The South Cariboo Garlic Festival has been cancelled for the second year in a row.
Jeanette McCrea, a director with the Lac La Hache Community Club, said the recent forest fires across B.C. and the lingering threat of COVID-19 has forced her to cancel the event, which had been scheduled for Sept. 18-19.
“Even if I waited until Sept. 7 and they said ‘yeah go ahead,’ with events, that’s not enough time for me to organize some of the stuff that needs to be done like highway traffic control, mapping of the field and layout,” McCrea said. “I came to the conclusion that it’s not possible to do it this year so I very regretfully decided to cancel it.”
She needs a few weeks prior to the event to get everything arranged for the festival, a cornerstone event of the area. It usually draws around 4,000 people to Lac La Hache over the course of the weekend.
“It’s a great event. It’s a fundraiser for the community club and we host 80 vendors from all over the place including artisans, garlic producers and entertainment,” said McCrea, who has been organizing the event since 2010. “Garlic was the focus when we (took over) so we just continued that.”
McCrea hopes next year will be “third time lucky” and they can hold the event. Vendors who had signed up this year will be refunded their fees. The market usually draws about 80 vendors.
Those looking to get their garlic fix can reach out to the vendors using the festival’s Facebook page and website, garlicfestival.ca.
South Cariboo Farmers’ Market manager Amanda Patterson said garlic vendors are welcome to come out to the Friday market. Merritt’s Big Bar Ranch will come to the market on Aug. 27 and Rocky Ridge Farm on Sept. 3. Patterson said others are welcome to reach out to her via email@example.com.