39th annual Gilroy Garlic Festival kicks off three days of food, fun

GILROY, Calif. (KGO) -- The Gilroy Garlic Festival kicks off Friday, featuring three days of food, drinks, arts and entertainment.

The festival runs from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. from Friday through Sunday at Christmas Hill Park, with tickets costing $20 per day for adults.

The Gilroy Garlic Festival is a family affair for Steve Janisch and his daughter Ashley Schaffner. They are calamari scampi chefs or as Janisch puts it, the head pyro crazy.

Janisch has been doing this for 37 of the 39 years the garlic festival has been in existence. He has earned his right to wear custom flame pants and a t-shirt that reads, "hot legs." "It's epic. It's part of the fun. You've got to get into it," Schaffner said.
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At least 100,000 people are expected to attend Gilroy Garlic Festival festivities starting Friday.

At least 100,000 visitors are expected over the weekend. But let's be honest, the big attraction is the food such as the gourmet alley garlic fries, french fries, calamari, shrimp, mushrooms, and more.

The experts have been volunteering for years perfecting the recipes.

Some people ABC7 News spoke with said one of the most popular items are the pepper steak sandwiches. The peppers and onions are key, but the most important ingredient, of course, is the garlic.
Caltrain will be offering a special charter train to the festival that departs from San Jose's Diridon station at 10 a.m. and leaves Gilroy at 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

The Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority will provide shuttle service from the Gilroy station to the festival beginning at 10:30 a.m. and departing the festival at 3:45 p.m. The last shuttle leaves the festival at 4:40 p.m. both days.

According to the festival's website, tickets for the charter train are not available via Caltrain. They include entry to the festival and must be purchased online at Eventbrite's website.

Click here for more information on the festival.

Bay City News contributed to this story.
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