Garlic Fest returns to the Valley
The Lower Nicola Garlic Festival and Antique Tractor Show is set to take place at the new Smith Pioneer Park on Aberdeen Road Saturday and Sunday.
The festival took a hiatus last September after the amount of work involved with washing and preparing the garlic became too much to handle.
Husband and wife team, Becky and Pete Ratzlaff, are bringing it back this weekend with a new look, location and with more help.
Now, the event has seven sponsors, including the Thompson-Nicola Regional District.
“We just want this to keep getting bigger and bigger,” Becky said. “A lot of people gave us donations this year, which really helped.”
In previous years, the pair have spent up to 100 hours preparing in the month leading up to the festival, with some of the work including preparing dishes and washing garlic.
The festival features about 500 pounds of garlic, some of which is made into offbeat concoctions. Some years have featured garlic ice cream.
More traditional creations are garlic mustard, relish and powder.
Since 2007, the Vintage Car Club has showcased its vehicles and will return this year, and there will be much more room at the new Smith Pioneer Park location.
The park has undergone an extensive upgrade since May when the the province dedicated $214,000 to recreation additions from a $30-million Community Recreation Program grant. The TNRD contributed $35,000 at the time of the announcement.
“They said they’d have it ready for us and it’s looking good,” Becky said.
The Car Club has a 1925 Model T truck and a 1930 Model A Roadster it aims to put on display at the show.
Garlic bannock, face painting, antique tractors, stationary engines, old cars and music are also planned.
The festival features contests for best garlic braid, garlic jingle and garlic dish.
“You can bring the dish down on Sunday for judging,” Becky said. “We are also having a pancake breakfast on Sunday from 9 to 11 [a.m.].”
Prizes are to be awarded at 1 p.m. on Sunday.
The event is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. and end at 4 p.m. on both days.
Anyone who wants festival vendor information can call Becky at 250-378-4199. Ten paid vendors are registered so far.