Vampires – whether the scary “Dracula” or sparkly “Twilight” variety – will stay miles away from this fragrant Cleveland festival that celebrates the fact that our region is home to more than 300 varieties of garlic, which is among the tastiest in the country due to our mineral-rich soil.
With dozens of on-site vendors that range from independent farmers to local restaurants, competitions between some of the region’s top chefs, and a tent devoted entirely to cheese, this is a food-lover’s playground.
Get Your Garlic On
Image courtesy of the Cleveland Garlic Festival
If you’re not a garlic lover already, you’ll be one by day’s end with the spread available at this festival. A walk down Garlic Gourmet Alley will get you up close and personal with some of the most delicious garlic-inspired recipes in the city, including the perennial favorite Garlic Fries and Garlic Ice Cream from Cleveland confectioners Mitchell’s Homemade Ice Cream. Grab a seat for the Top Chef Garlic Grill-Off, which pits some of the best chefs in the Land against each other in judged competition in categories for beef, chicken, pork and vegetarian dishes.
After a refreshing stop at the wine and craft brew tents, or perhaps a cocktail from Watershed Distillery, take a stroll through the artist gallery or find a dairy delight or two in the Ohio Cheese Guild Tent.
Beyond the Bulbs
When you need to take a break from all the good garlicky eats, the fest has you covered with a variety events for the whole family. The Mighty Locavores Kid’s Zone features a bungee trampoline, a pedal tractor maze, tractor simulator, storytelling, face painting and more for all those cute little cloves of person in your life.
The whole family can jam out to live music throughout the day from both the Music and Beer Tents with performances from local favorites Mo’ Mojo, Carlos Jones and the P.L.U.S. Band, Cats on Holiday and the Wind & Sand Bell Dance Troupe just to name a few. All that and the crowning of Miss Garlic 2019 ensure there’s never a dull moment at this sweet, stinky fest.
Funds from the Cleveland Garlic Festival allow the North Union Farmer’s Market to operate weekly markets, as well as educational and charitable programs, that bring fresh, local, healthy food to more than 275,000 customers every year.
The 2019 Cleveland Garlic Festival will take place in Shaker Square on Saturday, Aug. 24 from noon to 8 p.m., and Sunday, Aug. 25 from noon to 6 p.m.