What Happened in 2020?

The mission and values that have sustained the Organizers of this Fantastic Festival for 22 years prevailed in spite of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.  We are still working hard to preserve and support the environment and the community, by bringing new ideas, exhibitors, vendors, and experiences to the festival family.  What was New in 2020 was the way in which we responded to this particular time.  We hosted a virtual Festival which you can access through these web pages, our YouTube channel, and FaceBook.

We still encourage you to join us in community in a variety ways that will bring you the lively spirit and joy that you have experienced with us over the years.  Here are some suggestions:

Support Your Favorite Festival Vendors and Exhibitors.  While we are grieving the loss of many valuable annual community gatherings, including our own Garlic and Arts Festival, we also understand the economic impact the loss of events can and will 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.  And there are some new ones that were added in 2020 as well.  You can find them on the Booths pages of this site. 

We encourage you 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 encourage you 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 is 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 in2020, we have 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 have 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.  These resources are now posted to the pages of this site.  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 have 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 hope you will join us as we proceed into a new and different foreseeable future.  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.

We invite you 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.

And we hope that you will carry the celebratory spirit of the Festival with you throughout the coming years until 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.