The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

But why garlic?: How Easton’s Garlic Fest came to be

Photo by Jen-Feng Liu for The Lafayette
Garlic Fest started as part of an Easton Farmers’ Market-themed event.

Vampires, beware! This weekend, downtown Easton hosted its 19th annual Garlic Fest, bringing stinky spirit to the city. 

Vendors and visitors alike braved the rainy weather on Saturday and Sunday to indulge in everything garlic, showing true and loyal admiration for the pungent plant. Even the garlic-averse of the world had a space at the festival. With jewelry stands, baked goods and live music, there was something for everyone this fall weekend regardless of their stance on garlic. 

However, Garlic Fest was not always closing down the streets of Easton with its spectacle. The festival started out as part of a series of themed events at Easton’s Farmers Market, which used to be held in Centre Square before its move to Scott Park and Larry Holmes Drive. Besides Garlic Fest, other themes at the market included Tomato Fest, Strawberry Fest, Scarecrow Fest and Zucchini 500, a race with cars made out of zucchini.

Fascinated by Garlic Fest, Easton resident and owner of Quadrant Book Mart & Coffee House Jo Moranville took over the event as executive director and expanded it to the town.

According to Moranville, around this time Easton’s reputation made people nervous to shop in the downtown area for fear of crime. Because of its popularity within the Farmers’ Market, she decided to bring Garlic Fest to Centre Square so people would realize that Easton was a safe space. Moranville was passionate about displaying the true magic of the city and making people want to return. 

In its first year, the event stayed put in Centre Square and drew a small crowd of 500 people. Over the past 10 years, Garlic Fest has grown to be the two-day-long extravaganza that it is now stretching far beyond the central streets of the town. 

Garlic Fest takes place on the streets of downtown Easton. (Photo by Jen-Feng Liu)

Originally, Garlic Fest was composed solely of local vendors in Easton. Now, after nearly 20 years of stink, the event brings together over 100 vendors of both local Easton businesses and outside businesses to relish in the spirit of garlic.

However, as the event has expanded outside the bounds of the town, Moranville will never forget her original motive for starting the festival.

“The importance of Garlic Fest is to showcase the downtown community, all the wonderful shops and our chefs,” Moranville said. 

Garlic Fest will continue to take place the first weekend of October in the coming years to highlight the town of Easton — and garlic, of course.

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About the Contributors
Bernadette Russo
Bernadette Russo, Culture Editor
Likes trees and hates writing bios.
Jen-feng Liu
Jen-feng Liu, Staff Photographer

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