Garlic Fest will not be held in Delray Beach in 2017

Seventeenth Annual Delray Beach Garlic Festival Saturday January 30, 2016 at Old School Square in Delray Beach. (Bill Ingram / The Palm Beach Post)

Seventeenth Annual Delray Beach Garlic Festival Saturday January 30, 2016 at Old School Square in Delray Beach. (Bill Ingram / The Palm Beach Post)

Delray Beach’s long-running Garlic Fest will carry on — just not in Delray Beach.

Before the city commission had an opportunity to vote this evening on whether the garlic-themed festival would be held in the city’s downtown in 2017, as it has been done since 1999, the festival coordinator withdrew the application.

“Ironically, I must thank you all for not approving my event or our appeals,” said Nancy Stewart, the festival founder and coordinator. The event will move to another city, she said.

Stewart sought a waiver to keep the festival in Delray’s downtown despite a rule adopted by the city that allows for only one major event per month. The 18th annual Garlic Fest was planned for February 2017, the same month as the nationally televised Delray Beach Open tennis tournament, although the dates and locations did not overlap.

Garlic Fest was brought before the commission at a meeting in late June, when dozens of residents and local business owners spoke in favor of keeping Garlic Fest at Old School Square, where the festival has historically been held. The vote was deferred after a tie among commissioners, absent Mayor Cary Glickstein.

Following the meeting, nine other cities heard an “outpouring of support” from the community and offered to host Garlic Fest, Stewart said.

“We have narrowed it down to two cities,” she told commissioners. Stewart will make an announcement by next week with the new location and official dates of the festival.

Stewart said many concessions were made, such as excluding children’s rides and offering off-site parking, to appease the Delray Beach City Commission in an effort to keep the festival in the city.

Said Stewart: “It never felt right to us.”