Mystic’s Garlic Festival, which celebrates its 13th year this fall at the Olde Mistick Village, is getting back to basics.
The event, which began in Pawcatuck at Adam’s Garden of Eden about 20 years ago as a farmers market celebrating all things garlic, has grown into a large festival complete with entertainment, live music, arts and crafts, and between 50 to 70 vendors. The festival was created to celebrate the fall harvest and showcase a wide variety of garlic for sale in addition to fresh produce.
The two-day affair, which the American Bus Association named one of its top 100 things to do while on a bus trip, usually attracts about 20,000 visitors. This year, however, organizers have trimmed the festival back to a smaller affair. About 12-15 farmers will be set up throughout the village Sept. 19 and 20. Along with the vendors, several Olde Mistick Village merchants will offer garlic-related activities or products at their stores.
“We are going to scale it way back in light of the pandemic and show good support to the farmers who certainly need help … and still have something that people can come and enjoy that is meaningful to the families that will come,” says Jim Holley, event chairman, adding that “next year we will be back on track for a traditional-style garlic festival.”
The unofficial motto for the festival is “you bring the mints, we’ll supply the flavor” and the focus will remain on garlic and foods this year. The event will be run like a typical farmers market with people able to select farm-fresh goods, including, of course, garlic. While the entertainment and bands will be absent this year, there will likely be light acoustic music to add a bit of ambiance.
“It won’t have the same feel or look, as it shouldn’t this year, but it will still be something fun to do,” Holley says.
Olde Mistick Village, Mystic
Sept. 19, 11 a.m.-7 p.m.; Sept. 20, 11 a.m.-6 p.m.
Free entry and parking