5 Reasons to Attend the Gilroy Garlic Festival
Thinking about heading to the Gilroy Garlic Festival in California? Here's the inside scoop on what you can find there.
July 25th, 2014
7050 Miller Ave, Gilroy, CA
What makes the Gilroy Garlic Festival the world’s greatest summer food fair? Here are five reasons you should come see (and smell!) for yourself:
1. Garlic, Garlic, Everywhere!
Well, let’s face it: there’s a reason Gilroy, California is known as the Garlic Capital of the World. This annual three-day festival is THE place to come for garlic in everything, from calamari, catfish, and kangaroo to garlic jelly, chocolate, and kettlecorn. Your visit is not complete until you’ve tried the garlic ice cream!
2. The World’s Largest Outdoor Kitchen
The heart of the Gilroy Garlic Festival is the world-famous Gourmet Alley, where “Pyro Chefs” put on a spectacular flame-up show while cooking up garlic-laced calamari in huge iron skillets. Meanwhile, hundreds of volunteers prepare other Gourmet Alley favorites, including pepper steak sandwiches, pasta con pesto, zesty fried calamari, stuffed mushrooms, and sausage sandwiches, as well as garlic fries and garlic bread. The Combo Plates make it easy to try a little bit of everything!
3. Cooking Takes Center Stage
At the Garlic Cook-Off Theater, you’ll enjoy live cooking demonstrations and cutthroat competitions all three days. On Friday, local university chefs face off in Garlic Bowl MMXIV. On Saturday, eight finalists compete in the Great Garlic Cook-Off for the coveted garlic crown and a $5,000 prize. And on Sunday, celebrity chef Carla Hall (from ABC-TV’s The Chew) returns to emcee the iron chef-style Garlic Showdown. It’s definitely gonna get hot in the kitchen!
4. Live Music, Hand-made Crafts, and Children's Activities
The Gilroy Garlic Festival really does have something for everyone, with continuous live music on three stages, over 100 artists showcasing their unique handmade creations, and fun rides and activities in the Children’s Area and Teen Zone. You can even make your own garlic braid and take it home as a souvenir!
5. Over $10 Million Raised for Local Charities
What really makes the Garlic Festival so special is the fact that it is powered by volunteers. Every year, the people of Gilroy and surrounding communities come together to host this massive party for over 100,000 guests. Volunteers do everything from parking cars and taking tickets to pouring wine and emptying out the garbage cans. Since 1979, they’ve raised over $10 million to benefit local schools, charities, and non-profit groups.