11th Annual Garlic Fest set to be bigger and better

TONASKET – The 11th Annual Okanogan River Garlic Festival is set to be bigger and better than ever this Friday, Aug. 20 and Saturday, Aug. 21 in History Park.

“We have a lot of new vendors, a garlic piñata again, children’s story time and the second annual wine tasting,” River Jones, executive director of the Community Cultural Center, said. “The wine tasting hours are 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Friday and noon to 4 p.m. on Saturday.”

Another new activity at the festival will be a dunk tank which Jones said she believes will be going periodically throughout both days.

“The CCC will have an information booth where we’ll also sell beverages,” Jones said.

With 38 vendors this year, there will be more for attendees of the festival to look at, buy and enjoy.

“We have a huge number of sponsors this year,” Jones said. “We have a couple more vendors than last year and many of them are new vendors.”

A large attraction of the festival will be the second annual wine tasting, which Jones said revitalized the festival last year. The wineries participating in the wine tasting this year are Copper Mountain, Ester Bricques, Lake Crest and Okanogan Estate and Vineyards. Five tasting tickets along with a glass will cost $10.

“Last year’s wine tasting was what I call the infusion we needed to spice up the festival and give it new life,” she said. “We’re actually wondering if we wanted to keep it going. Kurt Howard and Suzanne Dailey Howard brought that event to the festival.”

Another activity attendees will be able to enjoy is the fact that the Tonasket pool will still be open throughout the festival weekend. There is also a lineup of entertainment for each day. On Aug. 20, Bud McSpadden will be performing at 1 p.m., followed by Samantha Culp at 2 p.m., The Peace Dancers (aka The Opposite Sisters) at 2:30 p.m., Chuck Oakes and Friends at 3 p.m., Garlic Piñata at 3:30 p.m., Steve Kinsey at 4 p.m., Sundog at 5 p.m., Cheat Grass with the Hydes and Friends at 5:30 p.m. and Martin Elliot at 7 p.m. The entertainment on Aug. 21 begins with Aaron and Karl Bharucha at 11 a.m., followed by Troupe Masarrat at 12 p.m., Sandy Vaughn at 1 p.m., the Peace Dancers at 1:30 p.m., Garlic Piñata at 1:45 p.m., Denny Richardson at 2 p.m. and Latin dancers at 3 p.m.

“We’ve had very, very generous supporters this year,” Jones said. “We’ll have several raffle baskets for $1 tickets and the raffles will be done at the end of the day on Saturday. The winners do not need to be there to win.”