Annual garlic festival kicks off in Gilroy

July 26, 2013 7:20:06 PM PDT
The 35th annual Gilroy Garlic Festival kicks off Friday. It's full of food and activity booths featuring all things garlic, along with music, a wine pavilion and events for the kids.

The festival is expected to attract more than 100,000 visitors this year.

The festival elects a queen and her court each year, but the second year, in 1980, the queen refused to wear her crown of garlic bulbs, causing a minor scandal. Queen Olivia Echeverria now wears a more traditional crown, but she's an unabashed lover of garlic.

"It's embarrassing how many jars of chopped garlic I have in my fridge as well as the fresh stuff," she said.

The festival has become a major food event where every dish reeks of garlic. The proceeds go toward a wide range of community groups. Over its 35 years, the festival has given back over $9.7 million to sports teams, scout troops, hospitals and food banks. It takes 4,000 volunteers to make it happen.

Carla Hall, co-host of ABC's "The Chew," will host Sunday's garlic showdown.


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