About the Festival


“Still Stinkin’ After All These Years!”  Join us on October 3rd and 4th, 2020 for the 22nd Annual Festival!  Save the Date!

We hope this finds you and yours healthy and safe.  At the present moment we are still planning the 2020 North Quabbin Garlic and Arts Festival and hope it will be able to occur in some joyful and safe way.

As you are aware, Massachusetts has begun preliminary openings in certain sectors. As you are also aware, many large and small-scale events throughout the state are already cancelling their annual events.  We are not only grieving the loss of such valuable annual community gatherings but also understand the economic impact the loss of events can and will have on our local and regional small business owners.  

Our organizing committee has met frequently over the past few months and discussions continue on how to proceed, while also creating impactful ways we can financially support all those who have been a part of the festival family. While none of us know how the virus will behave come October, what we do know is that the large-scale festival we are all used to is just not feasible, nor even allowed at this time. We continue to listen to the guidance of local officials, such as the Orange Board of Health, as well as our state leaders as we proceed into a new and different foreseeable future.

As of today, we are exploring both the options of a virtual festival and a smaller in-person gathering. Virtual inspirations have included marketing and sales opportunities, online education regarding the many aspects of responsible living we annually highlight, and potential entertainment aspects. We are also exploring the potential for an intensely scaled down in-person event of some kind, if it is safe, controlled, and feasible.

Due to all the unknowns, we continue to move forward crafting new ideas, adapting our game plan as needed, all while listening to what the guidance and data tell us.  We will reach out with updates as they unfold. Stay safe, healthy, and keep working toward the greater good. 

Check back here for the latest updates.  And please support our vendors, exhibitors, and performers from last year by finding them on these web pages and following the links to their own internet presence.  For many of them it is possible to order goods and services from them on-line or otherwise support them.

Celebrating 22 Years of Peace, Love, and Garlic!  We feel great appreciation for the many thousands that attended the 2019 festival; over 100 fabulous art, farm, and food exhibitors; and 150 plus weekend volunteers. It is truly a joy to co-create the festival with a fabulous group of neighbors and friends, who initiated and sustain this beloved community event. Wonderful memories.

There is something for everyone at this family-friendly fall event, held on a beautiful historic farm amidst autumn foliage.  To get a feeling for the flavor, and aroma, of the festival, check out the photos from the past.   A couple of local photographers have shared their photographs from 2019 with us.  Take a look at those by Norm Eggert and Christine Regan Davi.  Read this if you are wondering Who Puts the Festival On, Where the Money Goes, and Whose Land Hosts It.

Just as we were taking down the festival field in October 2019 and sharing festival stories, our friends at No-till Growers released a great podcast on Seeds of Solidarity recorded earlier this summer. We love that it already has over 5,000 interested listeners and we are getting great feedback on our story, techniques, and philosophy. Listen to our podcast on No-till Growers here and many thanks to Farmer Jesse for doing this super series!

Deb and Ricky’s book, Making Love While Farming: A Field Guide to a Life of Passion and Purpose, has been published.  You can learn more about the book, read excerpts, and put future scheduled readings and events on your calendar.  We are so happy for them!

Kindness, community and inspiration are always in style at this popular destination that attracts lovers of art and alliums from throughout New England.  This short video captures the spirit and values of the Festival.

Meander among 100 bountiful booths featuring regional artists, farmers, community organizations and garlic cuisine; strengthen community and economy by purchasing locally crafted and grown. Celebrate and relax with great bands, spoken word, and performance on three stages- including a solar-powered music stage – and throughout the rolling fields and forest. Be inspired by exhibitor demos and ample activities for kids and families. Get silly with garlic games galore including the famous raw garlic-eating contest. Soothe the soul with healing arts exhibitors. Travel the garlic globe with celebrated chef demos, and fill your belly with farm fresh and savory cuisine as you relax in the food courts. There are over eighty engaging workshops, activities and performances scheduled throughout the weekend!

Orange is the New Green: trash free (well, only two bags for 10,000 people) with everything else recycled or transformed into fertile compost to make gardens, not garbage. And, thanks to the Rich Earth Institute, urine collected from the potties at the 2017 festival has been pasteurized and applied to the field where the event is held.

Festival proceeds keep the event sustainable and affordable, and support the festival’s community grant program for local art, agriculture, health and energy projects.  The Festival is consistently awarded one of the top three best festivals out of hundreds across the region by the Valley Advocate reader’s poll. Join us for a weekend of fun, food, and fantastic community.

Family friendly admission:  $10.00 per day for adults, $5 for students, seniors, and EBT card holders, kids 12 and under free. The adult admission on Saturday will get you into the festival on Sunday as well.  We have joined Mass Cultural Council‘s EBT Card to Culture program along with over 175 institutions all across Massachusetts offering discounts for EBT cardholders.  Free on-site parking for accessible tags and carpools of 3 or more; free nearby shuttle lot for all others.  Credit/debit and Common Good cards will be accepted at the admission gates and Sales Tent.

No pets allowed. We love them but…remember, Absolutely NO DOGs (other than service dogs) are allowed at the festival. Dogs cannot be left in cars for their safety- and it will be a warm weekend.

And, Garlic Lovers are Hot but… No Smoking or Vaping in the shuttle bus lines or on the festival site.  Smokers should use best judgment to find a safe spot off the festival field and away from active traffic/parking areas.

Mission Statement:  The North Quabbin Garlic and Arts Festival is a celebration of the artistic, agricultural and cultural bounty of the region. The purpose of the festival is to unite North Quabbin people whose livelihoods are connected to the land and the arts, and to invite both local residents and those who do not live in the region to experience the richness of an area that is often overlooked.

The festival emphasizes what is homegrown, handmade and high quality, as well as what helps preserve and support the environment and the community. Everyone involved – organizers, exhibitors, volunteers, performers, attendees, a supportive community – makes the festival what it is: an engaging, fun and educational celebration for all ages.

An all-volunteer committee composed of neighbors, artists, farmers, and community members meets year-round to organize The North Quabbin Garlic and Arts Festival. The Forster/ Stewart Family graciously hosts the festival at their beautiful, historic farm, and the festival is a non-profit event under the umbrella of Seeds of Solidarity Education Center. Over 200 volunteers the weekend of the event park, welcome, recycle, and support exhibitors; and exhibitors contribute time to raise tents, feed work crews, and more to help bring the festival to fruition. The festival admission is kept affordable to families, and is used to cover the costs of the festival, as well as support local projects that promote a vibrant North Quabbin region.