Garlic is a mainstay of cultures throughout the world, and the Ukrainian Seniors Center highlights this once again at this year's Garlic Festival.
Mainly produced in china today, through its 7,000-year history, garlic has been used in cooking, in medicine, and even to ward away demons.
Demons will be staying far away from the Ukrainian Seniors Center on Aug. 24 when it hosts the 23rd annual Garlic Festival to celebrate the wonders of this pungent root vegetable.
Gates open at 11 a.m. and, as always, the festival will feature a wide variety of vendors, selling everything garlic, from food to art.
But the food is always the highlight of Garlic Festival and this year is no different. Traditional garlic-based foods such as sausage with sauerkraut, pierogi, flatbread pizzas and garlic salads will be on display.
To contrast the traditional choices, vendors will also have a variety of rather unique garlic-infused choices from garlic cookies to garlic butter tarts, garlic fudge to garlic ice cream, as well as an array of specialty pastries.
"It's a great way to bring lots of different groups together," said Sandra Sharko, president of the Ukrainian Senior Center. "It's a lot of work, but it is very worth it in the end."
What started as a simple potluck nearly a quarter-century ago has since become one of Sudbury's more popular summer festivals. While the event serves to draw together different cultures from across Sudbury, the glue holding them all together is their love of garlic.
One thing is for certain, people can't get enough of the taste, Sharko said.
"It is great for cooking because while it usually has a strong flavor, if it is poached, it gains a very nice mild flavor that allows for many new creative recipes," she said.
It is expected more than 3,000 people will take in the Garlic Festival this year.
While their parents are busy chowing down, children can enjoy an array of activities. These range from arts and crafts to races, puppeteers, clowns and bouncy castles, and will be provided through a partnership with Greater Sudbury Public Library.
Admission is only $2 and all proceeds go towards the operation and upkeep of the Ukrainian Seniors Center.
For more information, visit ukrseniors.org.
The Ukrainian Seniors Center is located at 30 Notre Dame St. at the Lloyd Street intersection.