Follow your nose to the 14th Annual South Cariboo Garlic Festival, where the “stinkin’ rose” will be celebrated in all manner imaginable.
It’s slated for Aug. 24-25 at the Felker Homestead on Highway 97, just a few kilometres north of Lac la Hache.
Discover the many amazing things that can be done with garlic by visiting close to a dozen garlic vendor booths offering everything from pickled scapes to garlic jellies, dips, chutneys and breads. Nearly 60 vendor booths in total will be there, with the rest featuring all kinds of unique and hand-crafted items.
There’s no need to go hungry when you can fill yourself up on treats like Garlina’s Roasted Garlic Inferno Burger, Greek food, mini donuts and so much more.
Aug. 25 features the Seventh Annual Master Garlic Chef Cook-off where the top 3 finalists from the preliminary recipe contest, cook-off in front of the crowd and a panel of six judges. This year’s finalists are Emma Bautista of Forest Grove, Craig Conklin of 83 Mile, and Steven McCrea of Vernon.
Cooking starts at at noon and judging is at 1 p.m.
The winner gets $1,000; second place gets $500; and $250 goes to third place. The Lac la Hache Community Club sponsors this event.
The ever-popular garlic peeling and eating contest starts between 2 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. on Aug. 24, with contestants challenged to eat as many cloves of garlic they can in one minute. Water chasers are allowed and the current record is 14 cloves.
Entertainment is non-stop from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, and from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sunday, with several bands, a magician, and Elvis tribute artist Steve Elliott. There’s even face painting and balloons for the children.
This will be the fourth year co-ordinating the event for festival director Jeanette McCrea and she’s expecting the weekend to be very busy.
“Last year, we had 3,300 people come through the gate, and that’s not including kids 12 years and under, or people who came a second day.”
She saw visitors from as far away as Taiwan and Korea, and notes many travellers on the highway just turned in when they saw what was going on.
Vendors and entertainers come from all over, too.
“We seem to be getting more and more people interested each year. We don’t solicit for entertainment – they come to us.”
Festival hours are Saturday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; and Sunday, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
A weekend pass is $5 and children 12 years and under get in free.