Franzcak said many parents with autistic or special-needs children hesitate to attend gatherings like Garlic Fest because their kids are “overwhelmed” by shrieks from amusement riders or people in costumes.
“These are things that are outside the norm for them,” Franzcak said. “So when the child has a meltdown, the families leave.”
Now those families have a place to go to “decompress,” she said.
To go even further in preparing children for any surprises, Garlic Fest has a “social story” on its website designed to give parents and their kids a heads-up on what to expect.
Garlic Fest will open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday and from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. There will be $10 parking at Palm Beach State College with a free shuttle to the festival entrance. There is limited parking at John Prince Park for $20.