The Geneva Business Improvement District announced the acquisition of one of the East Coast’s most successful garlic festivals, bringing it downtown next year.
It will happen in August 2022, according to city officials.
Fox Run Vineyards, who founded and hosted the festival for the last 27 years, will remain a partner in the event that draws nearly 14,000 people to sample wine, enjoy live music and shop a range of local garlic and other vendors. A transfer agreement is in place that will pass ownership of the festival to the Geneva BID, while and ensuring Fox Run Vineyards remains an integral planning partner and participant for at least the next few years.
Garlic lovers from across the country visited the Fox Run Vineyards festival in Penn Yan on Seneca Lake’s western shores for 27 years prior to the 2020 cancellation due to COVID-19. The event celebrates the harvest of garlic at a two-day festival and Thursday outdoor concert. Festival guests feast on food flavored with fresh garlic, enjoy festival vendors including regional garlic farmers, and pick-up tips from local Finger Lakes chefs through garlic cooking demonstrations. The event historically allows visitors to soak up sunshine and picturesque views of Seneca Lake while listening to great musical entertainment, enjoy garlic infused festival food and Fox Run Vineyard’s award-winning, hand-crafted wine.
“We held our first Garlic Festival in 1992 with only 100 people in attendance but by 2019, the event had grown to welcome an astounding 14,000 attendees, a number we struggled to accommodate on our property,” said Scott Osborn, Fox Run Vineyards President & Co-Owner. “Knowing the festival will only continue to expand, Ruth and I decided it was time to look for an alternate location. The city of Geneva has the space and infrastructure needed to take the Fox Run Garlic Festival to the next level and we are excited BID will continue the tradition of our Garlic Festival in the Finger Lakes, hopefully for many years to come.”
The Fox Run Vineyards Geneva BID Garlic Festival will be held at the Geneva waterfront park in August of 2022. The event will follow the same format with regional garlic vendors, live music and chef-driven tastings and experiences. The first downtown version in 2022 will include expanded vendor booths (art and regional gifts), wine offerings, and incorporate Finger Lakes beer, cider and spirits. The Geneva BID envisions the festival becoming a weeklong celebration of garlic and downtown, with merchant partnerships, dinners, special concerts, and chef-driven experiences reminiscent of the Atlanta Food and Wine Festival and Food and Wine Classic in Aspen.
“Downtown Geneva has a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to build upon nearly 30 years of success with this festival to continue enhancing our reputation as a culinary and cultural destination within the Finger Lakes region,” said Geneva BID Executive Director Michael P. Mills. “Special thanks to our board member Dave Bunnell for identifying the opportunity, and we are all honored that the Fox Run Vineyards family entrusted us with this special event and look forward to collaborating with them to ensure visitors have the same memorable experience while growing this into America’s premiere Garlic Festival.”
“The City of Geneva is honored to be the new home for the acclaimed Glorious Garlic Festival,” said Geneva City Manager Sage Gerling. “This festival has been a long-running tradition that brings new and returning visitors to the Finger Lakes annually and we are excited to add Geneva’s unique lakefront and downtown landscape to the recipe.”
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