kentucy, because that’s one of our best shows but we love the Garlic Festival, we know the people from the Garlic Seed Foundation, and we’re friends with some of the farmers. So we’re doing this because we like the whole idea of a garlic festival and it fits in with our themes and our art work as natural and it is a natural fit.”
The Hudson Valley Garlic Festival will continue Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission at the gate is $10.
Grumpy Grater owner William Gowdy talks about his grater on Saturday at the Hudson Valley Garlic Festival at Cantine Field in Saugerties. The festival continues Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Hudson Valley Garlic Festival volunteer Peg Nau stands in front of a quilt being raffled Saturday.