Garlic Festival Celebrates the Pungent Bulb
Aromatic festival returns to Poconos for 17th year this weekend.
If you think Labor Day is only about hot dogs and hamburgers, realize that for the past 17 years it has been all about the garlic at the Pocono Garlic Festival, which will be held this Saturday and Sunday at Shawnee Mountain Ski Area, just off Exit 309 of Interstate 80.
Hands down one of the best garlic festivals around, it features garlic grown and harvested by farmers in the Northeast. Food vendors, crafters, artisans and entertainers will be incorporating garlic into just about everything at the festival.
More than 50 food vendors will be creatively using 3,000 pounds of the pungent bulb to tantalize even the most discerning tastebuds. Predictably, there will be Italian fare, but visitors will also find garlic in falafel, tabbouli, kielbasa, pierogies and crab cakes, as well as in unexpected treats like ice cream, chocolate chip and garlic cookies, and even garlic cigars.
While indulging in all things garlic, visitors will be entertained at three stages by bands including Burning Bridget Cleary, the Juggernaut String Band, Blue Emerald, The Lost Ramblers, Len Mooney Duo and Nancy & Spencer Reed, as well as headliner Zydeco-A-Go-Go.
Although it's typically thought of as an adult flavor, kids can love garlic, too. With children in mind, the festival will feature an outdoor activity area, a wildlife exhibit and a petting zoo. For both children and adults there will be educational lectures, cooking demonstrations and garlic-themed novelty acts, including meandering jugglers, magicians and musicians.
Local food celebrity Chef Alice will demonstrate her culinary mastery of garlic, and Bob Dunkel will lecture on “Growing Your Own Garlic” and “Garlic History.” Local farmer Roman Osadca, who has grown 240 varieties of garlic and 19 varieties of shallots, will discuss naturally grown varieties of the bulbs.
To make the most of this garlic-scented weekend extravaganza, book a night at the Fernwood Hotel & Resort, which is just five minutes from Shawnee Mountain. Explore the aphrodisiac qualities of garlic with someone you love or take the whole family. With themed restaurants, an indoor pool and fitness area, horseback riding, an 18-hole golf course and daily activities, Fernwood is not a place where you're likely to be bored.
As part of a package designed to accommodate Garlic Festival visitors, Fernwood is offering a special rate on hotel rooms: $164 per night plus four Garlic Festival admission tickets. If you want to stay an extra night in order to explore other nearby Poconos attractions, it will only cost you an extra $99.
This weekend, garlic is not an afterthought; it takes center stage. Enjoy the festival and be sure to bring plenty of breath mints.