About

We are thrilled to have been able to share the full, beloved Garlic and Arts Festival with you this year! Twenty four years ago we dreamed up an idea to celebrate the beauty and bounty of our region, so often-overlooked, and ignite the cultural and agricultural economy of the North Quabbin. Today, more than ever, people of all walks of life need places to come together in celebration and gain inspiration for resilient lives and communities, and a saner world.   We are grateful to you for showing up helping all of us get inspired once again!

We are planning to hold the festival again in 2023 on September 30 and October 1.  If you wish to participate as a vendor, performer, or exhibitor, please check back in early March 2023 for details and applications to do so.  We look forward to gathering again next fall with you.

The family friendly “festival that stinks” is renowned for exceptional art, local farm products, fabulous food, endless entertainment, and inspiration for a hopeful future. Held on a historic farm amid fall foliage, the event attracts and unites many thousands locally and across New England.  Schedules of the amazing entertainment and activities for 2022 and the field map may be viewed to give you an idea of the bounty that was here.  Folks who parked in the off-site lot and rode the free shuttle found that the view was great!

Great music, entertainment, and spoken word emanated from three stages and the rolling fields. The line-up of performers is testimony to the culturally diverse and abundant talents of the region. Over 80 bountiful booths featured regional artists, farmers, community organizations, and healing arts; everyone can strengthen the economy by purchasing locally crafted and grown! Participants traveled the garlic globe in the chef demo tent, and filled their bellies with farm fresh and savory cuisine in four food courts.

Over fifty engaging workshops and demos, activities and performances were scheduled throughout the weekend. Garlic games abounded on the main field, including the famous raw garlic-eating contest. Kids will loved the free art-making tent! Orange is the New Green: trash free (less than three bags for 8,000 people!) with everything else recycled or transformed into fertile compost to make gardens not garbage. Free drinking water was provided, and souvenir refillable water bottles were sold, along with an artist-designed festival tee shirt. The ‘Portal to the Future’ at the North end of the festival site was the place to visit for all things renewable energy, with inspiring local living workshops all weekend. New! Electric Vehicles (EV) from cars to tractors to bikes were scheduled through the weekend. Get excited and get ready!

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.  In 2020 we held a Virtual Festival which you can see on our YouTube channelRead this if you are wondering Who Puts the Festival On, Where the Money Goes, and Whose Land Hosts It.

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.

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.  Admission is $10 for adults, $5 for students, seniors, and EBT cardholders.  Kids 12 and under are free.

We wer proud to participate in the Card to Culture program, a collaboration between Mass Cultural Council and the Department of Transitional Assistance, the Women, Infants & Children (WIC) Nutrition Program, and the Massachusetts Health Connector, by broadening accessibility to cultural programming.

We offered EBT cardholders $5 (half-price) admission, valid for weekends (kids 12 and under are always free). See the full list of participating organizations offering EBTWIC, and ConnectorCare discounts.

Your Saturday admission got you in on Sunday too.  Credit/debit cards were accepted at the entrance.  An online ticket purchase was  available.  Tickets purchased online were not refundable.  People made a donation to the festival and its local community projects.  No one was turned away for lack of funds.