Dueling Summer Garlic Festivals Find Common Ground

Summer festivals and events often bring open-air concerts, barbecues, annual farm-oriented contests and more. The warm weather experienced in the United States from June through September has a way of doing that. To summer day trippers, it’s often not a problem of finding an event to attend, but choosing which one. Such is the case in Oregon where dueling garlic festivals had friends and neighbors at odds.

The Elephant Garlic Fest (slogan: “fun stinks”) has been held for 15 years in North Plains, Oregon. This year, organizers of the North Plains event decided to combine their festival with an annual barbecue and truck and tractor pull held in Banks, Oregon. Meanwhile, others in North Plains still wanted their garlic festival, so they organized one of their own, the Summer Fest and Garlic Out West (slogan: “where it’s chic to reek”).

With the events happening on two consecutive weekends, one week and less than 10 miles apart, community organizers worried that neither would receive the attendance needed to make them successful.Now, after months of battling that included intellectual property disputes, conflict-of-interest accusations and claims of impropriety, it will be the 2013 North Plains Summer Fest & Garlic Out West Festival in North Plains that prevails. To be held August 9-11, the event will feature live music, food and craft vendors, beer and wine garden, fundraiser runs, pancake breakfasts, a parade down Main Street and more.

The festival also features garlic beer, garlic ice cream, garlic milk shakes and more, as we see in this video:

Meanwhile back in Banks, the Barbecue and Tractor Pull will continue and be held August 16-18, minus the garlic.

Wondering what the big deal is about garlic in Oregon anyway? In 2010, the United States exported 18.6 million pounds of garlic, much of which was grown in Oregon.