Vendors and volunteers alike are already clamouring to become a part of the 2022 South Cariboo Garlic Festival.
Festival coordinator Jeanette McCrea said the popular festival will return to Lac La Hache Aug. 27-28, following a two-year hiatus. The decision was made after Dr. Bonnie Henry last month lifted several COVID-19 restrictions on public gatherings.
“The response I’m getting is overwhelming for this early in the game. There are people wanting to come, people wanting to sponsor the event and interest has just exploded,” McCrea said. “It’s good, I’m excited. It will be nice to have a normal event going on again.”
McCrea said she’s still in the early stages of planning the festival but intends to bring back all the usual events and attractions. This will include a roving clown to entertain children, local music entertainers, 80 vendors, artisans and a live garlic-eating and peeling contest.
Anyone interested in renting a space at the festival can print off forms at garlicfestival.ca and mail them to McCrea at Box 252, Lac La Hache, B.C. V0K 1T0.
Entry fees are currently $100 for garlic vendors and $150 for other vendors until April 30 when rates will rise to $150 and $200 respectively.
McCrea has already had some volunteer sign up in the past week.
Her main concern, at the moment, is the number of people the festival will attract. The festival usually attracts around 4,000 people but with this frenzy of interest following the end to COVID-19 restrictions, she predicts they could easily exceed that number
“I’m a little worried about that. I am going to try and encourage people to come out during our quieter times like first thing in the morning. Usually between 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., we see a real high volume of people and while we have lots of parking, that becomes a challenge during a rush,” McCrea said. “If I can get people to spread out just a little bit that will alleviate that stress.”
All proceeds raised from the festival will go towards supporting the Lac La Hache Community Club which runs the Rolf Zeis Memorial Arena and supports other community events in Lac La Hache.