The mission and values that sustained the Organizers of this Fantastic Festival for 22 years prevailed in spite of the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown in 2020. We still worked hard to preserve and support the environment and the community, by bringing new ideas, exhibitors, vendors, and experiences to the festival family. 2020 showed the way in which we responded to this particular time by hosting a virtual Festival which you can access through our YouTube channel.
We encouraged everyone to join us in community in a variety ways that brought you the lively spirit and joy that you have experienced with us over the years. Here are some of the suggestions we made in 2020:
Support Your Favorite Festival Vendors and Exhibitors. While we grieved the loss of many valuable annual community gatherings, including our own Garlic and Arts Festival, we also understood the economic impact the loss of events could have on our local and regional small business owners. Relationships with local artists, musicians, food vendors, farmers, healing artists, and community organizations were established and have lasted for many years.
We encouraged everyone to continue to support these festival participants by visiting their farms, restaurants, and studios (on-line or in person), and purchasing goods and services from them. We encouraged everyone to financially support all those who have been a part of the festival family. Find them on the booths web pages and follow the links to their own internet presence. For many of them it was possible to order gifts, goods and services from them on-line or otherwise support them.
Enjoy a Variety of Virtual Presentations for the Whole Family. Although we missed not celebrating with thousands of attendees and volunteers on the festival field in 2020, we put together more than 100 videos, some original and some from the archives, that provide the look and feel of the event that is so widely enjoyed and loved by this community. Credit for the wonderful videos that chronicle the history and workings of the festival each year may be found in this video.
We went back to our roots and remembered fondly the very first festival held in 1999 and the creativity and foresight of the original founders. We traced the history of the festival as it moved to its present location on Forster Farm, and grew as infrastructure was added in the form of stages for music, dance, spoken word, and renewable energy talks. Over time the festival boasted eating areas, a brick oven, a chef demo cooking platform, a globe, a tepee, and a Portal to the Future.
We gathered and created a playlist of engaging educational videos, performances, and other resources that will inspire skills for local living, healing arts, family art projects and more. Garlic and Arts lovers will be able to enjoy favorite presenters and performers, and gain inspiration and new ideas, at their leisure. Learn more About the Festival on this playlist.
Take a Day Trip. Enjoy exploring the North Quabbin region. We updated our suggestions for things to do While Visiting Orange and put together a list and map of some nearby, favorite farm stands and markets to gather items for a picnic, and special spots and activities to relax in the natural beauty of the region.
We appreciate all those who joined us as we proceeded into a new and different foreseeable future. Due to all the unknowns, we still continue to move forward crafting new ideas, adapting our game plan as needed, all while listening to what the guidance and data tell us. Continue to stay safe, healthy, and keep working toward the greater good.
We invited everyone to consider looking into the future with us as well. We can think of the pandemic as a Portal that we can walk through — together, lightly, carrying little baggage and being open to new possibilities. There are abundant possibilities available in our Renewable Energy and Local Living Talks.
We hope that you were able to carry the celebratory spirit of the Festival with you throughout the past two years. And we are thrilled that this year, 2022, we can meet again back on the field and create, once again, the very special event that is the North Quabbin Garlic and Arts Festival.