The Garlic Festival

The Texas Renaissance Festival is not only a lot of fun to visit, it is an incredible marketing venue for small businesses of a certain flavor. We were lucky enough to encounter an incredibly wonderful flavor during our first visit to TRF this year. Garlic.


The Texas Garlic Festival has a booth offering all sorts of garlic based goods, from rubs to pickled cloves, and bread and popcorn seasonings in a variety of flavors. You get to taste them all as you circle the booth like a garlic shark. At least, I did.

The Pickled Garlic was my top pick among the offerings available. The pickling process maintained a definite crunch to the cloves, while bringing out the sweetness of the garlic usually only found when roasted. I tried all four varieties: Spicy Herb, Mustard Dill, Teriyaki, and Jalapeno. I wanted to run off with a case of the Mustard Dill! It’s like candy for me, and fits into my diabetic diet. The Teriyaki was extremely tasty, though the sugar content may put some folks off. The Spicy Herb and Jalapeno, while very flavorful, were a trifle hot for me personally.

The company maintains a blog that touts, “Our Garlic Festival Blog is a great resource for all things garlic.  Here you can learn about the health benefits of garlic, some great garlic recipes for healthy eating, how to grow your own garlic and updates of garlicky events in your area.” There is information about meats and veggies, recipes, product reviews and mroe.

They also offer a listing of events where they will be hawking their delicious garlic products. Select your state and find out where they will be. If all else fails, you check them out their online store, and even place orders on the website.

If you happen to be out to TRF this season, definitely stop by and give these folks a try. They are located in a kiosk style booth across from the Polish Pub, near the Falconry stage.

— Ann Cathey
(Who ate enough garlic that Christopher avoided kissing her for several hours)

Texas Renaissance Festival – Part 1

The Texas Renaissance Festival is a major attraction for the Magnolia area, bringing over 30,000 visitors a weekend for eight weekends in October and November. There is so much to see and do there that it’s often difficult to see the amount of work that goes into the details and background elements. Just as with a movie, the settings are a powerful addition to the experience.

The Newmarket Village offers more than just busty chests and pirate flags to entertain you visually. Below are some examples of things to feast the eyes upon.

DSC_0696A stucco bell tower containing huge wind chimes that bell a deep and resounding set of tones.







DSC_0673A Gypsy caravan, the likes of which few Americans ever get to see without leaving the country. Gypsies are present, but this mode of travel, drawn by horses, apparently never became popular here as it did in Europe.

DSC_0674Ever wondered what a ball and chain really looks like? This one was found in a piratical shop.  It certainly looks as though it held a miserable prisoner on board a humid ship at least once.






DSC_0803This is the original TRF chapel. The framework is of heavy treated lumber, and the greenery is maintained year-round to offer a structure that is part of the land to those wishing to be married, or to those who wish to sit and enjoy a peaceful moment.





DSC_0837This mermaid statue is hidden on the garden paths running along the creek outside of Sherwood Forest. She originally served as a fountain in the water garden, and more recently as a statue in the green grottoes.



DSC_0711The Gryphon is an amazing bit of costume creation. The leather and feather portions of the outfit are cunningly wrought to give the impression of a beast that walks among the patrons of the Faire.





DSC_0787All’s well that ends well. This is an example of the fantastic patterns on the coat of a zeony. That’s a cross between a pony and zebra. This little dun beauty is part of a children’s pony ride at the Faire. He is amazing to behold. Truly a mount worthy of the children of royalty.





We hope you enjoy this little tour of visual treats that are often overlooked. When next you visit the Texas Renaissance Festival, be sure to look for the little details that surround you once you are inside the gate – you may find the background just as interesting as the main stage!

— Ann Cathey