The Garlic Fest & Craft Show will take place August 24 – 26, at the SW Washington Fairgrounds located at 2555 N. National Avenue Chehalis, Washington 98532. The festival hours are noon to 8 pm on Friday, 10am to 8pm on Saturday, and 10 am to 5 pm on Sunday.
The festival includes 65 varieties of garlic, food, crafts, music, wine tasting, and a beer garden. Judy DeVaul, Garlic Fest Producer, explained details of the event: “There will be garlic food, everything from garlic Alfredo pasta, garlic French fries, garlic fudge, garlic ice cream, garlic parmesan elephant ear which are incredible, garlic peanut brittle, and really delicious creative wonderful garlic food.
There is a vendor that specializes in quinoa, he does garlic marinated chicken in quinoa and whole roasted garlic and rosemary with quinoa. He also does a stir fry garlic tofu dish.
There are also hand dipped garlic corn dogs (kinda typical festival food) however; each vendor has a specialty garlic food that they bring. You won’t find anybody just slinging hot dogs. We have a funnel cake vendor and they do a wonderful funnel cake with rosemary and garlic. It’s just really incredibly creative and delicious food.”
Judy discussed details of the performers: “Our Main stage this year has a wonderful line up of acts. We open for the 16th year in row the Locust Street Dixieland band and you’d recognize them if you heard of it. Think of New Orleans, trumpets, and horns; that jazzy type of sound and they do a nice job. On Friday, the Voetberg family are amazing, some are national fiddle champions. They are vocalists and have incredible harmonies; they are very unique and wonderful.
Miles from Chicago will also be performing on Friday and they are just fabulous blues rock music. The Backfire Band is hard driving country and they are just amazing and will be performing Friday night as well.
The Main stage has really good bands and groups all weekends. Inside on our second stage we have acoustics music as well as chef demonstrations from some wonderful local chefs in the area that do an amazing job. They have yet to reveal what they will be demonstrating but it’s always remarkable.
On Saturday we have the Olympia Sweet Adelines. It will be their first time performing with us and that will be fun.
Rosie and the Posers will also be performing and if you get a chance to come down, they are probably the most unique. They are local adults and students and play everything from chelloist to guitar and keyboard. They have incredible harmony and beautiful music. The Raucous Band from Seattle are not country music.
6:00 pm on Saturday Casey Weston from the Voice will be here. Casey Weston was a finalist last year is coming from Florida to the Garlic Fest stage. She’s 17 years old and very, very talented. She does country music, plays, and writes her own music.
7:30 pm on Saturday Oncore will be performing; they are a really fun dance band from the 1970s and 1980s. They do dance music, choreography, horns, and great voices. They are so fun! Everyone is up and dancing at Oncore performances.
Stage 2 on Saturday has the Two Town Tuners, a barbershop chorus.
On Sunday, at 11 am the Main Stage will have the Wild Snohomians.
Camille Bloom and the Recovery will be performing at 3 pm on the Main Stage and on the Second Stage on Sunday.”
Judy commented on Garlic Fest: “It’s got something for everyone; there’s the wine tasting during all weekend that’s through the Centralia College Foundation. There’s a beautiful beer garden with comfortable furniture. We feature garlic beer brewed by Dick’s Brewing Company out of Centralia, Washington here. The craft vendors and artisans have gone through a process, a jury committee that has been selected to participate in Garlic Fest. There are some kid activities, including free craft activities for kids. There will be pony rides for purchase and face painting.
My company produces Garlic Fest and work on it all year and arrange entertainment during Garlic Fest we operate mostly with volunteers. When all of the volunteers sign up they pick the job and shift they want to do. They also select a charity that they are working on behalf of. This year we have a little over 600 hours of volunteer work on the books and they are devoting 600 hours of their time to come to Garlic Fest. In the end, the net proceeds are divided up and given to each one of the charities according to how many hours worked. The volunteers don’t get paid, but they get a t-shirt. Every year I work really hard to find a really cool unique t-shirt and volunteer logo that’s personalized. You can’t buy the t-shirt anywhere; you can only get this special t-shirt by being a volunteer at Garlic Fest.”
Judy discussed the best thing about Garlic Fest, “It’s the happiest event in Washington State. People are so happy and excited. The volunteers are jazzed and energetic, the entertainment is a lot of fun, the beer garden is fun, and guests come because they know they’ll have a good time. Everyone’s friendly and the food is fabulous. Our volunteers really set the tone we want it like Disney Land, the best place on earth and guests have the best time possible. It’s the most fun event in Washington State. And the 65 varieties of garlic and the opportunity for people to get their garlic supply for the year. We demonstrate how to grow your own garlic. Some garlic is hot and spicy and some are used for baking. People who bring garlic will educate guests on how to use it.”
Judy mentioned how Garlic Fest was unique compared to other festivals, “It focuses so much on the food that it has that garlic theme with craft vendors focusing on garlic jewelry, earrings for example, or a painting with garlic. It’s just an opportunity to celebrate a wonderfully versatile bulb. It benefits the community and brings tourism to our area. We have people coming from all over the Northwest to come hang out with us at Garlic Fest. It’s not huge, but awfully good for the economy.
We also produce other events such as the big BBQ event last month called the “Cascade Country Cook-off”. It was a Northwest BBQ association event where 30 BBQ teams compete for a chance to go to the Jack Daniel National Championship. The event has a great big car show, food, vendors, music, and incredible BBQ. We have a lot of fun.
The Gilroy Garlic Festival is a monster. It’s the garlic festival in Gilroy, California. Two weekends ago the people that do that garlic festival come up to our Garlic Fest. We’re their little sister they say.”
When asked who she recommended attend Garlic Fest, Judy replied, “Anybody who loves beautiful crafts, garlic, wine tasting, and anybody that wants to try that garlic ice cream.”
For more information, please visit: www.ChehalisGarlicFest.com. “It’s just a wonderful time; it really is fabulous music and a $5 admission. There’s the secret to Garlic Fest: bring a couple friends with you and buy one plate each and everyone can sample off each other.”
By: Carly Calabrese, staff for Tacoma.com