By : Garrett Simera
For the people of Saugerties, New York, the Hudson Valley Garlic Festival is a two day event that gets them out of the house.
The Garlic Festival is held annually by the Saugerties Kiwanis Club on the first weekend of October. The Festival has over 200 vendors. These include 65 farms, 42 food vendors, 10 chefs and lecturers, and 79 craft vendors. There are also 11 musicians and performers that are spread onto three different stages throughout the festival.
The festival began in 1989 when a local farm owner, Pat Reppert, wanted to promote her herb business. Reppert put an ad in the local newspaper and held the first festival on her farm. It started as a simple free admission one day event. Each year more and more people wanted to attend but the farm was reaching its maximum capacity. The third year she held the event she had over 400 people attend with 1500 people calling and asking to attend. Reppert knew she needed to make this festival bigger. She went to the Kiwanis Club and asked for their help to make it a bigger event.
“We are in our 20th year. We’re a two day festival and we get about 40,000 people in the two days,” stated Beth Bechtold, member of the Kiwanis club.
The Garlic Festival was held on October 1 and 2 and will be held on September 30 and October 1 in 2017.