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questions on garlic festival, saugerties.

i haven't been before - missed it the past two years for various reasons - but will likely be attending this year. the only problem? i''ll be in nj on saturday/sunday morning, with friends, and will not be up to saugerties til (at the earliest) sunday at 11. and i can't stay all day.

so...i'm hoping to see ric orlando cook, since i like his restaurant. and i've read through all the previous posts using the search feature. so, here are my questions...

> if i arrive between 11 and 12, are there any hidden places to park that aren't as well-known?
> what are the must-eat foods or the names of the places which have it? for example, i know many love the garlic fudge; is there one vendor with a FUDGE! sign, or are there many - who is the one with the fudge? and what other foods?
> i'm assuming there are some samples, the old chatham cheese was highly recommended; which others as well?
> i will look at the generic food court last on the way out.

thanks for any advice and suggestions...

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  1. Basically you will have to park where they tell you. You will be part of a mile long line of cars along the thruway and into town.

    There is only one fudge place, from a local town, they will have all the usual types of fudge plus garlic which they only make for the festival. I think it is the best thing about the festival.

    There are samples but usually they are pretty stingy little crumbs. At the website for the festival you can see who the vendors are. Nothing jumps out to recommend but the food area wasn't that big the last few times I went that I couldn't sample everything I wanted within 30 minutes. But I just looked at ths years vendor list and it was HUGE.

    In the past the food row wasn't generic. There were many booths that were specific to this festival and were pretty good, serving interesting things that actually were food. Hopefully this hasn't changed.

    I haven't been for 2-3 years because the last few times I went I felt it had lost its original vibe and the whole thing had become much more commercial. That said its still worth going once. I hope you like crowds of annoying people.

    Hudson Valley Garlic Festival website

    1. there is a parking lot across the street, i think. the garlic festival is a lot of fun. i can't remember specifically what food there is. the only thing i can tell you is AVOID the garlic ice cream!

      1. I went last year. Its unbelievably well attended. I mean literally miles of parked cars and tens of thousands of people. But its fun crowded.

        The "farmers market" area was my favorite. Justs dozens of fresh garlic (to eat or plant) merchants and lots of free tasting. Great stuff! I got around half a dozen varieties and grew a few dozen plants this year. Back there was also a donut maker with nice freshly fried donuts and you could get a free garlic dip with the dough - Do it! Best food I ate there. Also some very good pesto, one from Woodstock which was awsome and one from Binghamton which was good.

        Generally, the food in the food area (which is also big) was gross. Disappointing, I know. Lots of stuff like boiled supermarket hot dogs but with garlic pieces on top. So if there was great prepared food there, I missed it.

        Good crafts, t-shirts, great garlic. Lots of fun!!!!!!


        1. I went last year, and the only thing I ate that I remember well, was the steamed clams in garlic. They were fresh, tasty and the garlic and oil mixture was just right. I think they may have come with an ear of corn or something, kinda like a mini clam bake. But then again My memory is poor, I do remember clams, garlic, and it was really good.

          1. thanks for the suggestions; i'll report back in if i'm able to make it, which is more in doubt now; woke up with a cold and the weather is overcast/rainy all weekend up here..

            for those outside the area, strong chance of t'storms and wind gusts tomorrow, so pack accordingly...

            1 Reply
            1. re: bob gaj

              we went last year and will attend this coming weekend as well. while it is no gilroy, it's still alot of fun!

            2. This is a wonderful event! I've been going for many years now... love it! Yes, there are a lot of people and yes, food lines are VERY long, but what a great place to buy fresh garlic on a pre-fall weekend day and enjoy the music on stage!

              Sat. is usually a busier day than Sunday, so it might be good that you can only get there on Sunday. Parking - they really have improved it and the flow of getting in and out of Saugerties.. getting much better than in years past.

              Go for the food at the off times. Either eat before you arrive at the fest and plan to have dinner there or get ready to wait in the food line. We waited about an hour last year at a food booth.. was it worth it? Yes. Did I like the wait? No.

              Must buys: Pulled pork sandwich. Amazing! Pickles from "Pickleicious" - their sign brags that their pickles are better than sex! (wow, I better stock up this year!) Bread from "Our/The Daily Bread Shop" in Saugerties (who have a booth at the fest.) And the reason we're all there.... the Fresh Garlic - This man who I have been buying from for years - he's been at the festival from the beginning - he's like 80 years old! His garlic keeps FOREVER, and is AMAZING in flavor - super strong!!! "Antolini Planting" or something like that - from the Syracuse, NY area. My family sent me for big heads 'cause they didn't want to peel... his were by far the biggests at the festival! I keep going back to him and my family and now friends who I shop for are never disappointed.

              So - you should go.. definitely!! and don't forget those pickles ; )

              3 Replies
              1. re: lizharwood

                Went last year on Saturday and will probably go back this year. Never waited more than 15 minutes on any food line. Saw a few Pulled Pork places - which one should I check out? Also, does anybody know if there are kids activities. Didn't pay attention last year but this year I may want to take the Grandkids.

                1. re: Dale J.

                  Lots of kids activities. There are different 'stages' throughout the festival and different venues at different times. When you arrive, get a program guide which will tell you what time the events are at what stage. They also had a rock wall for the last few years (extra charge). The Pork man I went to has 2 black 'roasters/smokers' out in front of his tent. He's by the Babe Ruth baseball part of the park.. I went on-line and looked at the map this year for the festival. http://www.hvgf.org/pdf/2008_Centerfo...
                  It looks like a lot of things have moved around as all the garlic sellers are together so the pork man may have had to move as well. Sure hope I find my garlic man!!!!!

                  1. re: lizharwood

                    Dale J.

                    I went back to the site list above and found the link for events on stage. http://www.hvgf.org/festinfo5_2008.asp Enjoy!!!!!