Since moving to CA, I have repeatedly heard people raving about the Gilroy Garlic Festival, which take place every July. Trouble is, we have always been away on vacation … until this year! That’s right, this past weekend I had a chance to attend the Gilroy Garlic Festival; and I am thrilled to be able to share my experience and some photos I took with you all.
Gilroy, CA is known as the Garlic Capitol of the World. We always pass though Gilroy whenever we drive to Los Angeles. You can literally smell the garlic growing out in the fields-there is that much of it! But enough small talk, on to the festival details!
This festival is huge! There are cooking competitions, cooking demos, live music, a teen area and a children’s area, arts & crafts…and of course, Food! Lots of it! Here’s a small sample of some of the culinary delights that were available for purchase: Garlic Bread, Garlic Calamari, Garlic Scampi, Garlic Fries, Garlic Chicken Quesadillas, Fried Garlic, Garlic Chocolate, Garlic Sauteed Mussels, Garlic Jelly, Garlic Veggie Wrap, Garlic Frog Legs, Garlic Chicken Wings, Garlic Kettle Corn, and Garlic Ice Cream! And that’s not even counting the non-garlic food items!
After my hubby tasted the garlic fries, he turned to me and said, “Lots of Garlic!” Ummm, yes dear, that is why they call it a Garlic Festival! 😉
There were lots of other goodies to purchase besides all the tasty food, come on in and take a look:
It was a pretty hot day, but no worries, the festival had plenty of shade trees available. They also had something I had never seen at a festival before… cooling stations, which they called Rain Rooms!
Several vendors were giving out samples, they’re a great way to introduce people to your products. If there were one tip I could give to vendors, it would be have samples available for people to try. I am much more likely to purchase something if I have had a chance to try it first!
McDonald’s knows all about handing out samples- they were all set up and passing out their new McCafe Cherry Berry Chiller. Great way to cool down on a hot day!
Not to be outdone, the festival was also passing out samples…of Garlic Ice Cream! I was so amped to try it out. At first, it tasted like regular vanilla…but then it hit me, that garlic packs a punch!
It was a beautiful day, and folks were enjoying themselves. There was a rock wall…
I had never seen ice cream, much less Garlic Ice Cream, served with cantaloupe before. But that’s exactly what they were doing. They would slice a cantaloupe in half, clean out the seeds and then put a scoop of ice cream in the hole. How cool is that?
Everywhere I looked, people were having fun, laughing and enjoying themselves. Like the folks below, jamming out to the band “Drive.”
In case you are wondering, the festival does sell alcoholic beverages… beer, wine, sangria, mimosas. I was quite happy with my Maui Wowie Smoothie, it was delicious!!!!
I was pleased to see plenty of police presence at the festival. Anytime there is alcohol being served, there is always a chance that someone might get a little tipsy… and rowdy! I would’t advise it…
The festival was a blast and I would highly recommend you check it out of you are ever near Gilroy, CA in July. Even if you’re not near…make plans to attend & be there! I must give a shout-out to Mr. Peter Ciccarelli, Media Relations Chief. He personally welcomed me & my family to the festival and I could tell how much the Gilroy Garlic Festival means to him. I also want to give a shout-out to Jerrod Nichols, also with Media Relations.
Thank you both for helping make our first Garlic Festival so memorable. 😀
We’ll be back!!!