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Delray Beach Garlic Fest Returns This Weekend With Gourmet Eats, Live Bands And More

Do you smell that?

That's the wonderful—or terrible, depending on who you're talking to—stench of the Delray Beach Garlic Fest, ready to hit downtown Delray's Old School Square this weekend.

Garlic Fest, which has been highlighted on Food Network's "Unwrapped" and featured in over 40 national magazines, drew more than 40,000 "Garlic Heads" to Delray Beach over the three-day weekend last year.

This year, the food, music and art festival returns Friday, Jan. 29 to Sunday, Jan. 31 with vendors selling garlic-infused cuisine at Gourmet Alley, a selection of wines at the Cloves & Vines Wine Garden, a garlic chef competition, and more.

American rock band Taking Back Sunday will headline GarlicFest's live musical acts with a performance Saturday at 9 p.m. Other acts include Highway Run, a Journey tribute band, and Iration, a sunshine reggae group from California.

That's a lot to be excited about, but Garlic Fest organizer Nancy Stewart said that what she's most looking forward to is handing out checks totaling more than $600,000 to 16 local nonprofits providing volunteer staff for the event.

"We love that we throw the best stinkin’ party in town and that we’re the only organization that produces festivals designed to be a fundraiser for other nonprofit organizations in our community," she said.

Throughout the weekend, garlic lovers can enjoy dozens of stinky but oh-so-flavorful items for sale, including garlic pork, garlic conch, garlic shrimp scampi, and other garlic goodies, such as garlic funnel cake and garlic pizza. 

Plus, kids can partake in recreational and educational activities in the Children's Area, along with free pot-painting and seed-planting at the interactive Garlic University exhibit area on Saturday and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m.

The Annual Garlic Chef Competition taking place Saturday and Sunday will feature South Florida chefs including Hudson chef Chris Reichart, Max Group chef Eric Baker, three-time champ Bruce Feingold of Dada, and more.

Leading up to Garlic Fest, organizers have been offering fans a few ways to win prizes, from a scavenger hunt that took place this past weekend to a golden garlic hunt happening this week.

From 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, garlic lovers can visit any of the local-area iHeart Media websites—Wild955.com, 1055online.com, Gater.com, mia921.com and WZZR.com—and search for clues that will help them find as many bulbs of golden garlic hidden along Atlantic Avenue as possible on Friday, Jan. 29. 

Whoever finds the most garlic and brings the bulbs to the GarlicFest entrance between 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Friday will win eight Disney tickets.

Pre-sale tickets to Garlic Fest are already sold out, but guests can buy tickets at the gate for Friday ($30), Saturday ($12 before 6 p.m., $30 after) and Sunday ($12). Children 10 and under are free.

Festival hours are Friday from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m., Saturday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Free parking and Downtown Roundabout transportation from the lot are available at 501 S. Congress Avenue. Parking at Old School Square Garage is $5.

(Photos courtesy Georgia Handy Photography via Facebook/Delray Beach Garlic Fest)