Here's how the reimagined 2021 Gilroy Garlic Festival will work at Gilroy Presbyterian Church

Dustin Dorsey Image
Wednesday, July 21, 2021
Here's how the 2021 Gilroy Garlic Festival will work
The Gilroy Garlic Festival opens July 23, 2021 as a drive-thru food event instead of it's traditional festival style at Christmas Hill Park in Gilroy.

GILROY, Calif. (KGO) -- It's just about time for the Gilroy Garlic Festival.

The end-of-July tradition is back this Friday in the South Bay, and people are already getting excited to eat some great garlic food.

As is the case with a lot in our lives, the event will look different this year due to COVID-19. But, organizers are still keeping the fan favorite foods around.

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The Gilroy city motto is "a community with a spice for life." You could also argue they live life for spice - garlic that is. And nothing is bigger than the annual Gilroy Garlic Festival.

"If you step back, what would Gilroy be without the Garlic Festival?" Gilroy Garlic Festival Association President Tom Cline said. "Everyone knows it as the Garlic Capital of the World and I think the impact that this festival has had on this community for the past 42 years, you see it. Spice of life and all those things, it shows what type of community we really are."

The tradition is being reimagined in 2021 at Gilroy Presbyterian Church as a drive-thru event.

There will also be a farm-to-table dinner as well as a golf tournament.

While people won't be able to walk around Christmas Hill park, the most important aspect to many remains - the food!

"Guests will drive past Gourmet Alley with our pyro-chefs in our BBQ area and they'll pick up their food and out they go," Cline said. "You hear the guys working, they're going to interact with people driving through, so there's going to be that experience that people remember and that they come for."

Before you hop in your car and hit the road, you're going to want to check out the Gilroy Garlic Festival website. That way you can preorder all your Garlic Festival favorites because there will be no walk-up orders accepted.

Most of the familiar favorites will be available such as pepper steak sandwiches, scampi, garlic bread and, of course, the garlic fries.

2021 marks their 42nd year, but it is also the first Garlic Festival since the mass shooting at the event in 2019.

Organizers hope the festival can bring some much needed excitement, as well as raise money for their community.

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"It's a priority to us and we want to get back to that place where we can really give back," Cline said. "Over $12 million over the last 41years and we want to continue that tradition. You can see the excitement building, just so happy that it's happening, that they're going to be able to get their garlic food and just really celebrate garlic."

The fun begins Friday July 23, 2021 at 4pm and will run on weekends through Aug. 1, 2021.

To learn more about the festival or order food, visit the Gilroy Garlic Festival website here.