With fall officially underway, the Maine Garlic Festival returned to Skowhegan, Maine, from Saturday, Oct. 1 to Sunday, Oct. 2, to celebrate the fall foliage, local businesses, and, most importantly, garlic!
The festival continues to grow in popularity every year, so this year organizers decided to double the ground size, and add more food stations and stages for performers. It has truly become a place for Mainers and others to gather and celebrate the community.
Activities for kids and adults alike were scattered throughout the grounds. With pumpkin painting, caramel apple dipping, yoga sessions, and free kayak rentals, there was something for everyone.
Another big draw of the festival was the live music. Over eight hours of live music was available at the festival with two stages and nine artists from Maine, including Lee Syke and Dwight Gagnon. In an interview with Bangor Daily News, Darryll White, the park director, said that he wants to keep expanding the music part of the festival.
The festival was also a chance to see what the local farms and shops of Maine have to offer. From food products to art, there was a wide variety of exhibits to check out. Aligning with the festival theme were several farms that produced garlic or garlic products.
One of the most notable, Crazy4Garlic, is actually the farm that created the festival. Specialized in Russian red garlic, Crazy4Garlic started the Maine Garlic Festival on their property. Once the festival became popular, the owners decided to partner with Lake George Regional Park to create a truly memorable experience for all Mainers.
To sponsor its increasing growth and popularity, the festival leadership has taken on a larger marketing initiative. Lake George Regional Park received a grant of $2,500 from the Kennebec Valley Tourism Council. The park used these funds to bolden the marketing for the festival. Radio advertisements and an expanded social media presence helped the festival reach their highest levels of attendance this year.
In years to come, the festival will continue to grow its presence in the Maine community by connecting local businesses, musicians, and residents through a mutual love of Maine and garlic.
~ Vivian Nguyen `25
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