If there’s one thing summertime loves, it’s a festival. It seems there’s one for everyone’s interests. There are beer festivals. There are barbecue festivals. There’s a mushroom festival. There are festivals celebrating farm-fresh food. There’s even a festival celebrating … sand. But don’t forget the garlic. Yes, there’s a festival that devotes the last weekend in August to lovers of the odorous allium. Chehalis Garlic Fest celebrates its 21st year with farmers from across the region showcasing more than 65 varieties of garlic. Though the cuisine will be garlic-centric and includes chef demonstrations, the festival aims to please everyone, garlic lovers or otherwise. Highlights include kids’ activities, live music, vintage and farmhouse decor and a beer garden.
Two decades ago, Andi and Shawn Hamilton began Garlic Fest with a dream of a fun, community event. Their friend happened to grow good garlic, so they decided to make it the focus. They were humble beginnings, to be sure, but the event has multiplied ever since. While originally held at Sunshine Hills Farm, it now takes place at the Southwest Washington Fairgrounds and boasts high-quality food vendors and local garlic farmers.
Live entertainment includes Locust Street Dixieland Band, Raucous and The Sportin Lifers. Tent and recreational-vehicle camping spots are available, and there are discounts for seniors, members of the military and children. Make plans now, because visitors are known to come Portland, Seattle and other nations. For many, this is the best way to mark the end of summer.
What: Chehalis Garlic Fest
Where: Southwest Washington Fair and Expo Center,
2555 N. National Ave., Chehalis
When: noon – 7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 25;
10 a.m. – 7 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 26;
10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 27
How much: $5 admission
Learn more: 360-740-1495 | Chehalis Garlic Fest