The public is invited to celebrate the annual harvest of the Maine garlic crop at the 13th Annual MDI Garlic Festival Saturday, Sept. 17th from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Smuggler’s Den Campground, Southwest Harbor. Presented by Nostrano, owned and operated by chef Frank Pendola, the event will feature garlic dish tastings from numerous local restaurants, a farmers’ market, garlic growers, live music, and more.

In the fall of 1998, Pendola and a few of his friends gathered to enjoy a variety of foods cooked with garlic. They smoked meats and made “Garlic Festival” t-shirts. The following year, the chef and his friends cooked for 100 people, and 350 friends and neighbors showed up. Since then, the festival has grown and has raised thousands of dollars for local nonprofits.

“Life is good,” says Pendola. “I’ve been blessed and it’s time to give back. This festival is a perfect way to bring my chef friends together and put on a good show of our specialties for the public to sample – all for a great cause.”
Chris Sylvester, Admissions Manager and Client Services Representative for the KidsPeace Graham Lake Campus, is grateful to the local chef and his dedication in organizing this festival.

“Frank has inspired others to become involved in this event and is tireless in his time and energy spent to make this a success. KidsPeace is extremely grateful to be the selected charity to benefit from this festival.”

Sylvester explained that the proceeds will benefit the Autism program that provides treatment to manage mental health issues and teach functional living skills to improve the quality of life for local children. The Graham Lake residential and day treatment programs serve from 25-30 children at any given time.

Event sponsors include: WNSX 97.7 FM, Smuggler’s Den Campground, Darling’s AutoMall, Granville Rental, Subway, Clarke’s Portable Toilets, Time Warner Cable, Maine Camp Outfitters, United Bikers of Maine, Keybank, CTI, Trenton Flooring, Annie’s Pride Farm, Pepper’s Pub, Sylvia’s Café, Ellsworth Chiropractic, Main Street Auto Care and Hale and Hamlin, LLC.

For information on sponsorship opportunities or ticket information, visit www.nostrano.com.