For one weekend a year, Delray Beach parties in honor of the ultimate contributor to sauces and halitosis; the vampire-repelling, medicinal, delicious cousin of the onion and shallot: garlic.
The idea is for Garlic Fest to be a fun outing for the entire family, with lots of food and activities. Friday's opening lived up to that idea, and was extra interesting because the Dark Star Orchestra was the headlining musical act. Therefore, the Grateful Dead family was present. It was very refreshing to see the hippie presence at the family oriented festival. Often times there seems to be a reluctance on the part of festival organizers to include this world of people in their event -- as if they are afraid that everything will fall apart if the hippies come out to play. For instance, I never remember DSO or any Dead acts playing at Promendade in the Park (the beloved and now sadly defunct Fort Lauderdale fest) or Friday Night Starlight Musicals. Maybe this summer they could invite local favorites Crazy Fingers to come play.
It may surprise some to learn that the fans of the Dead mixed in very well with the rest of the festival-goers, and seemed to contribute positively to the whole scene. Grateful Dead peeps are generally very kind and smiley. There was no sign of drug dealing or shady behavior. Instead, there were lots of tie dyed families jammin' on their blankets, braving the carnival rides together, and exploring the fine work of the many food and craft vendors. Of course, hippies can't go anywhere without their spirit for experimentation. Good thing! Who else would have given the "Garlic Ice Cream" a try?