The Stinky News – July 2013

Tropes, Apothegms and Revelations about MINNESOTA GARLIC FESTIVAL
July 2013 Edition



We’ve changed things up a bit this year: the Chef Demos will be on The Local Foods Stage in the ginormous bigtop tent, along with The Great Scape Cafe; and the Entertainment will be on another stage, aptly called “The Entertainment Stage.” Fans who have been with the festival since the mid-50’s will recall that musical acts and chef demos have shared the same stage for several years, but the really observant will have noticed that each year the demo kitchen nudges entertainment just a bit further offstage right.

Finally, this year, the ever-charming Mary Jane Miller, Chef Wrangler*, pulled rank on Brandon Wiarda, Entertainment Director, saying, “Why don’t you folks go play somewhere else since my Demo Kitchen takes up the whole stage now?” (See Brandon’s version of the story in the Entertainment article below).

It’s going to be an “All Food, All the Time” show, hosted by Mary Jane Miller, with special guest, Elizabeth Ries, KTSP-TV’s Twin Cities Live host, and a long list of luscious luminaries from Minnesota’s finest fooderies.  Check the website for more.


Where else can you enter a contest that allows you to buy votes for your entry, and then gives you back 10% of the take if you win?

At the Garlic Growing Contest, “The Good, the Bad, and the Not-So-Ugly,” you can do just that.  Now in its second year, this otherwise legitimate competition for gardeners and growers of garlic has added a category called “GARLIC MAKEOVER”**.  Along with the awards for largest and smallest bulbs in ten different varieties, and the highly prestigious “Best in Show” award, you can now dress up one of your garlic bulbs in some humorous, poignant or cutesy way, and enter it in the GARLIC MAKEOVER competition.  Then festival attendees will vote on their favorite.  Each vote costs 25 cents.  There’s no limit how many times a person votes.  Including the person who submitted the entry.  And if that weren’t nefarious enough, if you win you get 10% of the take.***


Crow River Winerey
Morgan Creek Vineyards
Badger Hill Brewing Company
Lucid Brewing
Harriet Brewing

We don’t have an clever article about this because our Libations Staff have not returned from doing their field research. They left three weeks ago.
So, our Legal Staff will give you the details:

Commencing at noon and continuing until 5:00 p.m., you may present to the nice folks at the Minnesota Wine & Craft Beer Area a $20 bill and your I.D.  In exchange, they will transfer into your possession a nice armband****, a Commemorative Wine Glass or Beer Mug, and three drink tickets.  You may then redeem said tickets for a glassfuls of the beverage of your choice at any of the nice purveyors listed above.  You may then transport your beverage with you anywhere on the festival site, so that you may enjoy it with some nice food, to wit, a meal from The Great Scape Cafe, which is a nice place to eat.


A mentioned above, we’ve made some changes in the entertainment floormat this year. According to Entertainment Coordinator, Brandon “Mr. Entertainment” Wiarda, the entertainment will now be centered around the Entertainment Stage, and he promises an entertaining time of it, “even though we were unceremoniously booted off the other stage.”

For those of you who’ve been coming to the festival for years, why aren’t you there yet? For those who’ve ATTENDED for several years, you’ll remember we had a Kids Stage. Well, it grew up. Now it’s the Entertainment Stage.

Actually, there will still be lots of kids activities there, plus Brandon has booked a classic band called Mariachi Jalisco (“mariachi” translates to “goes good with garlic”), along with other festival favorites like Light of the Moon Band, and the Mu Community Taiko Drummers.  We also welcome back that “village of fools” from New Ulm, The Narren.  Check out the entire line-up here.

True festival fans make it a point to arrive by 9:50 to catch the Opening Ceremony, “Throwing Out the First Bulb”.  Hutchinson Mayor, Steve Cook, will grace us once again with poetry, bulbs will be tossed, and the Water Carnival Royalty will cut the ribbon; all under the culpable leadership of Festival Director (“Head Bulb”), Jerry Ford.

Plus there’s the flash mobs we mentioned in the last issue, the Peculiar Pragmatic Promenade, garlic ice cream, steroidal trampolines, and much more.  But there’s no carnival rides or anything on a stick. Ever.


No kidding.  Look it up


There are 32 coordinator positions with Garlic Festival, not to mention the scores of other volunteers, and some of them have odd titles:

Bocce Coordinator
Garlic Queen
Beer Coordinator
Kite Coordinator
Head Bulb
. . . and so on.

But the chief of our LPOHMATTBF***** Department spotted an article in Harper’s about India’s National Classification of Occupations that listed some rather unique potential career paths available there. Here’s a short list of our favorites; for the Harpers Article, go here or borrow a copy from your bleeding-heart-liberal brother-in-law, or perhaps a St. Could State English professor.

Impression Taker
Women Patroller
Snake Charmer
Money Tester
Colliery Creeperman
White Washer
Bagpipe Maker
. . . and our personal favorite:
Wood Impregnator


8th Annual
Saturday, August 10, 2013
10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
McLeod County Fairgrounds, Hutchinson
$5 adults, $3 kids, free babies, $1 parking
No Pets Please

* Mary Jane’s official titles include Chef Wrangler, Maven of Mmmmm, Vicar of Viands and Queen of Comestibles.
** Actually, the “GARLIC MAKEOVER” category is replacing the “UGLIEST GARLIC” category. Contrary to the rumor that the festival pulled the “UGLIEST” category due to complaints that it was discriminatory and politically incorrect (“They’re not ugly, they’re pulchritudinously challenged”), the real story is that the winner of the “UGLIEST GARLIC” last year was so ugly that it frightened small children and feme coverts.  A third and even more contradictory story appears in a press release on the Garlic Growing Contest Website, but Stinky News didn’t write it and categorically denies most of it.
*** The other 90% goes to Sustainable Farming Association of MN, a 501c3 nonprofit
**** You’ll find this really nice thing happens when you wear the armband and have a wine or beer in your hand:  the nice Police Officer will nod and smile and say something nice like, “Have a nice day.” If, however, you have a drink in your hand and do not have an armband, the Police Officer will say very different things. And, of course, when you show the nice people at the Minnesota Wine and Craft Beer Area your I.D., they will confirm that you have dwelt upon this earth 21 or more summers, and bestow upon you said armband.  What’s our point?  If you are not of legal age, you will not be drinking wine or beer at the festival – it gives you something to look forward to.
***** LPOHMATTBF = Let’s Pick On Harper’s Magazine And The Twine Ball Festival. To be fair, Harper’s Magazine is pretty classy, even if we like it; and we heartily recommend that you go to the Twine Ball Days (a bit of a misnomer since it’s just one day – I mean, we don’t say “MN Garlic Festivals”, do we?) even though it’s the same day as Garlic Fest.  We have heard it’s best to show up there in Darwin at sunrise – the event doesn’t start until 10:00 a.m., but they say it looks pretty much the same as it does at 7:00 a.m.  Spend a few minutes seeing everything, then come on down to Garlic Fest.