By Dave Warner

Get ready for a stinkin’ good time because the Mohawk Valley Garlic and Herb Festival will return to Little Falls for its 20th year on September 9, 2023, from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. in Canal Place.

They’ll have the area’s best garlic growers, produce vendors, fine artisans, food product producers, herbs and flower vendors, festival cuisine, live entertainment, family activities, and more planned for visitors.

According to organizer Julie Webster, “This all started back when Marge Balder was the director of the Mohawk Valley Center for the Arts. She came over to Mom and me and said hey, I think this could be an amazing thing, but it’s going to take a lot more organization and bodies.”

“It was only eight garlic vendors the first year, and this year, we have twenty-eight, which I  believe is our highest number. We’re up to 94 total vendors,” she said.

Webster said they used to do an educational day and wished they could bring it back. “New York State soil is perfect for garlic growing.”

Last year was the first year back after Covid, and the festival was packed. “We had no idea what to expect, and we wanted to extend the gate to include everyone in Canal Place. We had some growing pains with parking and whatnot, but there was so much love and support last year that we now have a fantastic budget this year.”

She said that there will be more portapoties, more shuttles, and more things to do this year.

“Our horse-drawn carriage will be back. He was here all day last year and did an amazing job.”

Webster said that they have a lot of good music on tap as well. “We have a new one named Garlic.Band, and it’s very appropriate.”

“We have more food vendors than we’ve ever had, in addition to the local ones,” she stated.

They’ll also have some artisans, but they have to be ‘from the earth.’ “Wood, metal, fiber, pottery, those kind of things.”

She also said that they promised better parking and they’ve worked really hard on that. “For sure, Industrial Boulevard, and we might do  Veterans Memorial Park as handicapped ones. We have two handicapped-accessible buses and two school buses.”

“5-Axis Motorsports is also gracious enough to let us use their parking lot. There’ll be better signage, and it will all be on the website the week before, so don’t try driving down to Canal Place, just go to the map,” Webster stated.

She also said they have a new logo, which will be available on select merchandise.

“In the last few years, our donation admissions at MVGHF have allowed us to become a nonprofit. Local Foods Incubator, Inc. hopes to be able to soon offer Agricultural scholarships in addition to supporting the MVCA and other local nonprofits with our funds,” she said.

Because this is their 20th year, it’s a really big deal. “Rain or Shine, always a Stinkin’ Good Time,” Webster laughed and said. “No rain date.”

For more information, you can email or visit their website.