The festival that stinks’ is back for its 25th year

By Ann Trieger Kurland, Globe Correspondent,
Updated September 19, 2023, 12:30 p.m.

The annual North Quabbin Garlic & Arts Festival, with the tagline “It’s the festival thatstinks,” is taking place Sept. 30-Oct. 1. This year marks the 25th anniversary ofcelebrating the allium. Held at Forester’s Farm in Orange, about 70 miles from Boston,
there will be plenty of garlicky foods to consume — garlic cheeseburgers, garlic chickentikka masala, wood-fired pizza smothered in garlic, garlic chocolate chip cookies, garlicice cream. “It’s also a celebration of our agricultural and artistic community and localcreativity,” says co-founder Deb Habib. “And garlic is a fabulous crop to grow in theNortheast.” Habib’s husband, Ricky Baruc, a garlic farmer, and friend Jim Fountain, anartisan woodworker, first conjured up the idea of a festival as a way to promote the ruralregion’s natural beauty, its garlic crop, and artisan products they felt needed a wideraudience. The volunteer-led event has expanded from initially less than a dozenexhibitors and 1,000 visitors to over 100 vendors — artists, growers, communityorganizations, food — and 8,000 attendees. Wander the fields and participate in aworkshop about cultivating garlic or visit the chef demo tent; buy dozens of local farmproducts, like fruit shrubs from Bug Hill Farm in Ashfield and mittens and socks fromGrass Hill Alpacas in Haydenville. Get a shiatsu massage and attend a guided meditationsession, which you might need should you participate in the raw garlic-eating contest.There are plenty of activities for kids and stages where writers share their poetry, andlocal bands fill the air with jazz, indie rock, and classic country music. The two days willbe ripe for puns — like garlic makes you peel good or garlic makes everything butter. Inhonor of the 25th anniversary, tickets are reduced to $5.
60 Chestnut Hill Road, Orange.Information and schedule available at

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