Cuba Garlic Festival

The 15th Cuba Garlic Festival is set for Saturday and Sunday.

CUBA — The 15th annual Cuba Garlic Festival is set for 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, with thousands of visitors expected and more than 140 vendors at Empire City Farms, 105 South St.

Arthur and Karen Austin, the Garlic King and Queen, long-time residents of Cuba who are active in the community, will reign over the event.

Featured at the festival will be garlic-themed foods, a wine and cheese tasting, garlic education with Bob Dunkel of the Garlic Seed Foundation, barn tours, historic demonstrations that include blacksmithing, and crafts/artwork will be on display for purchase. A 10,000-square-foot children’s area will include a petting zoo, kids corral, clowns, pony rides and other entertainment.

The Great Garlic Bulb Contest is a favorite among all the garlic growers. Diameter and weight will be measured, as will seven criteria for overall appearance.

The garlic bulb submitted must be grown by the person who enters the contest and may not include elephant garlic. Entrees must be dropped off at the Chamber of Commerce tent between 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. Saturday and judging will begin at 1:30 p.m. in the garlic braiding tent. Visit for an application and further information.

This year, a 4½-foot carved wooden black bear crafted by Glenn Roloson, and valued at $1,000, will be raffled off with the drawing at the end of the event. Tickets are $5 or three for $10 and can be purchased at the Cuba Chamber of Commerce. The drawing for the bear will be held Sunday at the close of the festival and the winner does not have to be present to win.

Bwana Jim’s Wildlife Show from Shinglehouse, Pa. will appear, offering, according to his website, an “enthusiastic, educational and witty show. He specializes in reptiles such as snakes, alligators, turtles, wallabies and exotic birds.”

Michael Sparling, better known as Mr. Scribbles!, who says he “brings life to chaos,” has kept children and adults entertained for over 20 years by turning their scribbles into art.

Eric Jones, a local caricaturist, will be on hand to not only draw caricatures but to carve a pumpkin as well. According to festival chairperson, Lee James, Jones will be featured on a Food Network Halloween special next month demonstrating his pumpkin carving.



• 11 a.m.: Cuba-Rushford Central School Pop and Band

• 12:30 — 1:45 p.m.: Fair to Fiddlin

• 2 — 3:45 p.m.: Off the Wagon

• 4 – 6 p.m.: Sticktights


• 11:30 a.m. — 1:15 p.m.: Sound Foundation

• 1:30 — 3:15 p.m.: Freddy & the Jets

• 3:30 – 5 p.m: Jack Ellis



• 12:30 p.m.: Chef Deb Burch/Alfred State College culinary students

• 2 p.m.: Matt Babbage, GV Food Truck

• 3:30 p.m.: Amy Makarowski, Mak’s Meats


• Noon: The Old Grey Hound

• 1:30 p.m.: Aaron and Mary Hess, Fusion on Main

Jim Eckstrom is executive editor of the Olean Times Herald and Bradford Publishing Co. His email is