And then the rain and the thunder came, and the big outdoor stage where the traditional dancers – and the traditional Elvis impersonator – were about to begin their shows had to be dismantled quickly. The opening ceremony moved inside and while some acts were cancelled, most took place in the great hall downstairs at St. Mary's Church.
Despite the inclement weather, the crowds were still big and local musicians Hugh Jazz even managed to perform outside, albeit under the canvas awnings in front of the Ukrainian Seniors Centre. But, organizers said, you always are at the mercy of mother nature when you put on a festival.
“We're a little discouraged by the rain,” said Stella Onucky, as she worked on a garlic wreath. “We had everything ready to go. The stage was set up, the mayor was here. And then five minutes before we were going to start ...”
“But whatever we could move inside, we did.”
Onucky explained the mechanics behind a garlic wreath, which usually consists of around 12 garlic heads. One wreath can last a whole year, with each head providing two to five cloves. Store them in the kitchen, or in a cool, dry place.
“But away from potatoes or apples, because of the moisture,” she cautioned, unless you like your garlic mouldy
Her sister, Nancy, helped prepare 300 pieces of garlic fudge – one of the many sweet treats at the festival that you will likely not find anywhere else, alongside garlic ice cream and garlic chocolate chip cookies. And beans and buns and butter and just about anything else you can think of, even honey.
Any new treats this year?
“Garlic sausage tartlettes,” Nancy said.
While garlic is known to be tasty, if strong-smelling, it offers plenty of health benefits that make the bad breath worth it. Studies have shown it boosts the immune system, helps prevent heart disease, fight infections, helps fight diabetes and, of course, keeps vampires away.
Apparently, though, not thunderstorms.