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Originally published Thursday, June 7, 2012 at 7:00 PM

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Love garlic? Plenty of festivals this summer

Celebrate the "stinking rose" at garlic festivals across the Northwest and British Columbia this summer.

Seattle Times travel staff

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Itching to get out of town? Let your feet follow your nose (and your taste buds) this summer, to garlic festivals around the region.

Why leave town: To finally find out what wine goes with garlic? To finally try chocolate-dipped garlic? Do you need another reason?

What's going on: Towns around the Northwest host festivals dedicated to the fabled "stinking rose," which not only adds zest to food but over the centuries has been attributed to be a wonder cure for everything from high blood pressure to the Plague. (This statement has not been evaluated by the FDA).

Where and when: There are garlic festivals throughout the summer and across the Northwest and into Canada. One of the longer-running (31 years) and best-known is the Long Beach Peninsula's Northwest Garlic Festival, June 16-17 in Ocean Park, with the slogan: "It's chic to reek" (www.opwa.com/html/garlic_fest.html). A sampling of others:

• On at least one Top 10 list of the world's garlic fests is the Elephant Garlic Festival in the Portland suburb of North Plains, Ore., Aug. 10-12. Gotta love its web address: www.funstinks.com.

Chehalis Garlic Fest, Aug. 24-26, (www.chehalisgarlicfest.com).

Okanogan River Garlic Festival in Tonasket, Okanogan County, Aug. 24-25 (communityculturalcenter.org/Garlic_Festival.php).

• British Columbia has several, including Pender Harbour Garlic Festival, on the Sunshine Coast, Aug. 11-12; Hills Garlic Festival, New Denver, Sept. 9; South Cariboo Garlic Festival, Lac La Hache, Aug. 25-26, and Chilliwack Garlic Festival, Sept. 15-16.

What to expect: Lots of novelty foods, including garlic ice cream and jellies. Music, beer and wine. Healthy people with breath that will knock you down.

Costs: Most events offer free admission; a few charge a modest fee at the gate, check the web for details.

Brian J. Cantwell: 206-748-5724 or bcantwell@seattletimes.com

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