Neither sun, rain or smoke will stop this weekend’s South Cariboo Garlic Festival.
Festival co-organizer Teresa Wager said she and her fellow organizer Nedeen Boon are excited to run their first festival. With just a couple of days to go, she remarked everything is coming together really nicely, despite the current wildfire situation.
“It’s devastating, the fires in the province right now but with that said, we’ve had very few cancellations. In fact, we’ve even had people who, because of the wildfires in Kelowna, are seeking to come up here,” Wager said. “We have 121 spaces booked this year and so far, we still have 121 vendors. We even have some waiting in the wings just in case we get some last-minute cancellations.”
The garlic festival runs from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 26 and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 27 at the Garlic Festival Grounds just off Highway 97 north of Lac La Hache. Tickets are $5 for everyone over the age of 12.
Garlic vendors will be joined this year by a wide range of local artisans including charcuterie board carvers, chainsaw carvers, a fur trapper, potters and several woodworkers. Wager joked that one of her fears is she won’t be able to get enough shopping in over the course of the weekend.
Several local food vendors and trucks will also be on-site, she added, to keep vendors and fairgoers alike fed.
“It’s all coming together really well, which is a relief, but I’m super excited to see the amount of huge talent we have in this area,” Wager remarked. “I knew we had talent in this area, but not like this.”
This year, Wager and Boon have made an effort to add some new forms of entertainment. Joining a fire truck display will be a kids’ play area and a petting zoo with goats and chickens.
Wager is especially looking forward to the festival’s new dunk tank. They already have several local community members lined up to take the plunge, including Cariboo-Chilcotin MLA Lorne Doerkson Saturday morning.
Several local acts will be performing live on the main stage including the Markabillies, the Broken Hill Band and the 100 Mile House Community Band. Country singer Tracy Lynn is also inviting local musicians to bring their instruments to the fair to take part in the World-Wide Pick and Play On the Porch Day on Saturday.
“There’s lots to do for everyone. We hope that people will still attend and come out even though it is a bit smoky. This is so good for the community and the vendors. This is their livelihood and I think it’s important to support the true artisans of the Cariboo.”