The best stinkin’ party in town is moving out of town. Organizers of Garlic Fest are taking the event from Delray Beach to John Prince Park near Lake Worth.
They say the move will make 2017’s event bigger and better than ever.
For 17 years music, shopping and garlicky food filled Derlay Beach's Old School Square. Last year at the recommendation of residents and business owners, city commissioners decided to cut back the number of major events downtown to one per month. The move meant the permit for Garlic Fest was denied.
“We were approached by nine other cities just showing their support and saying come check us out,” explained Assistant Executive Director Sarah Vallely.
Palm Beach County leaders offered John Prince Park; a huge venue west of Lake Worth.
"Our joy was sucked out of it here [in Delray Beach],” explained Director Nancy Stewart. “To have somebody reinforce our value to a community and the awareness we bring to a community, we needed that shot in the arm again.”
The chamber of chamber estimates Garlic Fest and its average of 35,000 attendees pumped more than $1 million into the Delray economy. Now that money is going to the Lake Worth area.
Some people wonder if Delray will lose its draw too.
Francis Richard and Gina Dejoy visit John Prince Park three times a week. They've also been to Garlic Fest. They said the park is a good fit for the event.
“There are lots of great events here and you can still drive through. Sometimes there are events where they're running and the stop it, but there is plenty of space,” Dejoy said.
Organizers are still filling out the musical lineup for next year’s event. Expect carnival-style rides for kids, something Delray wouldn’t permit under its new rules.
Garlic Fest will be held Feb. 10 to Feb. 12.