I know.  We Vermonters don’t like to say it too soon.  We push back, scuff our feet and perhaps even throw a tantrum like our 6-year old former selves. 

“How could summer have come and gone so fast!” We exclaim. “Wasn’t it just mud season?  Didn’t we just celebrate the 4th of July?”  

Alas, here we are.  Well, not quite (see there’s my Vermonter in me kicking back).  However, when Garlicfest comes barreling down our Rt. 9 and enters with a smelly splash on Labor Day Weekend every year, I can’t help but notice the air being a little colder in the mornings, the apples starting to peek through our orchards and the green in our mountains just not being as green as I remember a month ago!

It’s actually with great joy that I welcome Garlicfest.  Not just because it’s the Superbowl of the Chamber year, but to me it’s the changing of the season and we enter into the spectacle of fall in Vermont.  We begin Garlicfest in the summer and by the end, perhaps decked in flannel and drinking the first sips of our pumpkin spiced drink, we end Garlicfest in fall.

Every Labor Day Weekend for 22 years the Southern Vermont Garlic & Herb Festival has been stinkin’ up southern Vermont. It’s known for its cascading rows of 200 plus garlic vendors, kids' activities, food trucks, beer & wine garden, and regional live bands.  Garlicfest, as it's affectionately known, will again be held at the grounds of Camelot Village and Antique Center located at 66 Colgate Heights in Bennington, Vermont on Sept. 2nd and 3rd - Labor Day Weekend.  Gates open at 10 a.m. and close at 5 p.m. I hope you can join us for this amazing, “magnet” event!

This is a magnet event for the region and the Northeast.  We have people come from all over the world, but especially our weekenders from New York, New Jersey, the Capital Region, the Berkshires and Connecticut.  Now in its second decade, Garlicfest will see returning visitors both in vendors and attendees that have been enjoying southern Vermont for many years.  We’ve created a good base over time and now Vermont’s Garlicfest is seen as one of the best in the world.  People come here to the Shires of Vermont for this event and instantly fall in love with the lifestyle of southern Vermonters.

I think what you find in the region is this great dichotomy of features.  When you visit this area of Vermont you get new and old, quaint and sophisticated.  Most importantly, in a world full of uncertainty and in a time of growing volatility and complexity - The Shires of Vermont offers a place to stop and rest, to enjoy the small things in life, to go back to a time that once was and restore one's spirit.

To me, that’s what Garlicfest, fall and the Shires is all about, providing that respite for the traveler who wants to get away and walk the farmer-market-like grounds of the festival, to enjoy the last days of summer and to welcome fall in the place we call home.

So it is with great excitement, we welcome you all to come visit us at Garlicfest and “fall” in love with Vermont, fall in love with the Shires of Vermont all over again.

Always Onward,
Matt Harrington