For decades the festival has been held at Christmas Hill Park, Gilroy, California, USA with over 100,000 visitors sampling garlicky food, watching cooking competitions, taking in recipe demos, dancing to live music and perusing it’s vendors.
Since 1979, the festival has raised more than $11 million for local nonprofits and schools. So the admission, food, wine, beer and souvenir monies make garlic breath are well worth it for local causes. There is even a “Garlic Train” available to send you straight to show, a wise choice for those who want to sample delicious local craft beers on offer.
Amateur chefs from around the country vie not just for bragging rights but also for $5,000 in prize money and a splendid crown of garlic bulbs in the “Gourmet Alley,” the pinnacle of the festival’s food hub. The Gilroy Garli-que BBQ Challenge will pit the region’s best pitmasters against each other. Festival attendees purchase samples from them and vote for People’s Choice winners.
More than 50 musical performances by soul, rock, pop, country and blues bands play over the three day event. On “Spicy Soul Saturday,” get the groove on with funk and R&B dance bands on the Amphitheater Stage. KRTY 95.3 brings “Hot Country Sunday,” featuring up-and-coming country stars. Electric Clove Dance Tent is where DJs spin electronic dance music on Friday and Saturday. There is also a showcase of music from the 60’s, 70’and 80’s with Friday evening’s “Vintage Vibes.”
Gilroy Garlic Shrimp in a butter-wine-garlic sauce, scampi, pepper steak sandwiches, calamari, pasta con pesto are highlight dishes from the show that has visitors returning year after year.
Lastly, the most unusual item at the festival is the garlic ice cream. You’ll love it or hate it , but the rule is you have to try it, and it’s provided as a free dessert to all.
‘The GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS® officially certified the Gilroy Garlic Festival as the world record holder for largest attendance at a garlic festival ever, so maybe’s its time to visit the grand-daddy of garlic in California.’
Gilroy is a city located in Northern California’s Santa Clara County, south of Morgan Hill and north of San Benito County. The community is known for its peaceful residential environment, its award-winning parks, golf course and recreation programs, and for its “urban forest.” Gilroy is centrally located close to Silicon Valley, San Francisco, and the Central Coast.
With Gilroy being an attractive, sprawling and green environment, there are plenty of ways to get to the festival, and to get around the area.
Ride Caltrain to the Garlic Festival, it is the easiest and most relaxing way to get to the Festival from the peninsula. A chartered special event train will depart San Jose Diridon Station, arriving non-stop in downtown Gilroy an hour later, where there is a shuttle bus to the Festival.
There are many chartered bus options to take festival goers direct to the event. Car hire, ridesharing and UBER are also available direct to site, where there is designated parking.
Free secure bicycle parking is available on Miller Avenue at Uvas Parkway, but must have a bike lock.
Gilroy has a number of hotels, motels, RV parks and campgrounds available, but spaces do fill up quickly during Garlic Festival Weekend.
The Coyote Valley RV Park has all the modern and luxury conveniences on hand. Including a putting green, large pool and spa, café, fitness center, free Wi-Fi, a club house and an entertainment centre.
The Garlic Farm Inn has clean comfortable rooms, adjacent to restaurants, attractions, travel information centre and convenience store. Facilities include free WifFi, ATM and laundromat. There is a break room with big screen tv and internet facilities.
There are many attractions in the area to reward those seeking some interesting sights, including seven golf courses, premium shopping outlets and local beaches.
The Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk is recognized as the best seaside park in the world. The vibrant, bustling amusement park is renowned for its great carnival rides, remarkable history, spectacular beach setting, and friendly attitude. The Boardwalk spans a wide sandy beach along Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary where it’s not unusual to see otters, dolphins, sea lions, and even whales swimming just offshore.
The daring can tour through 110 of the 160 rooms of Sarah Winchester’s stately mansion, known around the world as the Winchester Mystery House, and see the bizarre attributes that give the mansion its name. People from around the world who have toured its lonely hallways, dark passages and ornate rooms, intrigued by this truly spooky American tale with its narrative of heartbreak, tenacity and invention and its flourishes of the paranormal and spirits.
The Festival dates are 26-28 July 2019.
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