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MDI Garlic Festival to benefit KidsPeace autism program

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SOUTHWEST HARBOR, Maine — The public is invited to celebrate the annual harvest of the Maine garlic crop at the 16th annual MDI Garlic Festival, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 13, at Smuggler’s Den Campground in Southwest Harbor.

Proceeds from the festival will benefit KidsPeace New England Autism Spectrum Disorders Program.

Presented by Nostrano, which is 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 with the Chris Humphrey Big Band, Therapy Dogs International, the Crescent Kennel Club 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 raised thousands of dollars for local nonprofits.

Event sponsors include WNSX 97.7 FM, Smuggler’s Den Campground, Darling’s AutoMall, Taylor Rental, MDI Concrete, Maine Camp Outfitters and Curtis Family Shoe.

For information, contact Frank Pendola, Nostrano, at 207-288-0269, and Chris Sylvester, KidsPeace director of residential services, at 207-745-4087.