17th Annual North Quabbin Garlic and Arts Festival
A ‘Scent-sational’ Autumn Destination
Event Name: 17th Annual North Quabbin Garlic and Arts Festival
Event Date: Saturday and Sunday, September 26 and 27, 2015
10 a.m. to 5 PM both days. Shine or Rain
Admission: $5 per day for Adults, $8 for weekend pass. Kids 12 and under free.
Location: Forster’s Farm, 60 Chestnut Hill Rd. Orange, MA 01364,
Parking: Free shuttle from nearby lot, on-site for carpools of 3 or more or handicapped tags only.
Accessibility: Outdoors, rolling farm fields, accessible parking and porta-potty.
The No’s: No Pets Allowed. Garlic Lovers are Hot but No Smoking on the Festival Site or Shuttle lines.
Website: http://www.garlicandarts.org for travel and shuttle directions, and the 2015 schedule of exhibitors, music and entertainment, chef demos, renewable energy, local living workshops and activities for all ages.
The 17th Annual North Quabbin Garlic and Arts Festival, in Orange MA is a “scent-sational” place to be on Sept 26 and 27. Over 100 booths feature juried regional artists, local farm products, garlic cuisine, healing arts and community organizations that fill the fields of historic Forsters Farm. Many offer great demonstrations of their craft right at their booths! Music, performance, spoken word, and dance fill three stages and the rolling landscape, vibrant with autumn foliage. Demos by celebrated chefs, plus farm fresh savory cuisine from twenty diverse food vendors satisfy the soul and palate and festivalgoers can relax in food-court tents overlooking the festivities. Orange is the new green! Engaging renewable energy and local living presentations energize and inspire the crowds. And, the festival produces only three bags of trash for 10,000 people with everything else recycled or transformed into fertile compost, resulting in ‘gardens not garbage.’ There are many reasons why the North Quabbin Garlic and Arts Festival was awarded 2nd best festival of hundreds across the region by the Valley Advocate reader’s poll, as well as a featured event in the Mohawk Trail 250th anniversary celebration. When a group of North Quabbin neighbors, artists and farmers first conceived of the event years ago to ignite the cultural vitality of the region and spirit of community, they never imagined that years later many thousands would follow their nose (and hearts) to the festival each year. The Festival that stinks is also the festival that sustains…art, agriculture, and rural living at its finest!
In addition to ample spontaneous and on-going happenings, more than sixty performances and workshops over the weekend ensure non-stop entertainment and education for everyone in the family. The 2015 Music Stage is rich in local talent and offers plenty of room for dancing to the likes of Celtic Heels, Maris Otter, Abe Loomis and Bright Lines, Trailer Park, Inside Out Dance Company, O You Villain, Yiddishkeit Klezmer Ensemble, and De Lomas y Sones. The Family Stage features Tom Ricardi with Birds of Prey, Bill Downes, Josh LeVangie, Western Mass Bellydance, Gaia Roots, and the Pistoleros. Human Error Publishing presents a Spoken Word Stage featuring forty poets and readers, nestled in a beautiful forest amphitheater. The Renewable Energy Area inspires local living with energizing info all weekend and workshops titled Community Solar Unveiled, Allying with the Fungal Kingdom, Cover Crops for Home Gardens, Heirloom Madness, The Basics of Lacto-fermentation, What’s so Hot about Heat Pumps, and Building an Affordable High Performance Home. If you’re hungry for more, the Chef Demo Tent features local culinary artists from The Gill Tavern, Stockbridge Farm, Wheelhouse Truck Farm, The Five Eyed Fox, Culinary Consultants, and Osteria Vespa, PLUS the release and sale of the first ever North Quabbin Garlic and Arts Festival cookbook!
Kids of all ages will forget their screens with the abundance of creative, adventure, and cultural activities including an animal area with heritage and working animals and fiber demos; a pottery tent where bowls can be made to benefit local food pantries, Peak Expedition’s climbing wall; Native craft, artifacts and story, plus the ever favorite hula hooping, horsedrawn hayrides, everyone-can- play garlic games and giant fun with Skeleton Crew Theatre, and Ed the Wizard roaming the fields. There is good reason why it’s been called the 17th Most Popular Festival in the Universe!
Family friendly affordable admission is still only $5.00 per day for adults, weekend pass $8.00, kids 12 and under free. Travel and Parking: There are free shuttles all day from nearby lot (last shuttle leaves site at 5PM) with onsite parking for carpools of 3 or more and handicap tags only. Experienced hikers can even choose a moderately strenuous, 45-minute trail from the shuttle to the festival gates. No pets are allowed on the trail, shuttle or at the festival (exempting service dogs) and while garlic lovers are hot, there is no smoking on the festival fields or shuttle bus lines. Visit garlicandarts.org for the full program of events and list of exhibitors, plus important travel and parking details.
An all-volunteer committee of friends and neighbors, and Seeds of Solidarity Education Center- a non-profit organization-organize the North Quabbin Garlic and Arts Festival to support local artists and farmers, unite and revitalize community, and celebrate life. Supporters include the Forster/Stewart Family, and over 200 community volunteers! All festival proceeds are used to keep the event sustainable and affordable and support the festival’s community grant program that has distributed over $30,000 in grants to North Quabbin art, agriculture, wellness, and energy projects.