by Dave Warner

After a two-year break, the Mohawk Valley Garlic and Herb Festival is ready to go Saturday, September 10, 2022, from 10 am – 5 pm in Canal Place, Little Falls. The organizers say, “Rain or Shine, it’s always a stinkin’ good time.”

Juli Webster, an organizer of the event, stated, “It was a little more than twenty years ago when we started this. There were about eight garlic farmers, and they had like a little farmer’s market down here in Canal Place.”

She says that was just about the time that she and her mom moved to Little Falls with their shop. “It went on that way for a few years, and then they went to the art center and said, how do we grow this?”

The executive director of the art center at the time went over to Juli and her mom and said, “We don’t want to lose this thing; we need bodies…interested parties, and it grew from there.”

Webster said that they have a little more space after the last couple of years of not having a festival. “We’re a little bit more spread out. We’re just trying to bring back the best features that we’ve had in the past.”

She said that there are some new vendors and garlic growers. “Our limit is thirty garlic growers, and we have that, and they’re local, so we’re happy for that.”

Every year about this time, she said they get asked a couple of questions. Here are those answers:

  • Why can’t I bring my dog? “We are a unique festival held in a closed-in area of Little Falls. We have thousands of visitors milling around the area during the day. In the past, we have had some very unruly dogs create serious problems. As is often the case, it’s the “bad apples” in the lot that cause problems for the “good apples.” The safety of our visitors is our first priority.”
  • Why do you charge admission? “We don’t. We ask for a small, $5.00 suggested donation. Because of your donations, we are able to fulfill our mission of promoting local farmers and local trade by spending thousands of dollars on advertising, etc. (Please see the pie chart below.) We bring together the best garlic vendors, herbalists, artisans, and more in an amazing shopping environment. Our long-standing tradition of a donation/admission means that we don’t have to ask the Little Falls business community or other sponsors. We are patterned after other garlic festivals which charge admission. The Saugerties, NY, festival charges an admission fee and higher vendor fees. We keep our suggested donation and our vendor fees low to maximize our vendors’ earnings.”

According to the festival organizers, “We have a high standard to live up to this year because customers told us that 2019 was the best festival yet. We can’t wait to be with you again on Saturday, September 10th. Bring your cooler, your dancing shoes, and your dollars to spend with our carefully curated farmers and vendors. Eat, Stink and Be Merry!”