The 'festival that stinks' celebrates 20 years

ORANGE — The 20th annual North Quabbin Garlic and Arts Festival is just two weeks away.

Organizers say the festival at Forster’s Farm at 60 Chestnut Hill Road in Orange is, “still stinkin’ after all these years.”

It will be held this year on Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 29 and 30, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days, rain or shine. Admission is $5 per day per adult or $8 for a weekend pass. Children age 12 and younger are free. There is no ATM onsite. You can bring a water bottle for free water and a bag to carry things home.

This family friendly destination is bursting with exceptional art, local farm products, fabulous food, endless entertainment, and inspiration for a hopeful future. Held on a historic farm amid fall foliage, the festival attracts thousands from throughout New England.

 This year, the festival celebrates its 20th anniversary by giving a gift of pollinator seeds (at several locations throughout the festival grounds) to attendees. Organizers said the festival would like to see people “sow seeds of goodness far and wide.” 

At 3 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 30, there will be a parade, circle of peace and community and a “giant” cake for all to enjoy. 

There will be music, entertainment an spoken word performances on three stages and the fields throughout the weekend. 

More than 100 booths will feature local and regional artists, farmers, community organizations and healing arts, to name a few. There will be more than 80 workshops and demonstrations, activities and performances, as well, both days.

 Garlic games will abound on the main field, including the famous raw garlic-eating contest, and there will be Travel the Garlic Globe in the chef demo tent. There are also four food courts.

Orange is the New Green is the trash-free program (only three bags for 10,000 people), with everything else recycled or transformed into fertile compost to make gardens, not garbage.

 Visit the The World We Love exhibit, a giant handcrafted globe at the kid’s art and activity tent, and add your vision for a positive future.

The Portal of the Future at the north end of the festival is the place to visit for all things renewable energy, with an inspiring workshop lineup, demo gardens, and special urine-collecting toilets provided in collaboration with The Rich Earth Institute. 

New this year is a “slow fiber” tent where you can see demonstrations of how plant and animal fibers are prepared to be spun into threads, then woven into cloth or twisted into rope.

Festival proceeds keep the event sustainable and affordable and support the festival’s community grant program for local art, agriculture, health and energy projects.

It is an all-volunteer committee and the nonprofit Seeds of Solidarity Education Center that organize the annual festival.

Pets are not allowed on site or in parking lots. For travel and parking information, a schedule of entertainment and activities, a list of exhibitors and vendors and more, visit: or Facebook.


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