Bennington, Vermont Transforms into ‘Garlic Town USA’

The annual Garlic & Herb Festival returned to the streets of downtown Bennington on Saturday.

The sights and smells of the yearly event were put on hold last year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Organizers say some 3,000 people safely enjoyed sidewalk sales, restaurant specials and bands, hay wagon rides, and multiple "Cloves" or pockets of garlic growing vendors.

The Garlic Bulb River Derby where the chamber threw over 100 numbered plastic garlic bulbs down the Walloomsac River in a friendly race also returned.

"Garlic Fest is an iconic event in Bennington and all of Vermont," said Matt Harrington, executive director of the Southwestern Vermont Chamber of Commerce which produces the festival, in a statement to WNYT. "It is a mixture of community building and economic growth as many of our hotels, restaurants and merchants benefit from the large event and large crowds. We like to think of it as one last great social outings of the summer and a welcome to fall and the harvest season here in Vermont. Based on last year’s success with Garlic Town, USA and still feeling like patrons will be cautious as they begin to get back to normal, we decided to move forward with another Garlic Town event."