Toronto is getting its first-ever pickle festival
In a jarring turn of events, Toronto is getting its first-ever pickle festival this fall.
Pickle Fest was announced for October 21, 2023, at Henderson Brewing on Sterling Road in the Junction Triangle.
“If you ever looked at something edible and thought ‘we can pickle that’ this event is for you!” the website states.
Toronto’s Pickle Fest is the passion project of Adin Wener, one of the owners of Henderson. It happens to fall on his birthday and he can’t be more excited for it to launch, having waited years for the chance to debut. Never has there been someone more excited to talk about pickles.
Wener tells the story behind his inspiration. “About 10 years ago my wife and I were in New York, wandering around Brooklyn, and we ran into something called Pickle Day — six streets of pickle vendors and all things pickled.”
“You could get pickle on a stick, they were selling pickles by the vat, it was the coolest thing. Who doesn’t love pickles, to be honest,” he says.
Through Henderson, Wener was determined to throw a pickle-themed festival, but needed to find the right time. When they finally committed in 2019, the launch was a very popular idea, but then COVID-19 hit. Since then, they threw a winter beer festival with much success.
The festival will feature DJs and 30 eclectic vendors from across the province. Henderson is still doing a call out for suppliers and producers of all things pickled and fermented who want to get involved, as they want a diverse selection of goods.
Henderson has an ample parking lot and indoor space to accommodate for weather. The event is all ages and there is no entry fee.
“We don’t just want 20 or 30 pickle vendors, although everybody likes pickles,” Wener says. You can also expect kombucha, cabbage, beets, pickled hot sauce, and notably pickled pumpkins in time for Halloween. Some vendors who reached out proposed pickled cactus and pickle pizza.
Unlike most parties held by a brewery, it offers more than just a fun place for drinking, although the whole area will be licensed so you’ll be able to walk around the lot with your drink.
They plan to provide shots with pickleback (a chase of pickle brine) and pickle-influenced beer. On April Fools, quite a few breweries did pickle beer as a joke, but Henderson is going to make it into a reality.
Henderson throws a block party every year to drive engagement with the community. They’ve worked with their neighbour, the Museum of Contemporary Art, coffee shops, and businesses that have storefronts in the community.
Vendors are encouraged to make the most of their space with tents, pickled pumpkin jack-o’-lanterns and pickle costumes.
Pickle Fest is still accepting applications for vendors selling fermented and pickled goods of all kinds. You can apply on Henderson Brewing’s website.