From garlic ice cream to mushroom foraging: six Interior festivals that break the norm - InfoNews

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From garlic ice cream to mushroom foraging: six Interior festivals that break the norm

August 17, 2019 - 7:00 AM

It's no surprise that the Thompson-Okanagan plays host to a multitude of festivals every summer. From endless foodie events to a variety of music festivals you never have to look far to find an event catering to a wide variety of tastes.

But for those looking for something a little bit specific and a little bit more specialized, the region is home to a collection of festivals for those who don't order from the buffet and whose tastes are a little bit more exact.

Here are six festivals that stand out.

Grindrod Garlic Festival, Grindrod, Aug. 18

Your sweetheart might not appreciate your breath after spending a day at the festival, but your taste buds are surely in for a treat. Back for its ninth year, the Grindrod Garlic Festival celebrates all things garlic with tastings, cooking classes and even garlic photography. Dozens of vendors will be on site offering endless ways to consume garlic. Hot buttered garlic corn anyone?

For more information go here.

Lumby Butter Tart Festival, Lumby, Aug. 24.

The quintessential Canadian treat. Who needs tiramisu or crème brûlée when you can have a butter tart? The festival returns for its 5th year offering a wide variety of butter tarts baked by hosts of local vendors. A panel of judges will critique the many different bakers and give one lucky chef the honour of winning the best butter tart award. There are also lots of children's activities and organizers say arrive early as the butter tarts always sell out.

For more information go here.

Kamloops Tomato Festival, Kamloops, Sept. 7

Arguably one of the most versatile of vegetables (even if it is technically a fruit): They go well in a sandwich, make a great pasta sauce and are a key ingredient in a caesar. Festival-goers will be able to taste an assortment of varieties from local farms, learn about seed saving and enter their own homegrown tomato contest. There are categories for the biggest, most colourful, largest cluster, and most unusual shape.

For more information go here.

Similkameen Sizzle, Keremeos, Sept. 20 to 21

Dubbed 'Canada's only hot pepper festival' the celebration of all things spicy is now in its 18th year. If you think you've got what it takes (or no taste buds left) you can enter the hot pepper eating contest, or if the thought makes you instantly burst into a sweat, enter the annual Sizzle chilli cook-off or enter a hot sauce and pepper preserve to be judged by fearless foodies. Along with a DJ and plenty of activities for kids, there'll be local wine and cider to soothe and cool the throat.

For more information go here.


Sicamous Fungi Festival, Sicamous, Sept. 27 to 29.

Organizers advise bringing a basket, a plastic knife and a soft toothbrush to this three-day festival. Festival-goers can take part in guided walking tours, where they'll head into the forest and forage for wild mushrooms. Once back from collecting the fungi there will be culinary demonstrations teaching the best ways to cook a variety of mushrooms. Along with the mushroom soup, there will be plenty of other mushroom dishes, a beer garden and farmers market providing what organizers call a 'full-flavoured fungal experience.'

For more information go here.


The Lower Nicola Garlic Festival and Antique Tractor Show, Lower Nicola, Sept. 28 to 29

Pairing garlic with antique tractors may seem like the most peculiar pairing but the two-day festival returns for another year with live music, plenty of vendors and even more garlic. One moment you could be cheering on the tractor pull, and in the next, eating garlic ice cream.

For more information go here.

Farm-to-Jar Canning Intensive Weekend, The Grist Mill and Gardens, Keremeos, Sept. 7 and 8.

Learn everything there is to learn about canning at this intensive weekend get-away. Guests will spend two days learning preservation techniques from an expert who has "canned and put away thousands of jars of just about everything." Once the day is done, guests can camp at the site and no doubt swap pickling stories around the campfire.

For more information go here.

Image Credit: FACEBOOK/The Grist Mill and Gardens

Festival of the Grape, Oliver, Oct. 6

While quaffing wine and talking about tannins and the vintages oakiness are staples at wine events, the Festival of the Grape allows participants a much more energetic time competing in the Grape Stomp. Teams of Stompers cheered on by a 4,500 strong crowd, stomp 40 pounds of grapes turning as much as possible into juice in three minutes. The winning team go head-to-head with 60 pounds of grapes and one lucky team will be crowded the 2019 Grape Stomp Champions. There are 24 teams and stompers need to register a team in advance.

For more information go here.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Ben Bulmer or call (250) 309-5230 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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