Little Falls, NY – Follow your nose to Canal Place in Little Falls to find the 17th annual Mohawk Valley Garlic & Herb Festival on Saturday, September 8 from 10am-5pm. The festival is held in the arts district of the city with vendors located in the Canal Place parking area, Sterzinar Park, and along Mill Street. This location has served as the event’s home for the past 17 years where it hosted only 8 farmers. The concept was a success and organizers have since grown the event to now include more than 90 vendors.
The event website explains that the event is “uniquely local” due to the climate and soil of the Mohawk Valley being ideal for growing garlic and herbs, which is why there are so many local producers. The festival’s mission is to provide information to area would-be farmers and gardeners pertaining to the benefits of growing these crops. The non-profit agricultural festival also supports the local arts community by including musicians and local artisans in their festival.
In addition to sampling vendor products and enjoying an array of fun pre-fall shopping, guests are welcome to enjoy a horse drawn carriage ride along the beautiful Erie Canal. Rides are free with entrance to the festival and take place across the small Canal Place bridge at Benton’s Landing.
Canal Place has continued to be beautified over the years, welcoming new businesses and events. The location offers a wonderful sightseeing opportunity with the historic mill buildings, several of which have been repurposed today. At the center of the Garlic Festival is Sterzinar Park which was created on the footprint of the former Allegro Shoe Factory that was demolished in 1987. The area is now a well-groomed park with picnic tables, a performance stage, and industrial style sculptures. Other unique features of Canal Place include the largest lift lock in NYS (Lock 17), Moss Island which offers rock climbing, and the remains of the historic aqueduct that once connected the old canal to the port facilities.
Little Falls resident, Laura Powers, shares, “We certainly enjoy a great community event, but our city also appreciates the opportunity to welcome visitors and potential future residents to see what we have to offer. Signature events such as the Garlic Festival and Canal Celebration have been laying out that welcome mat for years and have inspired new festivals for Little Falls. Whether it’s garlic, NYS cheese, art or pizza – we have a festival for everyone to enjoy throughout the year. Our hope is that more people will fall in love with beautiful Little Falls just like we have!”
Festival guests will be entertained throughout the day with live music on Sterzinar Park stage. According to a press release, from 10am-1pm, Jerry Dee and the Dovetones will play hits from the 1920s-1960s, including vintage “hot” jazz, prohibition-era jazz, Great American Songbook and swing standards from Irving Berlin to Cab Calloway, Fats Waller to Frank Sinatra; blues and rock-n-roll classics from Elvis Presley to Carl Perkins, and classic ska hits from The Blues Busters and Bob Marley & The Wailers, as well as original jazz-based music. (https://www.facebook.com/dovetones/) From 2-5pm, Continental Kit will entertain with their unique southern Adirondack band performing some of the best music ever written with a funky twist! (https://www.facebook.com/Continentalkit/)
While admission to the festival is free, guests are encouraged to make a donation of $5 per individual or $15 per family group. A portion of the proceeds are given to the Mohawk Valley Center for the Arts, also located in Canal Place. Shuttle service will be available and are wheelchair/stroller accessible. Additionally, only service dogs are permitted on the festival grounds during the event. For more information please visit https://mvghf.com/ or follow ‘Mohawk Valley Garlic and Herb Festival’ on Facebook.
Photos by Dave Warner of the 2017 Garlic Festival