One of Metro Vancouver’s favourite food-themed community events is back on the menu this month. And it’s the perfect reason to beeline to a lovely Richmond park for a delicious, sun-dappled day out.
The 13th annual Richmond Garlic Festival runs from 10:00am to 3:00pm on Sunday August 20 at the Sharing Farm area of Terra Nova Rural Park. And while it typically lures lots of garlic fans, the family-friendly event is also crammed with added attractions––from a farmers’ market to live entertainment and from guided walks to raptor bird displays.
Keen to check out this brilliant grassroots event? Read on for our exclusive insider’s guide. Then mark you calendar, gather your friends and family and head on over.
What’s it all about?
Celebrating sustainable B.C. farmers and artisan producers, this unique festival showcases locally grown garlic and its versatility in the kitchen. There will be plenty of dishes to try on site––including garlic ice cream––and there will also be lots of freshly harvested garlic varieties to buy and bring home.
But there’s much more than garlic going on here. Run by local organization the Sharing Farm––which grows sustainable fresh produce for the Richmond Food Bank as well as regional meal programs––the festival also serves up a jam-packed menu of fun extras.
All activities are included in your by-donation admission ($5 per person is suggested). And all proceeds help support the Sharing Farm’s invaluable work in the community.
What are some of the activities?
This year’s festival is packing plenty of action into its five-hour schedule. Don’t miss the bird of prey flying demonstrations (at 10:30am, 12:30pm and 2:30pm). There will also be a special talk on Richmond’s eagles and peregrine falcons at 1:15pm. Adding to the nature theme, you’ll also find local guest exhibitors covering everything from bats to coyotes and the birdlife in and around the park.
You can also learn about local farming. The Sharing Farm folks will be hosting a guided farm tour as well as presenting illuminating talks on food systems and sustainable agriculture. We’re especially looking forward to the 11:00am pollinator-themed walk and talk. And if you’re keen to grow your own garlic at home, there are a couple of handy workshops to show you the way.
Can I bring my kids along?
Yes! The Richmond Garlic Festival is a great place to bring the family. Aside from the exciting raptor demonstrations, junior visitors will also love the Little Cloves Kids’ Zone. They can craft flower crowns using garlic stalks here and also explore hands-on educational activities such as 3D printing. They can even try making music, with instruments provided by the School of Rock music school.
What about the garlic?!
The annual festival is also, of course, a highly aromatic celebration of the beloved bulbous plant. But if you thought supermarket varieties were all you need to know about garlic, you’re in for a powerfully pungent surprise. Head to the market area and you’ll find hundreds of pounds of delicious B.C. garlic for sale––look for varieties such as Red Russian and Italian Softneck.
Feeling peckish? The Sharing Farm’s kitchen will also be offering special dishes such as garlic popcorn and roasted garlic flatbread. And the Sugar & Spice Bakeshop will be here with their potato garlic naan tartine (plus their blueberry lemon cake). Every visitor should also try some garlic ice cream––this year, it’s made by Vancouver’s Rain or Shine Ice Cream.
Will there be anything to eat and drink?
There will also be four food trucks at this year’s festival, and each is offering a distinctive array of options, including plenty of non-garlic choices. Consider Japanese-inspired dishes from Tokyo Katsu-sando or tasty Tex-Mex delights from Dos Amigos. Mahshiko will also offer delectable Korean cuisine, while CultivATE will serve up an array of flavourful and sustainable options.
Tell me more about the market.
Aside from amazing garlic, the market will also have plenty of other items to browse. There will be lots of local farmers here, offering fresh-picked produce as well as herbs and native plants. The market is also hosting artisan vendors and handcrafted culinary treats, which means there will be lots of gifts and goodies to buy on the day––we’ll be looking for some lovely local honey this time around!
Is there anything else happening?
Adding to the festival vibe, there will also be a thick slice of live music to enjoy––ideal if you want to take a break while savouring your garlic ice cream. The toe-tapping School of Rock musicians will be performing at noon and 1:00pm, while Raw Honey––and their smooth folk-soul sounds––will hit the stage at 2:00pm.
Is there anything else to do in the area?
If you’ve brought your kids along, don’t miss Terra Nova Adventure Play Environment, a short walk from the Sharing Farm area. One of the Lower Mainland’s best playgrounds, its ziplines, pivot swing, hill slide and more are a must for visiting kids.
The park itself is also worth exploring. There are several verdant trails, a tranquil pond and panoramic views across the shoreline. And if you’re a birder, the adjoining Terra Nova Natural Area is a celebrated haven where you might spot herons, owls, woodpeckers and more.
How do I get there?
The Sharing Farm’s Richmond Garlic Festival is at 2771 Westminster Highway. If you need to drive, parking will be available at the Public Works Yard on Lynas Lane. From there, a free shuttle service will be provided. Better yet, consider cycling to the festival (a free bike valet service will be available) or arriving via transit—use the handy TransLink trip-planning tool to figure out your route.
Richmond Garlic Festival
Date: August 20, 2023
Location: 2771 Westminster Highway, Richmond, BC
Admission: By Donation
Last Updated on August 18, 2023 by Tourism Richmond