Posted on Friday, September 14, 2018 at 3:15 p.m.
Smell of success for garlic fest
There was a smell of success in the air around Mill Street Park for Stuart Wood and other members of the Vankleek Hill Lions Club. The debut of the club’s new Garlic Festival project promises a very popular new addition to the village’s summer festival events list.
“Very successful,” said Stuart Wood, club president, taking a break for an interview from his turn as event volunteer Sunday afternoon. “The (foot) traffic has been really great, and the weather worked out really well too.”
The September 9 weekend event is a first for the local Lions club, with 10 vendors signed up for the festival’s inaugural and already a waiting list of other garlic growers and vendors around Prescott-Russell and beyond, interested in being part of next year’s schedule. Browsers among the booths shared stories about their favourite garlic recipes, in between searching for the perfect bulbs to buy and listening to a medley of traditional Newfoundland shanties and popular songs from the musical duo of Jerry and Gail Osborne.
“I do really love garlic,” Wood said with a smile, as he admitted that the idea of a garlic festival bloomed from his own love for the pungent plant.
He began growing his own garlic crop nine years ago and since then has attended garlic festivals in Carp and other places and observed how popular they have become. That prompted him to suggest the VKH Lions Club consider a garlic festival for one of its next fundraiser endeavors.
“Now I think this will definitely be a regular event,” he said, smiling.