Garlic Fest coming to downtown Dayton Saturday

Garlic Fest is back this Saturday, July 22 at a new location offering garlic ice cream and many other garlic-inspired dishes.

The free festival will be held at Courthouse Square in downtown Dayton from noon to 8 p.m.

Garlic Fest was founded around 2014 to celebrate all things garlic and local growers, said organizer Lisa Grigsby. The festival originally started at Cox Arboretum, moved to the Sons of Italy Bella Villa Hall and was held in recent years at Carroll High School.

This year’s festival will be dedicated to co-founder Steve Milano, also known as “The Big Ragu,” who passed away earlier this year, Grigsby said.

Festivalgoers can expect 18 food vendors, each offering at least one garlic item. The Painted Pepper will have southwest salmon cakes with garlic chimichurri and vegan smokey potato tacos with black garlic cream, and The Lumpia Queen will have garlic lumpia and garlic pork fried rice.

Last year was the first year the festival had garlic ice cream, which sold out in an hour according to Grigsby. Jubie’s Creamery will offer black garlic honey ice cream on Saturday.

There will also be over 20 craft vendors in addition to various entertainment options:

  • Noon to 4 p.m. — Kids Lot featuring arts and crafts and games
  • 1 p.m. — Garlic 101 with Heather from Mucky Boots Farm
  • 3 p.m. — Mamma DiSalvo’s Meatball Eating Contest (2 minutes to eat as many meatballs as you can)
  • 5 p.m. — Garlic Eating Contest (2 minutes to eat as many garlic cloves as you can)

Grigsby said she is looking forward to “the smell of garlic wafting through downtown!”

The festival will have some seating, but festivalgoers are welcome to bring their own chairs and maybe some breath mints!

For more information, visit the festival’s Facebook page.

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