Sat 8/24 @ noon-8PM
Sun 8/25 @ noon-6PM
In 2010, the North Union Farmers Markets came up with a new event to help fund its growing constellation of nonprofit markets that connect regional farmers with consumers. It launched the annual Cleveland Garlic Festival, a two-day event on the site of its weekly Shaker Square market, a whirlwind of family-friendly activities with garlic as the main flavor focus.
In 2016, it moved the event from September to August, which means gardeners who plant garlic need to think ahead. Garlic is well-suited for planting in northeast Ohio but unlike the rest of your vegetable garden, you have to remember to get it in the ground in October.
The Garlic Festival brings in vendors who offer “seed garlic,” heads which you can divide and plant the individual gloves, which will give you more heads of garlic next July. There will be farmers from around the region there with a profusion of garlic types — hardneck and softneck, mild and tangy — and they’ll be glad to explain the differences. And if you forget to plant them, you can always cook with them!
There’ll be plenty of other edibles there too, both farm harvest and prepared food to eat on the spot, including, for the adventurous, the inevitable garlic ice cream Mitchell’s always has (for the less adventurous they bring a couple of other flavors too). There’ll also be non-garlic foods including an Ohio Cheese Guild Tent (although we wouldn’t be surprised if at least one of the offerings includes garlic), an Ohio craft beer tent and a wine tent. You can also head to the cooking demonstration tent and cheer on your favorite chef in the Top Chef Grill Offs.
The Mighty Locavores Kid’s Zone features a bungee trampoline, a tractor simulator, a maze, interactive murals, storytelling and food education activities, plus there’s … oh wait! YES! There IS face painting! How could we leave that out?
And some lucky woman gets crowned Miss Garlic. Think how THAT would look on a modeling resume! Admission each day is $9 for adults, $5 for seniors and kids ages 3-12.