Smells Like Community Spirit

Don’t overlook the North Quabbin Garlic and Arts Festival

For Deb Habib, co-founder of the Garlic and Arts Festival, the collaborative space the festival offers for folks of the North Quabbin region is at least as important as is showcasing the crafts, farmed foods and organizations that come from those parts.

“Being on the edge of any urban area, straddling two counties, the North Quabbin is often marginalized,” Habib tells me. “It’s easy to get defensive. People don’t always see the beauty. But we create magnificent things, and those who come to the festival can really feel that.”

The Garlic and Arts Festival takes place in Orange this weekend for the fifteenth year in a row. While attendance has grown from 1,000 a day when it first began to 10,000 per weekend over the past few years, regularly drawing folks not just from the Valley but also the eastern part of the state, it is apparent that the Garlic and Arts Festival is run by, and for, the residents of the North Quabbin region.

“There is a real cross-section of people from the area who have been very supportive,” continues Habib. “The festival is recognized as an important effort to help revitalize the region, and as something the community can count on.”

Read more at the Valley Advocate

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