Cure-all, culinary essential and cultural leveler, garlic gets its two days in the Saugerties sun once again this weekend, as the 26th annual Hudson Valley Garlic Festival takes over Cantine Field. C’mon, you know you love it: Where else can you taste every type of food imaginable enhanced by the pungent touch of the stinking rose, from savories to sweets? Where else can you broaden your knowledge of the distinctions among a mind-boggling array of colorfully named garlic varieties by browsing the offerings of more than 30 growers? Where else can you meet the Garlic Giant and the Garlic Fairy as they wander the grounds, or watch and listen as Morris dancers rhythmically pound the earth with their staves to conjure a bountiful harvest?
Live roots music goes on both days, along with lectures on garlic-growing and demonstrations of garlic-braiding and cookery, including Saugerties’ own celebrity chef Ric Orlando at 1 p.m. on Sunday. Twice each day, Arm-of-the-Sea Theater will lead a giant puppet parade, followed by a performance of Turtle Island Medicine Show. There are craft vendors galore, not to mention tantalizing specialty food items to buy, take home and enjoy.
The Hudson Valley Garlic Festival runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, September 26 and 27. Admission costs $10 at the gate, and you can order advance tickets for $7 general admission, $5 for seniors online at www.hvgf.org. You can also find maps of the parking areas and shuttle route on the Festival website.