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Gilroy Garlic Festival

For 4 decades, the smell of garlic has risen from Gourmet Alley, the epicenter of the Gilroy Garlic Festival. This phenomenon brings in nearly 95,000 guests annually and serves up entertainment for kids and adults alike during the last weekend in July. It’s a three-day celebration of all the pungent seasoning can contribute to an amazing array of dishes. 

Offered to visitors of all ages are taste tests, cooking competitions and demonstrations, and best of all - free garlic ice cream, which takes finesse to make right, but when done well, is both the perfect treat to have with you in the sun and to fend off hunger pangs until you find the perfect garlicky dish. The Festival also provides musical entertainment across several genres, including pop, classic rock, and blues. The bands play across several locations throughout the park, including the amphitheater, gazebo, vineyard, and stroller area. There are also two areas filled with unique shopping tents.

The Festival gives back too, as all sponsorship funds go back to local schools, non-profits, and service organizations. Last year their donations totaled $250,000, for a grand total over their entire run of $10,931,725, all distributed back to the community.

The fun runs July 29th through the 31st, with most attending on the weekend. Admission is $20 for adults and $15 for children and seniors, with a $5 discount off adult tickets on Locals’ day, the 29th and first day of the festival. If you plan on going all three days, there is a $30 Locals’ ticket, available on the first day. Be advised, it all happens outdoors in Christmas Hill Park in Gilroy, so prepare for California valley weather. A sun shade, water and an appetite are highly recommended. The festival provides continual bus service to and from the remote parking lots.

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