The annual Honey, Garlic and Maple Syrup Festival (HGMS) returns to Manitou this Saturday, September 9th.

No matter what you're craving, Juanita Cobb, the festival's committee chair, says all the food comes with either honey, garlic or maple syrup.

"Saturday morning we'll start with the Kinsman club hosting a pancake breakfast. For lunch there is a gourmet alley, a choice of hot lunches. The Pamina Valley Saloon is open during the day from 11:00 to 7:00. This year we will be serving Wooden Gate Ciders cider - hat's a new addition for us. The supper will be the banquet starting at 5:30, and it's got three meats, and you must have the garlic mashed potatoes. If they only give you one scoop, ask for two, that’s my recommendation."

Another main component of the festival is live music.

"We have a live stage throughout the day in the arena. We have a number of bands. We’ve got 5 bands playing, so you have a variety of genres. The car show also boasts usually over 100 cars and they have a live band out there, Fender Bender will be playing out there."

Cobb outlines a few changes they've implemented this year.

"We're leaving the crafters in the arena open later, till 5:00. The banquet starts at 5:30, and then they've moved the concert to Saturday night. So now there's a concert in the evening at the Manitou Opera House as well."

History buffs will want to be on hand for a special birthday party honoring a local celebrity.

"Friday, they're going to be having a birthday party for Nellie McClung. You can actually go to her residence and have a tea and birthday cake. There will be tours available as well. There are three heritage houses at the Nelly McClung site. The tours are $10, 18-and-under is free. The tea is just by donation."

Along with all the good food to enjoy, visitors will find other reasons to spend the day said Cobb.

"The farmers market, the crafters are really unique. I usually kick off my Christmas shopping. When you're looking for those unique gifts, you always have those few people on your list that you want to try to find something special. You always come out with something good."

The festival provides attractions for kids as well, including a tent full of games, mighty machines such as graders and free draws.

For Cobb, a highlight of the one-day event is the people who come to spend the day.

"There are so many people that come to town that day to take in the farmers market and the crafters and just local and see. I really like the temperature. It's not too hot. It's typically a nice temperature to walk around and visit."

More information is available on the festival's Facebook page.

With files from Nicole Klassen

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